FANGS AND FOREPLAY… THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF DRACULA. BOOK 3- PART 35. BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

brides of draculaFANGS AND FOREPLAY… THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF DRACULA.

A NOVEL BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

BOOK 3- CHAPTER 35.

Anna snuggled up to Count Dracula in the most blissful of post-coital dazes. The Count had made love to her no fewer than eight times in the last several hours, each time better than the last. It was a long time since Anna had felt this happy or fulfilled. No cloud marred her state of perfect happiness. No cloud but one, that was. A rather noxious cloud called Carmilla…

It was the strangest thing. The Countess Carmilla Karnstein had recently arrived at Birney Castle after the long journey overseas from Romania, but almost no-one save for the Count himself seemed to have laid eyes on her since her arrival.

She had not been introduced to Countess Anna, Dracula’s wife and the mistress of the house, a grievous social oversight, surely. Now Dracula was claiming that Carmilla was ‘indisposed’ after the difficult journey and unable to leave her bedchamber.

But Anna knew through her loyal handmaiden Valeria that the bedchamber that she herself, Anna, had ordered should be made ready for Carmilla had not been occupied. Anna smiled to herself as she recalled how she had assigned Carmilla a bedchamber as far away from the Count’s private quarters as she dared.

Anna was still not exactly sure how things currently stood between her husband and his cousin Carmilla from the old country. Did the Count still love his childhood sweetheart, his first ever love, or was the visit really just an opportunity for the two cousins to catch up, as Dracula had claimed? Anna wished she knew how much truth there was in his words.

But the bedchamber stood empty, and Anna was completely in the dark as to the whereabouts of Carmilla. Had Dracula and his cousin had a row, was that it? Maybe he’d been too proud to tell her that he’d squabbled with Carmilla and now she was refusing to speak to him, or be introduced to his wife Anna, the mistress of Birney Castle.

Anna knew the whereabouts of her husband perfectly well, however, for which she was immensely grateful. He slumbered naked beside her now, one arm thrown casually above his head. His long dark eyelashes cast shadows across his handsome face, which seemed younger and softer somehow in sleep.

Delicately, Anna trailed her fingers over his bare chest, entangling her red-tipped fingernails in the smattering of dark hairs that covered it. His nipples stiffened under her touch. She let her fingertips move teasingly down his belly to the triangle of thick black pubic hair at its base. His idling manhood jerked into life at the touch of her hand.

‘Who gave you permission to embark on such an obscene voyage of exploration?’ came the Count’s voice now, a layer of amusement beneath its customary sternness. His dark eyes had shot open and he was looking at his wife with one eyebrow quirked in sardonic inquiry.

‘No-one did,’ giggled Anna, wrapping her hand determinedly around his rapidly awakening manhood and beginning to manipulate him, with the expertise of many long hours of practice, to a state of full erection. ‘I acted solely on my own authority, dearest Count.’

‘I see,’ replied the Count, pretending to frown. ‘It’s a slutty little minx we have here then. Do you perchance know what happens to slutty little minxes who get caught with their hands in the metaphorical cookie-jar?’

Anna shook her head and giggled again, her blue eyes wide with mischief and happiness, the happiness of having her beloved Count’s undivided attention for once. She was forced to share him with so many women. It felt wonderful beyond words to have him all to herself.

‘No, tell me,’ she said delightedly. ‘What happens to them?’

‘I prefer to show you,’ said the Count, mounting her and pinning her suddenly to the bed with a speed and dexterity that took Anna’s breath away. ‘Actions, my dear Anna, speak so much louder than words, don’t you find?’

Anna gasped, unable to answer him as he entered her with one fluid movement. He began to thrust his now fully erect manhood in and out of her wet and welcoming lady-parts with an energy that would have put a much younger man to shame. At seven hundred years of age, the Count liked to think that he still had what it took to satisfy any woman alive, or Un-Dead.

