An Enduring Lesson from an Old Dracula Movie

Recently I watched the Hammer Film, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave. It’s a surprisingly good movie. Hammer films are products of their time, but every so often one will surprise you thanks to some wonderful performances. In essence, they were the Cannon Films of horror movies in the past.

Likely, Blumhouse movies will end up regarded the same way. Some great entries, but overall mediocrities or sub-par fare. It’s not an insult to be compared to Hammer Studios, though. At least from where I sit, I can see how they changed the course of fright night cinema much the same way Blumhouse will.

Anyway, back to Dracula Has Risen from the Grave. Some terrific performances raise the final product to better than it deserves. It’s engaging and memorable. It’s also on HBO Max as of this writing, so check it out if you haven’t.

It’s funny how little Christopher Lee speaks in his role as Dracula in this entry. Yet his screen presence is magnetic. He’s terrifying even when standing still or making a simple gesture.

Again, I encourage you to seek it out. I also was surprised by a very simple scene that contained a lesson which I think is even more relevant during the age of Social Media.

It’s a scene fairly late in the film where the hero, chasing after Dracula to stop him from kidnapping his bride, stops into an inn that is near Castle Dracula. Desperate to find his beloved, he begs for help. He needs someone to lead him to the castle.

None will go, of course. They know the true nature of the evil that is there and they know what they have to do to defeat it.

They lock down instead, hoping for the best and commiserating about their misery.

The hero then shouts for someone simply to point him the way. If they won’t head out in the face of fear to free themselves, they merely need to let him go so that he can do what he can to preserve his reason for living.

The young mute boy we meet at the beginning of the film then indicates he will help him. Relieved, he moves to the door. The innkeeper refuses to let him past.

It’s then that he discovers that not only will the townsfolk refuse to help him, they won’t even let him out to confront the vampire and save his love. They insist that none must go out, for any reason.

The hero hears the carriage carrying Dracula and his bride roar by at that point. He madly rushes for the door. The innkeeper bars him from leaving.

I won’t spoil what happens next, nor the ending, but it was a scene that’s stuck with me since. It was such an insightful read on human nature; when afraid, no dissent will be tolerated. No alternate action will be entertained. The group had decided how it wanted to act and as such, would not allow anyone to make a different choice or present an alternative argument.

It’s an interesting point, and unfortunately still very relevant.