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Author Topic: Dracula-Prince of darkness/17mins/scope.
Andrew Wilson
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Posts: 784
From: dundonald,belfast,co.antrim,northern ireland.
Registered: Jan 2006


 - posted September 23, 2006 08:23 AM      Profile for Andrew Wilson   Author's Homepage   Email Andrew Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here's my view on this old derann release from years gone by.
After the success of the 1958 hammer Dracula,the main problem for
the boys at Bray was,how do we resurrect the evil CountD.
Well soon many bizarre resurrections and gory downfalls were on the way!.
Horror buffs know how the evil Count came to his sticky end at the end of the first film.
This two reeler opens with that pre-title sequence as we are reminded how Dracula was destroyed;this disintegration to ashes
is still the best of all of Dracula's demises.
After the titles,we join Barbara Shelley and Charles Tingwell who
are trying to get some sleep in a spooky castle.A noise outside in the corridor leads Charles to investagate.A hanging tapestry moves,a knife flashes and poor Charles is being dragged down to the cellar.
The faithful old servent of the departed Dracula then ties a rope
around his victim's ankles and hauls him,upside down over the empty tomb.From the black altar,he reverently takes a small casket and scatters the contents-CountD's ashes-into the coffin.
He then calmly slits the throat of poor Charles who is swinging
above.Blood spatters into the coffin and slowly mixes with the ashes.Slowly Dracula takes shape and we see a hand claw over the edge of the coffin.
Dracula is once again on the prowl,but soon it is time for him to
be commited once more to the grave.As well as sunlight,and the usual stake thru the heart;a vampire can also be destroyed by,running water.-I wonder what BRAM STOKER would have made of this!.On the frozen moat around his castle,Dracula tries to survive but,as always,as the ice gives way and he sinks,screaming,into the murky water below.I got this two reeler
second hand,so colour fade is there for all to see.I still enjoy it though,and now thankfully,Derann have made ammends,by releaseing the full feature on super 8;on low fade stock to.
This was and is a nice sovernior of the old release by Derann.but
now i am sure is of no interest now because Derann have given us what we Hammer fans like.-the full feature in scope.Dont forget,this release dates back to around 1978 or so,and at that time this title was the only Hammer title,released by Derann in scope.I enjoy this two reeler;maybe someone could review the feature.I hope to get the feature someday.Andy.

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Mal Brake
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From: Neath, South Wales, UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted September 23, 2006 06:44 PM      Profile for Mal Brake   Email Mal Brake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I used to own this title some years ago. The first 10 minutes or so are very atmospheric but the ending is rushed with too much of a continuity gap.
Christopher Lee has said that he was so disappointed with his script his character doesn't utter a single word.
Mal

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I'm gonna live forever or die trying

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Andrew Wilson
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From: dundonald,belfast,co.antrim,northern ireland.
Registered: Jan 2006


 - posted September 24, 2006 11:47 AM      Profile for Andrew Wilson   Author's Homepage   Email Andrew Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I Too found that it was rushed at the end.The editor seem to run out of time.Still enjoyable though.Andy.

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Adrian Winchester
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From: Croydon, London, UK
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 - posted September 24, 2006 06:28 PM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There are a few prints in circulation on low fade stock, released after the Super 8 revival began. Don't know if any are worth having, though, as one I used to have was poor and had a 'washed out' look. The feature is much better, though, and definitely worth having. Incidentally, the feature is a slightly 'milder' cut, so it doesn't have the brief shot of the stake being hammered (no pun intended) into Barbara Shelley. I think this shot might be in the old 4 x 400' flat version but I can't remember for sure.

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Adrian Winchester

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Andrew Wilson
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From: dundonald,belfast,co.antrim,northern ireland.
Registered: Jan 2006


 - posted September 25, 2006 10:50 AM      Profile for Andrew Wilson   Author's Homepage   Email Andrew Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I wonder why that shot is missing from the feature?.
Maybe DERANN could tell us.Andy.

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Adrian Winchester
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From: Croydon, London, UK
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 - posted September 25, 2006 08:11 PM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's simply down to the master used. Can't remember which but it's either the US or the UK version with the explicit staking, and Derann had the master for the other version. The 'missing' shot is probably about one second. Same sort of situation as with the 1958 'Dracula', as the US 'Horror of Dracula' version has a brief staking shot, whilst the UK version has a cut away at the equivalent point.