Anna moaned and writhed beneath him rapturously as he plundered her feminine parts while fondling her breasts and pushing his tongue between her eagerly parted lips. She forgot all about Carmilla as they moved together towards a simultaneous orgasm that would leave them both spent and shaken.

Carmilla? As Anna gave herself up to the beauty and savagery of her climax, it was much more a case of Carmilla Who…?

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens’ fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

brides of draculahttps://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

THE RAVEN, STARRING VINCENT PRICE AND BORIS KARLOFF. (1963) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

raven boysTHE RAVEN. (1963) AN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL PICTURE. BASED ON THE POEM BY EDGAR ALLAN POE. PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY ROGER CORMAN. SCREENPLAY BY RICHARD MATHESON. MUSIC BY LES BAXTER. EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: JAMES H. NICHOLSON AND SAMUEL Z. ARKOFF.

STARRING VINCENT PRICE, PETER LORRE, BORIS KARLOFF, HAZEL COURT, OLIVE STURGESS AND JACK NICHOLSON.

REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This quaintly charming horror film is a marvellous example of the work that Roger Corman and Vincent Price did together for AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL PICTURES. With a little help, of course, from a certain sombre-faced writer who went by the name of Edgar Allan Poe, haha.

THE RAVEN begins- and ends- with beloved horror icon Vincent Price actually reciting Poe’s famous poem of the same name and he really does the grim but beautiful words justice. In fact, if you’re going to get someone to read Poe’s words, you really couldn’t do better than have Vincent Price do the job in his deliciously distinctive spooky voice.

My wee son does an impression of the late Vincent Price’s voice that’s so like him it’s uncanny. I really must record him doing it one day for posterity…!

Anyway, in the film THE RAVEN, a rather splendidly-dressing-gowned Vincent Price, playing the magician Erasmus Craven, is sitting about at home when an actual raven comes tap-tap-tapping upon his chamber door, believe it or not. In point of fact, the bird comes to the window but I don’t think that there’s any mention of that in the poem, haha.

The wise-cracking bird turns out to be none other than Peter Lorre under a spell or ‘enchantment,’ put there by an evil wizard called Dr. Scarabus. Some highly hilarious rooting about for ingredients from his dead scientist father’s old laboratory leads to Craven being able to release the Raven, aka Peter Lorre as a boozy second-rate magician called Bedlo, from the spell. The insanity does not, of course, end there…

Bedlo stirs the pot big-time by informing a shocked Craven that he’s seen Craven’s dead wife’s spirit hanging around this Dr. Scarabus’s gaff. Now, Craven still loves the deceased Lenore with every fibre of his being and he’s hell-bent on charging around to Dr. Scarabus’s place to see if what Bedlo says is true.

Also, Bedlo wants his magic-kit back from Scarabus’s house where Scarabus is apparently holding it hostage. The pair high-tail it there in a carriage, accompanied by Craven’s beautiful daughter Estelle and Bedlo’s handsome but rather clown-ish son Rexford, played by a really young Jack Nicholson, long before ever he flew over the cuckoo’s nest to land head-first in THE SHINING…

Horror legend Boris Karloff is magnificent as the aforementioned Dr. Scarabus, a wizard with powers far superior to Bedlo’s but about equal with Craven’s. He greets the deputation with a fake hospitality, feigning polite surprise at their various complaints.

A little display of Dr. Scarabus’s powers over dinner puts Bedlo firmly back in his box. Craven will not be so easy to outwit. But Craven is horribly distracted by the shocking return to life of someone he was sure was dead…

The duel between the two wizards is superbly done and hilariously funny. Vincent Price can be awfully mischievous when he wants to be. The fun and games are wonderful to witness, although the outcome of the duel is never really in doubt. Or is it…?

Hazel Court is fantastic (and delightfully booby-licious!) as the lady whose name we won’t mention for fear of spoilers. Suffice it to say that she also plays a beautiful but duplicitous wife in the excellent horror movie PREMATURE BURIAL starring Ray Milland, a story also based on a work by Mr. Poe. He surely wrote a lot of grim stuff, didn’t he…?

