Senior HTF Member
- May 22, 1999
- Real Name
I'm a true Christopher Lee/Dracula/Hammer fan, although I have avoided and will continue to avoid DRACULA A.D. 1972, because I just don't want to see his character appearing in a contemporary setting. Second only to the original 1958 DRACULA, I consider SCARS to be the best of the Lee/Hammer titles. It's stylish, quite gory, well-acted and beautifully photographed.
I like the idea of Dracula having a daytime resting place that is only accessible through a window hundreds of feet from ground level, as he is able to scale walls like a squirrel into a room that has no interior entryway. This is used to the plot's advantage several times. Lee seems more lethal than ever. Jenny Hanley, the primary female character, is simply one of the most gorgeous of all the Hammer women (if you don't want your bubble burst, avoid watching the included documentary, in which an aged and filled-out Hanley talks about her experiences on the film). There is a nice role for Hammer regular Michael Ripper, who I have always felt was underrated. Michael Gwynne (REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN) has an odd role as a preacher who reacts in contradictory ways while trying to help the lead actor. And Patrick Troughton (DR. WHO, SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER) has an extended part as Dracula's abused lackey. His back-and-forth alliancing provides some absorbing plot points.
The recent UK Studiocanal release looks pretty damned gorgeous to my eyes. It has a real Technicolor look (check out the reds), contains film-like grain, and has good contrast, sharpness, shadow detail and flesh tones. I just can't see much to complain about, but then, I'm not into the technical specs as deeply as some experts here. The sound is 2.0 Dolby Digital, and sounds clear as it needs to be. The aspect ratio is 1.66:1 (my favorite film image shape). Extras are: "Blood Rites: Inside Scars Of Dracula" documentary and the theatrical trailer. Quite unfortunately, the wonderful commentary by director Roy Ward Baker and actor Christopher Lee that appeared on the Anchor Bay DVD has not been included here.
The disc is Region B-locked. A PAL DVD is also included.