Considering this Hammer entry has seemingly been pirated more than any other since it became public domain, I have to admit I had extremely low expectations for the film. To my surprise, this Dracula effort retains the high Hammer production values and offers a unique plot. Police investigators enlist the help of Abraham Van Helsing's descendant when a series of deaths plague the city once again in the 1970s. It seems a plague is being spread to destroy mankind, but who is the villain behind the curtain, and what could his motives be? This sequel has much more in common with Dracula AD 1972 than it does with the earlier entries, using the modern urban landscape in drab tones over the stylized and colorful set designs of the period pieces. That doesnt stop them from creating eerie underground lairs for the vampires to inhabit, making for more great stakings. Cushing and Lee return in true form, and give good performances nearly two decades after the original films release. This film isnt nearly as bloody as the earlier efforts, and lacks much of the atmosphere and amazing design Hammer had become known for in the 50s and 60s, but it is still an enjoyable film and should please any fan of the series.
*Anyone looking to pick up the film, the Digiview release of the film available for nothing (I got my copy at Dollar Tree for $1.00) has amazing picture quality and is in widescreen format. It looks to have been a stolen copy of either the region 2 or Anchor Bay release, so it comes recommended!