It probably goes without saying that the three leads, Messrs Price, Lorre and Karloff, more than justify their places at the top of the horror tree by turning in warm, passionate and deeply humorous performances. Vincent Price in particular is just marvellous to watch. He’s just having so much fun with it and you can really tell.

As always with AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL PICTURES, the settings, furnishings and costumes are lavishly-gorgeous and rich and gloriously-coloured, with the lovely russets, reds and orangey-browns coming to the forefront as always.

Dr. Scarabus’s castle exterior takes the form of a stunning-looking painting and the shots of the sea are just beautiful. The film is quite similar to another horror film about the spirit of naughty deceased wives called THE TERROR, also starring Boris Karloff and a young Jack Nicholson. If you haven’t already seen this one, it’s well worth checking out.

THE RAVEN is a terrific watch, anyway. You should put it on one dark windy night when you’re all on your own in the darkened house. That way, when something sinister comes tap-tap-tapping upon your chamber door, it’ll turn the blood in your veins to ice just to hear it, and isn’t it just delightful to be scared stiff…?

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens’ fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI and ZULU: A DUO OF SUPERB WAR FILMS REVIEWED BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Zulu-Screencap-michael-caine-2662240-500-289

THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI and ZULU: A DUO OF SUPERB EPIC WAR FILMS REVIEWED BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI. (1957) BASED ON THE 1952 BOOK BY PIERRE BOULLE. DIRECTED BY DAVID LEAN. STARRING ALEC GUINNESS, JACK HAWKINS, WILLIAM HOLDEN, JAMES DONALD, GEOFFREY HORNE AND SESSUE HAYAKAWA.

ZULU. (1964) DIRECTED, CO-PRODUCED AND CO-WRITTEN BY CY ENDFIELD. STARRING STANLEY BAKER, MICHAEL CAINE, JACK HAWKINS, ULLA JACOBSSON, NIGEL GREEN, PATRICK MAGEE, JAMES BOOTH AND CHIEF BUTHELEZI. NARRATION BY RICHARD BURTON.

These are undoubtedly two of the best war films that have ever been made. I’ve loved ’em both since I first clapped eyes on them and I’m thrilled to be reviewing them together like this.

Starring some of the finest actors in cinema history, they’ve won a ton of awards between them and are always featuring on lists detailing the best films of all time. There are quite a few similarities between them as well, as it happens. Let’s take a closer look at both movies, shall we, and see what we make of ’em…

THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI tells the story (fictional, but based on some fact) of a large group of British soldiers who are taken prisoner by the Japanese during WW2. They are sent to a prisoner-of-war camp in Burma and forced to build the titular bridge which will connect Bangkok and Rangoon when it is completed.

ZULU is a dramatisation of an actual battle, the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, that took place between British soldiers and the massive Zulu army in early 1879 in Natal. It was during the Anglo-Zulu War that it happened. In the film, the same Zulus have just massacred large numbers of the British force at the Battle of Isandlwana.

Now they’re coming for the one-hundred-and-fifty of Her Majesty’s soldiers, many of them injured and in the sick bay, who currently occupy the little missionary station at Rorke’s Drift. The odds against the British soldiers are impossible. They’re dead men walking now, surely…?

Both films portray the British soldiers as courageous hard workers who keep a stiff upper lip at all times and never abandon their principles. They’re true Englishmen, after all, from a civilised country where people drink a nice cup of tea and read the morning paper unhurriedly regardless of the situation. It’s a good way to be, eh what, chaps?

Alec Guinness’s stiff upper lip as Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson in THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI nearly gets him killed. He clashes with Colonel Saito, the man in charge of the Japanese prison camp, over a rather piddling matter of principle for which he’s (Nicholson) clearly prepared to die.

It’s almost a huge relief when eventually the equally stubborn pair put aside their differences and decide, for their mutual benefit, to build the best damn bridge they’re capable of creating between them.