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Adrian Winchester

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Kurt Gardner
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From: San Antonio, TX
Registered: Aug 2005


 - posted September 26, 2006 09:57 AM      Profile for Kurt Gardner   Author's Homepage   Email Kurt Gardner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have the flat 4 x 400 version. It does indeed have the Barbara Shelley staking. The print is pretty blown out and grainy from the panning and scanning, as if you were watching it with the lights on, but it's still compelling.

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Andrew Wilson
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From: dundonald,belfast,co.antrim,northern ireland.
Registered: Jan 2006


 - posted September 26, 2006 10:38 AM      Profile for Andrew Wilson   Author's Homepage   Email Andrew Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This digest don'st even have the Barbara Shelley scene.damm it!andy.The uk tv companies are the same.Some do contain that scene
others don't.

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Dave Cragg
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From: Merseyside, Great Britain
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 - posted September 27, 2006 04:49 PM      Profile for Dave Cragg   Email Dave Cragg   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Chaps,
why is the ending so rushed on the 400 ft version; surely if it only runs 17 minutes then the editor has another 3 minutes to play with?
This is a big irritation to me; 16 or 17 minutes of film on a reel that should hold 20 minutes.
Over the last few months I have watched a number of 4 x 400ft versions of Bruce Lee films. In each of the major fight scenes my friends have pointed out that there are a number of omissions. As each reel is only 16/17 minutes why is this the case?
Recently somebody (Barry?) hinted that in some cases there was agreement with some of the film studios that films would only be released 66% or 80% complete. Is this the case? And if so, what was the reasoning behind it? Surely by the time a film was released on 8mm it would no longer be showing on the cinemas, so it couldn't be to encourage people to still see the film in the cinema as well?
[Confused] [Confused] [Frown] [Eek!] [Confused]

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Wide eyed novice.

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Adrian Winchester
Film God

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From: Croydon, London, UK
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 - posted September 27, 2006 05:50 PM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think it mainly comes down to economy. Remember that the vast majority of digests were released before the days that full length feature releases became common, and also at a time when Super 8 films, once you take inflation into account, were significantly more expensive than they are now. Although it may be frustrating if there's room for more on a reel, I bet most distributors would have charged more if they had opted for 20 min releases rather than 17 minute. Having said that, some of the common 4 x 400 releases (eg Walton) ran for about 72 mins, so you might imagine that when a great film like 'Twins of Evil' was released, people might have complained that they would rather have paid more for another 15 mins, in order to have it full length.

However, it's true that there were times when distributors would only allow (eg) a 400' or 2 x 400' version on 8, presumably so that there was no chance of it being presented as a complete feature.

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Adrian Winchester

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Brad Kimball
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From: Highland Mills, NY USA
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 - posted November 13, 2007 04:02 PM      Profile for Brad Kimball   Email Brad Kimball   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I just recently won a print of the 400'er in scope and the focus is a bit soft. I don't have a scope lens so everything in some scenes is a bit "squeezed", but in other scenes you really don't notice. The color is only slightly faded - hardly noticeable. I was so annoyed not to see the infamous "staking" scene with Ms. Shelley. The ending was a bit "tight", but overall the digest rates a B-/C+. I'll keep it for the sole reason that it makes for a more complete collection, but unless you're a devotee of classic horror or Hammer titles my advice is skip the digest and hold out for the full-length adaptation.

[ April 29, 2010, 09:58 AM: Message edited by: Brad Kimball ]

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Peter Richards
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 - posted January 30, 2008 05:08 AM      Profile for Peter Richards   Author's Homepage   Email Peter Richards   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ok,i agree with your views on the ending being rushed as i've just viewed a very scratched copy of the 400ft version.

But i still think this is well worth owning as it's so atmospheric at the start and you get the full Hammer experience.

A complete joy for us Horrorfans [Smile]

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Gary Crawford
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From: Manassas, VA. USA
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 - posted January 31, 2008 07:40 AM      Profile for Gary Crawford   Email Gary Crawford   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'll throw my bit in . I am not familiar with the abridgement, but I can tell you that the scope feature is just about perfect in every way. Watching it at home makes me feel that I'm back watching it at the theater when it was first released. ( which I did).

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Brian Fretwell
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 - posted June 05, 2017 02:27 PM      Profile for Brian Fretwell   Email Brian Fretwell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My copy, which I watched a couple of nights ago, is on Fuji stock and still had goof colour.

