I keep finding more Dracula movies to watch. Just when I decide to move on to a different variety of Gothic I became happily drawn into another vampire movie. I guess you just can't see enough Dracula movies! I am a huge fan of the late 60s/early 70s Gothic Horror soap opera Dark Shadows created by Dan Curtis so when I saw Dan Curtis' Dracula (1974) as I was scrolling through my queue on Hulu Plus, I had to check it out. Jack Palance played Dracula, which was based on Bram Stoker's novel of the same name. Aside from the typical 70s TV movie music, it was pretty good. I noticed Robert Cobert, created the music as he also did on Dark Shadows.That music they used in the 70s to create mood or whatever always reminds me of Charlie's Angels which is kind of silly when I'm watching a horror movie.
You'd think you know the Dracula story by now, but this movie was pretty scary! Jack Palance played a really good vampire; an evil monster killing and destroying to fulfill his lust for blood. In addition, Dracula craved Lucy Westerna not only for her beauty but for her uncanny resemblance to his true love of centuries earlier. I couldn't help but be reminded of the star crossed love affair of Barnabus and Josette of Dark Shadows. Dracula was to lose his Lucy forever just as Barnabus lost his Josette. The only difference being Lucy wasn't in love with Dracula as Josette was with Barnabus, but drawn to him only through the evil vampire spell he had on her.
I couldn't help but compare the hearse-like horse and carriage sent by Dracula to pick up Jonathan Harker to the extremely frightening and chilling one sent by the vampire (or was he driving?) in Nosferatu. It didn't send chills up my spine the way the manically speeding cloth draped death carriage in Nosferatu did.
There was lots of suspense like when Jonathan Harker attempted to escape castle Dracula right at sunset, then near the end of the movie when Van Helsing and Jonathan's friend Arthur scoured the castle in search of the vampires' coffins intent on destroying them.
With no high-tech special effects the movie was still scary and suspenseful and the dramatic gory ending was quite striking.