Michael Caine is superb in ZULU as the posh privileged army officer with the fancy toff’s name of Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead. He comes from a family of army royalty and initially looks down on Stanley Baker’s Lieutenant Chard.

Chard is an engineer who, incidentally, is busily- and sweatily!- engaged in building a bridge when Bromhead swans up on his horse, as cool as the proverbial cucumber. What is it with army men and their little bridges…? The two men quickly learn to work together, however, when those pesky Zulus start swarming over the horizon…

Although my favourite characters from THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI are those of Nicholson and Colonel Saito, William Holden is top-notch too as the American prisoner-of-war, Commander Shears. He daringly escapes from the impossible-to-escape-from prison camp and then is horrified when he’s asked to go back there by Jack Hawkins as the English Major Warden, who has orders to blow up the bridge that his fellow Englishman Nicholson has so lovingly created. Blow up the bridge? Jolly good show, chaps. Jolly good show…!

Actor Jack Hawkins is another feature that both films have in common. He also stars in ZULU as the rather naïve Swedish missionary Otto Witt, father to the beautiful Ulla Jacobsson’s Margareta and a man who’s partial to a bit of a tipple.

I love when that fine South African-born British character actor Nigel Green (COUNTESS DRACULA with Ingrid Pitt) as the exceptionally stiff-upper-lipped Colour Sergeant Bourne tells the drunken Otto Witt to ‘quiet down now sir, there’s a good gentleman, you’re scaring the lads…!’

Nigel Green gets another great line when a green and terrified young soldier says to him as they quietly wait to be overrun by Zulus: ‘Why us, Sarge?’ Not turning a hair, the splendidly-moustached Colour Sergeant Bourne replies: ‘Because we’re here, lad. Because we’re here…’

In a nice touch of authenticity, the real-life Chief Buthelezi plays his own great-grandfather, the Zulu King Cetshwayo, in the film. Also, a lot of singing talent is on show here as the Zulus take on the Welsh soldiers in the regiment in a sort of THE VOICE OF WALES X FACTOR MEETS ZULU’S GOT TALENT type of thing so be sure and buy the soundtrack…!

There are lots of terrific actors in minor roles in both films too, such as James Donald as the infinitely civilised and reasonable but also pragmatic Major Clipton in THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI and another James, this time James Booth, from ZULU. He plays the malingerer Private Henry Hook, the guy with the bad attitude who rather surprisingly ends up winning an award for bravery along with no small number of his colleagues.

These are two cracking war films that’ll make great viewing if you were to watch ’em back-to-back some lazy Saturday afternoon, like I’ve just done myself. Don’t forget to maintain that stiff upper lip throughout, though, and keep a tight rein on any tears that might threaten to fall during your viewing of this truly smashing and emotional double-feature.

It’s just not the done thing to sob and sniffle like hysterical women in front of the ranks, you know. As to what exactly constitutes the done thing, well, you know what, old boy? In the words of a certain Colonel Nicholson: ‘I haven’t the foggiest…!’

Zulu-Screencap-michael-caine-2662240-500-289

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens’ fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

HAMMER HORROR’S KISS OF THE VAMPIRE. (1963) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

kiss of the vampire showdownKISS OF THE VAMPIRE aka KISS OF EVIL (when shown on American television). (1963) HAMMER FILM PRODUCTIONS. DIRECTED BY DON SHARP. PRODUCED BY ANTHONY HINDS. WRITTEN BY ANTHONY HINDS UNDER THE NAME ‘JOHN ELDER.’ STARRING EDWARD DE SOUZA, JENNIFER DANIEL, CLIFFORD EVANS, NOEL WILLMAN, BARRY WARREN, JACQUIE WALLIS, PETER MADDEN AND VERA COOK. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This is another fantastic entry in the Hammer Horror canon of DRACULA-slash-vampire films. It comes five years after Christopher Lee first donned the cloak and fangs to play Bram Stoker’s timeless horror creation Count Dracula for Hammer Film Productions, and a mere two years before Sir Christopher reprised his role again in Hammer’s DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS.

