I’ve seen these movies many times over my life and never ranked them. I think a big part of the problem was wanting a more complete list, which would include the Brides of Dracula, Twins of Evil and the Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires and others. But really that would just be Hammer vampire movies. I decided to rank the seven Dracula films starring Christopher Lee. For me, it doesn’t get much better than seeing Christopher Lee in his long black cape, blood shot eyes and blood stained fangs when it comes to a Dracula movie.
I was introduced to the Hammer films by my mother. We were able to rent them from a local video store back in the early 1990s and this was my introduction to Dracula. I had a beginner reader copy of Dracula that was severely edited for children. But, I knew Bram Stoker’s Dracula was coming out and I wanted to see more. My mom showed me the movies she grew up wit. It would be about a year, maybe two before I got to see Universal’s Dracula.
Before we get to the list I want to mention two things. Peter Cushing is only in three of these movies and plays, three different Van Helsings. He owns that role and when I think of or hear the name “Van Helsing”, Cushing comes to mind.
The second thing, what is the deal with Hammer and the name “Paul’? In “Dracula Has Risen From the Grave“, Paul is an ashiest the hero and played by Barry Andrews. Anthony Corlan plays a new Paul in “Taste the Blood of Dracula” and finally, “Scars of Dracula, Paul is played by Christopher Carlson. For good measure, “Curse of Frankenstein” also features a Paul.
Let’s get on with the list kiddos!
7. Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
British-made chiller about a blood-thirsty count who takes up residence in modern London to develop a new strain of bubonic plague, with the evil intention of annihilating all life on Earth.
At times it seems like these scripts are made before Christopher Lee has agreed to reprise his role as Dracula. This one is an odd bird for sure as Lee has, maybe three scenes and other than a conversation with Van Helsing in an accent to hide his identity, maybe 2 or 3 lines.
I do like this one, but it lacks Dracula and there are parts that drag.
If I had to give it a number rank, it would be a 5.2, while IMDB.com has a ranking of 5.6
The Satanic Rites of Dracula can be found free on Tubi.
6. Scars of Dracula (1970)
A young man, Paul Carlson, is on a trip and spends the night at Count Dracula’s castle. He is murdered. After some time has passed, the young man’s brother Simon comes to the small town where all the traces end to look for him.
I did have a hard time ranking these movies. I like Scars of Dracula, but you could tell the budget was super low, especially when it comes to set design. But Lee brings his A game regardless of how much he didn’t want to return to the role.
I would give this one a slightly higher score of 5.4 while IMDB.com has a rating of 6.2
Scars of Dracula can be found on Prime Video
5. Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)
Three distinguished English gentlemen accidentally resurrect Count Dracula, killing a disciple of his in process. The Count seeks to avenge his dead servant, by making the trio die in the hands of their own children.
I have to say, from this point on the rankings we hard. The three men in this who are bored with life are complete pricks. But it is kind of funny. The resurrection scene is so damn good in this one, I may need to rank the deaths of Dracula, along with resurrections. I say from here on out, the movies are so much fun.
I give Taste the Blood of Dracula a 6.3, IMDB.com has a rating of 6.4
Taste the Blood of Dracula is not streaming anywhere for free, but you can rent on Youtube, Vudu or Apple TV.
4. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
Dracula is resurrected, preying on four unsuspecting visitors to his castle.
This was the one movie that elluded me for mayn years. Finally a few years ago I found it on DVD with Frankenstein Created Woman and The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampire. But in 2018 Scream Factory released it on Blu Ray. I like this one. It is creepy and Lee is great. But it isn’t my favorite.
3. Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)
Johnny Alucard raises Count Dracula from the dead in London in 1972. The Count goes after the descendants of Van Helsing.
I give this one a higher rating than most. It has a great resurrection scene, the most memorable characters and Cushing is back! This is a fun movie and my biggest complaint is the music. But, that is the cost of bringing Dracula in to the 1970s. One thing that may get over looked, is the opening scene with Dracula vs Van Helsing is maybe the second best in the series. Johnny Alucard is watching as Van Helsing kills Dracula with a fucking wagon wheel!
2. Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968)
When Castle Dracula is exorcised by the Monsignor, it accidentally brings the Count back from the dead. Dracula follows the Monsignor back to his hometown, preying on the holy man’s beautiful niece and her friends.
Again, great characters and a pretty good story. We have Paul is an atheist and has to over come this to kill Dracula. It really is a good movie, with the exception of the ending. But strong overall.
I really enjoy this one and give it a slightly higher score with a 7.6 and IMDB.com gives it a 6.6
Dracula has Risen From the Grave is available streaming on HBO Max.
1. Horror of Dracula (1958)
Jonathan Harker begets the ire of Count Dracula after he accepts a job at the vampire’s castle under false pretenses, forcing his colleague Dr. Van Helsing to hunt the predatory villain when he targets Harker’s loved ones.
I love this and it was my introduction to Hammer Horror. I loved Christopher Lee as Dracula, he rage, the fangs! Then there is Peter Cushing, who I knew from Star Wars. He chewed up all the scenes he was in. Michael Gough, Alfred in Batman, this really made me understand why George Lucas and Tim Burton do what they did. Both influenced by the Hammer films. This movie begins with blood and you know immediately it is not fucking around. The fight at the end with Dracula and Van Helsing was amazing and iconic! This movie kicks ass!
I love it, The Horror of Dracula gets an 8.5 for me and IMDB.com has a rating of 7.3
The Horror of Dracula is streaming on HBO Max, go see it now!
These movies may not be for everyone, but Christopher Lee played Dracula more than any other actor on film. He barely has to say anything, but you can feel his presence over every single movie. I think it is a Christopher Lee thing. In Lord of the Rings, Saruaman, you can feel his presence throughout the movie and the same with Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones.
There are many things wrong with this series and really there is almost no continuity and really…this series is a mess. But it is fun and there are interesting stories and great for October. My only problem, Hammer never gave Christopher Lee the chance to make a film closer to the Bram Stoker novel. Jess Franco made a movie called Count Dracula that is supposedly closer to the novel, but I haven’t seen it yet. I want to see it and own it.
Grab some Horror Syndicate merch here!⬇️