We took a day off on purpose yesterday, for the sheer fact that last night was the premier of Season Three of one of the best shows on television - FX's "American Horror Story." And we wanted to gorge ourselves on some of the previous seasons just to ramp up the excitement - although binge watching is not necessary for this unique television experience.
If you're not already on this train, you need to grab your tickets and your suitcase and hop the hell on right now. And don't worry if you can't catch up on the previous two seasons - this is an anthology series, where each 13-episode season is a different story arc with different characters, although many of the same actors return each season. This season - subtitled "Coven," revolves around witches in the American South and the war between witchcraft and voodoo.
We plan on talking about this show at one point - perhaps next month after SatanFest 2013 is over.
And to that end, let us move on to the next film on our list - "The Satanic Rites of Dracula!"
Starring: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Joanna Lumely, Michael Coles and Freddy Jones.
The DL: A group of English cultist - consisting of some name members of the government and teh science community - think they are conspiring with Satan. Meanwhile, Dracula is working behind the scenes to bring about a devastating worldwide plague to wipe mankind off the face of the earth.
The Hotness: Having seen this movie before - in fact, we've seen all of the Hammer "Dracula" series and are quite fond of them - we knew going in that it had little to nothing to do with Satan or even possession in the strictest sense. But it's still worth a look because of the way it uses the fear of Satanic cultists to sell people on this last film in the series that started 16 years prior with 1958's "Dracula."
Starring the seemingly immortal Christopher Lee as Dracula, versus the late Peter Cushing as a modern version of his Dr. Van Helsing, the movie focuses very little on the cultists or the idea of Satan; instead, the plot revolves loosely around Dracula obtaining a sample of a modified variant of the Black Plague to unleash Armageddon on the world.
No fucking shit. This is the plot of this farcockta movie.
It reads more like an X-file, or possibly any episode of Season Two of "Millennium," but really it's one last fly on the corpse of this once popular franchise.
Lee didn't want to make the film in the first place, and as such he is underused for most of the production. The story focuses instead on the same group of characters from the previous film - "Dracula A.D. 1972" - who are part of some investigative group that must have inspired Grant Morrison's Division X from "The Invisibles."
Lead by Van Helsing, the group tracks down the now-pointless cultists and Dracula who is masquerading as some mysterious land developer.
It's not a horrible movie, with it's "wacka-wacka" 70s soundtrack and Joanna Lumley's tasty legs, but it's no "Dracula Has Risen From The Grave," and it's a sad end to this often fun series.
The Devil You Say?: Not at all.
Cool Stuff Someone Said: "He'd want to bring the whole universe down with him! The ultimate revenge! Thousands dying of the plague, and like the shadow of death itself, one figure sidling its way through the terror and anguish - Count Dracula!" (Peter Cushing)
Side Notes: Like I mentioned previously, Lee is rumored to have made the film under the condition that it be the last of the series. He's noted to have said of the film, "I think it is fatuous. I can think of twenty adjectives – fatuous, pointless, absurd. It's not a comedy, but it's got a comic title. I don't see the point." Unfortunately, Hammer went on to release "Dracula and the 7 Golden Vampires" in 1974; thankfully, Lee passed on the role.