Neither Christopher Lee as the Count nor Peter Cushing as Van Helsing the vampire-hunter appear in KISS OF THE VAMPIRE, my only gripe with an otherwise perfect vampire film. Let’s take a look at the plot, shall we, film buffs…?

A young just-married couple, Gerald and Marianne Harcourt, are honeymooning in Bavaria, definitely a gorgeous spot for honeymooning. Except for the cult of bloodsucking vampires that occupy the castle overlooking the village where the Harcourts are obliged to spend several days due to motor-car trouble. See what you get for trusting so-called modern technology? You’d never have had that trouble with a coach and horses…!

The little inn where the young couple are staying over, rather ambitiously monikered the ‘Grand Hotel,’ is a quaint and charming wee place. The landlady, Anna, nurses a terrible un-named sadness, however, and her lovely old hubby Bruno, while suffering too, is just trying to get on with things. You know the way men are, haha.

An invitation for the young English couple to dine at the aforementioned castle, the property of a Dr. Ravna, is the source of much excitement at the little inn. Gerald and Marianne, in particular Marianne, are positively captivated by the charming doctor and his attractive and accomplished grown-up children, Carl and Sabena.

A party invite comes hot on the heels of the dinner invitation for the Harcourts. It’s a sexy masked ball and the booze is flowing, especially for the not-exactly-used-to-it Gerald, who wakes from a drunken-and-drugged stupor to find his wife missing. What’s more, the Ravnas are closing ranks and claiming that they know nothing at all about any so-called wife of his…

A friend of mine has remarked in the past that Dr. Ravna looks like Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing mashed together. Sometimes I see it, sometimes I don’t. I do think, however, that the rather wooden Marianne, she of the fixed expression and unmoving hairstyle, resembles no-one so much as Doris Mann, the blonde woman from the marvellous spoof horror film CARRY ON SCREAMING who gets turned into a mannequin. Even being turned into a vampire-hussy doesn’t cause her expression to change or her hair to move at all…!

I love Clifford Evans as the alcoholic Professor Zimmer, who has good reason to be hitting the booze so hard and so often. Under his sternly-bearded exterior, he shares a joint pain with Anna and Bruno, the inn-keepers. He might also be the only person who can help a shell-shocked Gerald to free his missus from the cult of the vampires.

I don’t know if I’d bother if I were Gerald. I’m sure that Marianne could be easily replaced at any good department store where mannequins adorn the window displays. Sorry, sorry. I love the film, but Blondie surely could have used some serious loosening up…!

The film is as gorgeously filmed and coloured as you might expect from any Hammer production, with stunningly beautiful costumes, scenery, settings and interiors. I don’t like KISS OF THE VAMPIRE as much as, say, BRIDES OF DRACULA or any of the Christopher Lee Dracula films, but it’s still a super-worthy addition to the Hammer canon of brilliant vampire films.

Stakes through the heart, black magic, a bloodstained chest (though not the kind you’re thinking of!) and a thoroughly unusual ending make for an extremely enjoyable watch all round. Vampirism is here depicted as a sort of social disease that mostly afflicts those enjoying a decadent lifestyle. Another reason to keep buying those Lotto tickets, so…!

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens’ fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

HAMMER HORROR’S BRIDES OF DRACULA. (1960) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

yvonne monlaurTHE BRIDES OF DRACULA. (1960) HAMMER FILM PRODUCTIONS. DISTRIBUTED BY UNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL. DIRECTED BY TERENCE FISHER. PRODUCED BY ANTHONY HINDS.

STARRING PETER CUSHING, MARTITA HUNT, YVONNE MONLAUR, DAVID PEEL, FREDA JACKSON, ANDRÉE MELLY, MILES MALLESON, MICHAEL RIPPER AND MARIE DEVEREAUX.

REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Oh wow. This is one of my personal favourites in the Hammer Horror canon of DRACULA films. It might even be my favourite of the lot of ’em if it weren’t for the fact that Christopher Lee is noticeably absent from the cast.