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Tom Photiou
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From: Plymouth U.K
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 - posted June 05, 2017 04:01 PM      Profile for Tom Photiou   Email Tom Photiou   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
we also have the 400ft scope version with no fade so i assume it is fuji stock. i will put up a few screen shots later. [Wink]

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Osi Osgood
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 - posted June 07, 2017 11:57 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I find "Old School" horror films are much more fun all blown out, grainy and all! [Smile]

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Rob Young.
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 - posted June 10, 2017 02:38 PM      Profile for Rob Young.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When Studio Canal first did the deal to release Hammer films on Blu-ray, one of the early titles was Dracula Prince of Darkness.

It was much anticipated, although when it arrived many parts had sound which was out of sync.

To their credit, they acknowledged the mistake and went back to re-master it from scratch and then supplied buyers with new discs, including the use better software for rendering the opening swirly mist scenes.

Fair play to them in this day and age that they listened to the consumer and went back to rectify their mistakes.

I'd always wanted a Derann print of this on super 8 and missed out on several.

I do like the Blu-ray and fair play to Studio Canal for what they did.

Still, running it on real film... [Wink] [Smile] [Smile] [Smile]

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Carter Bradley
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 - posted June 10, 2017 06:08 PM      Profile for Carter Bradley   Email Carter Bradley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think Adrian is exactly right about many digests being released as 16-17 minute prints in order for the distributor to save money. I remember when Ken Films released their four Elvis digests ("Blue Hawaii," etc.) they produced 18 minute versions, but created the "K" label and priced these films $5.00 higher than their "H" label of 16 minute digests!

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Alan Rik
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 - posted June 11, 2017 12:24 AM      Profile for Alan Rik   Email Alan Rik   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I dont own any Hammer films on Super 8. Which is the best feature to get in terms of quality and content? A scope feature sounds great!

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Brian Fretwell
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 - posted June 11, 2017 11:05 AM      Profile for Brian Fretwell   Email Brian Fretwell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't think Hammer did many scope features and this one, at least was the economy Techniscope 2 perf pulldown type. No distortion as with some early scope films but more grain due to being blown up more.

I quite like the prints and content of Scars of Dracula,but it is rather later and shows signs of Hammer struggling to get another Dracula film out.

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Gary Crawford
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 - posted June 14, 2017 08:47 AM      Profile for Gary Crawford   Email Gary Crawford   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
To answer Alan's question....there are some outstanding prints of several Hammer films out there. I can only testify personally about a few. I have the Scope Dracula, Prince of Darkness...and it is perfect in every way. The others I have are flat... best quality probably The Mummy...just super color and sharpness. The uncut feature versions of Vampire Circus and Twins of Evil are superb prints..complete with nudity , vampires and violence. My favorite is Twins fo Evil due to a very nice performance of Peter Cushing. I know they did release the first Dracula (Horror of) but I have never seen a super 8 print. I have an IB tech of it in 16mm.
Also, the uncut feature , Scars of Dracula, is a great print, giving Christopher Lee more dialog ..and has a terrific ending. Not the best Hammer, but very entertaining. I have seen a print of Curse of Frankenstein, but the print I saw had a greenish tint to it.
If you are equipped for Scope...then I think the best is Dracula-Prince of Darkness.

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Adrian Winchester
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From: Croydon, London, UK
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 - posted June 16, 2017 03:47 PM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As a Hammer collector, I can confirm that the 'Dracula POD' feature and 400' is the only Hammer horror 'scope material on Super 8. And the only other Hammer 'scope material of any kind is the Walton '400 release of 'The Lady Vanishes' (1979). This was released in 'scope and flat and is well worth looking out for, especially as there are low fade prints around. There are one or two trailers to 'scope films, such as 'The Vengeance of She', but any such trailers are flat. I've heard of an incredibly rare US feature release of 'Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires' which was originally a scope release, but I think the Super 8 release - if you could find one, which is virtually impossible - is flat.

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Adrian Winchester

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Brian Hendel
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 - posted June 18, 2017 10:44 AM      Profile for Brian Hendel   Email Brian Hendel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Adrian - As a completely obsessed super 8 Hammer collector... I must add the scope digest to "Paranoiac" put out by CHC to the list... it's a nice black and white print with english audio but subtitles (German I think).

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Adrian Winchester
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From: Croydon, London, UK
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 - posted June 18, 2017 01:16 PM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Brian - many thanks, I somehow overlooked that even though I have a copy! But I take it you mean the trailer, unless there's a digest I've never heard of?

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Adrian Winchester

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Brian Hendel
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 - posted June 19, 2017 06:56 PM      Profile for Brian Hendel   Email Brian Hendel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oops my bad... I did mean to say trailer. Don't worry, you're not missing anything!

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