“Dracula Prince of Darkness” (1966)
Religious piety receives a refreshing shot in the arm in Terence Fisher’s “Dracula, Prince of Darkness”- the long delayed direct sequel to the 1958 “Horror of Dracula” (or “Dracula” for purists situated outside of the 50 States) -in the form of Andrew Keir’s Father Sandor, who is a cross between Van Helsing and Quatermass; a know-it-all who is also a good sport: a teddy bear vampire killer with a hair-trigger intolerance for stupidity and an even shorter fuse toward superstition, despite his encyclopedic level of knowledge of supernatural lore. (Not the least example of the film’s distracting quantity of unexplained contradictions.) Keir also provides a solid authority to which the forces of darkness are less than likely to emerge victorious without the aid of a series of illogical actions which are the essence of the enervated script by John Sansom (a nom de plume for regular Hammer scribe Jimmy Sangster) to invent momentary lapses of logic or oddball convenient circumstances in which the most obvious of vampiric gambits might fortuitously operate without detection.
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