Luckily for his fans, the devastatingly handsome and sexually magnetic six-foot-five actor agreed to reprise his role as the Prince of Darkness in the 1965 DRACULA film which was called, coincidentally enough, DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS. Wasn’t that a big coincidence?

As you can probably see, I’m something of a fan of the late great Sir Chris. I’ve always felt a little bit connected to him through a series of other little coincidences. As a matter of fact, I joined Facebook on his birthday without knowing at the time that it was his birthday.

If that doesn’t seem like a big deal, well then, get your laughing gear around this little fact. On the day he died (not the day on which his passing was revealed to the public), I emailed my novel in three parts (then only two!) to Mr. Lee’s agent with a note asking said agent nicely to pass it on to him personally.

Entitled at the time ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA, now updated to FANGS AND FOREPLAY… THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF DRACULA, the lead character is modelled wholly on Christopher Lee’s Dracula in the Hammer Horror films of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Only with- ahem- added sexiness and tons and tons of sex and spanking.

Naturally, he would have read it, loved it and proposed that I write the film script for it. And of course, despite his advanced years, he would have wanted to play the leading role himself. If only things had worked out differently for us…!

Anyway, you’ll have gathered that, while I adore this film, I don’t dig the Baron Meinster (David Peel) as the head neck-biter here. Whoever heard of a blonde-haired Dracula figure? It’s an abomination! Other than that one little gripe, THE BRIDES OF DRACULA is sheer perfection from start to finish.

The stunningly beautiful and, sadly, recently deceased Yvonne Monlaur plays Marianne Danielle, a young Frenchwoman travelling alone through Hammer’s gorgeously-imagined Transylvania. She’s on her way to take up a position as a teacher of French and Deportment at a posh swanky girls’ finishing-school.

She does no teaching worth a damn in the whole film, though. Circumstances see her breaking her journey overnight at the castle-in-the-mountains home of the Baroness Meinster, a magnificent old dame with more chutzpah than a whole bevy of finishing-school beauties put together.

She’s marvellously played by Martita Hunt, an actress who once went up in flames in the dusty old surrounds of Charles Dickens’ Satis House as the lovelorn Miss Havisham. That 1946 adaptation of GREAT EXPECTATIONS, also starring John Mills as Pip, was the first time I ever saw Martita Hunt act and I never forgot how wonderful she was. I absolutely adore her in BRIDES OF DRACULA.

The Baroness’s feisty exterior masks a terrible sadness and an even worse secret. Nosy little Marianne can’t, of course, resist poking her exquisite little French nose into the tortured old noblewoman’s business.

When she finds out what the Baroness and her loyal servant Greta have been hiding, she most unwisely sets their ‘secret’ free. Free to wreak the most unimaginable horrors on the people of Transylvania, that is. And neither Marianne nor her pupils at the school will escape unscathed…

Peter Cushing is fantastic as always as the impeccably-suited and beautifully-spoken Dr. Van Helsing, the authority on the ‘cult of the Un-Dead’ who are threatening to consume the little village in an orgy of bloodlust and godlessness. He handles himself with aplomb and undoubted gutsiness against the horrors of vampirism and those who practise it.

Freda Jackson does a terrific job of portraying the crazy-as-a-loon Greta, the faithful old servant of Baroness Meinster’s whose mind is destroyed by the turn of events. Kudos also to Andrée Melly and Marie Devereaux, who make stunning Brides for the evil disciple of Dracula’s.

Miles Malleson (1888-1969) is brilliant also as the fee-hungry Dr. Tobler who likes the odd tipple. Like, every five minutes, haha. He plays a dotty entymologist Bishop in the 1959 Hammer version of THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (also starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing) who also likes a tipple. Very much so. A small sherry here, a small sherry there, they all add up. I wonder how much booze his on-screen characters consumed over the years…!

Miles Malleson was actually born the year that the scallywag known as Jack The Ripper cut a bloody swathe through the- ahem- working girls of Whitechapel, London. Isn’t that incredible, that he was born that long ago? It kind of boggles the mind to think that far back.

