Dracula A.D. 1972 is one of those great end of peak era Hammer films. It also destroys the Hammer Dracula chronology for continuity nerds. The original Dracula film took place in 1885. However, this film has you believe that Dracula was destroyed for a century in 1872. I don’t think Hammer cared, as this was the period when they were starting to get into a cinematic slugfest with Amicus. Plus, the film was a last effort to lure Peter Cushing back to the stable to finish off the Van Helsing vs. Dracula saga.
There’s something about highlighting swinging London a few years after that period ended. It’s the right kind of tone deafness that adds to Old School horror. The hippies at the start of this film feel out of place, but they get the job done. The scenes with Johnny Alucard and Caroline Munro kinda get the feel done, but they are dispatched too quickly for my tastes. It was neat to see Tim Burton try to reference this film’s hippies in his Dark Shadows feature adaptation.
While there was on more Dracula Hammer film after this, you can’t help but notice that Hammer wanted to wrap this up fast. I don’t blame them, as British Horror was changing at the time and Hammer couldn’t keep up. When your competitors are dropping films like The Wicker Man and Straw Dogs, Gothic and modern horror theatrics can’t hang with that intensity. Still, it’s enjoyable and quite worth checking out this Halloween.