THE BRIDES OF DRACULA pre-dates all the nudity and sexiness of the Hammer DRACULA films from the ’70s, but it’s still more than sexy enough to satisy the naughty viewers who tune in to Hammer as much for the glamour as for the storylines.

The settings and costumes are, as always, fabulously-coloured and lavish, and it would be a Fussy Freddie indeed who doesn’t imagine himself back in nineteenth-century Transylvania when he watches the film. The film surely has that unmistakable Hammer Horror ‘feel’ and vibe to it.

And Yvonne Monlaur is surely one of the greatest beauties of the modern era. Those eyes and full, succulent blow-job lips…! Snigger. I mean that in the nicest possible way. She’s a knockout. And so is the film. Miss it, as they say, at your peril. And they’d be right. Un-dead right…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens’ fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

THE ROBE and DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS: A DUO OF BIBLICAL MOVIE REVIEWS BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

robeTHE ROBE and DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS: A DUO OF BIBLICAL MOVIE REVIEWS BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

THE ROBE. (1953) BASED ON THE NOVEL BY LLOYD C. DOUGLAS. DIRECTED BY HENRY KOSTER. STARRING RICHARD BURTON, JEAN SIMMONS, VICTOR MATURE, MICHAEL RENNIE AND JAY ROBINSON AS CALIGULA.

DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS. (1954) BASED ON CHARACTERS CREATED BY LLOYD C. DOUGLAS IN HIS NOVEL ‘THE ROBE.’ DIRECTED BY DELMER DAVES. STARRING VICTOR MATURE, SUSAN HAYWOOD, MICHAEL RENNIE, DEBRA PAGET, ERNEST BORGNINE AND JAY ROBINSON AS CALIGULA.

‘Were you… out there…?’

I know Easter was about a month ago but I’m still cheerfully riding that wave of great old Biblical epics, haha. THE ROBE and its sequel DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS have always been two of my all-time favourites, along with BEN-HUR, KING OF KINGS, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, SPARTACUS and THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD, to mention but a few. Well, I think those are the main ones!

It was said of some guy once, I don’t know who, that ‘he killed more men than Cecil B. De Mille,’ referring of course to the number of extras used in this type of film. They all had a cast of thousands all right, along with camels and rolling hills and raucous open markets in which you could buy a nice living-room carpet and a pair of comely slave twins to go with your watermelon and jugs of wine. They’re all marvellous old films and you just don’t see their like anymore.

THE ROBE is the story of Tribune Marcellus Gallio, brilliantly played by screen heart-throb and two-time hubby of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton. He plays a rich Roman soldier from a good family, a boozer and a womaniser who falls afoul of the Emperor Caligula and gets stationed in the back end of nowhere, otherwise known as Jerusalem, as a sort of pay-back.

While he’s there, he’s put in charge of the unit that’s responsible for crucifying a local troublemaker of note known as Jesus Christ. Yep, that Jesus Christ…! Not unnaturally, the crucifixion has a profoundly unsettling effect on Tribune Gallio.

Believing himself bewitched by Jesus’s robe, which he shamefully won in a card game, Marcellus sets out to find it and destroy it. Yeah, he obviously lost it again after he won it, haha. He nearly loses his mind with the strain of it all before miraculously converting to Christianity, much to the surprise- but not displeasure- of his childhood sweetheart Diana, played by the lovely Jean Simmons. (Mrs. Spartacus, remember?)

Demetrius, played by the beefy and burly Victor Mature, is Tribune Gallio’s slave and the star of the sequel movie, DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS. Demetrius, a handsome Greek, becomes a devoted follower of Jesus after witnessing the shocking events of the crucifixion alongside his master, Marcellus.

Poor Demetrius is captured and tortured by the Emperor Caligula, who is more than a little disturbed at rumours of an underground cult, ie, Christianity, that places another god above himself. Caligula’s ego is insanely over-developed and any suggestion that he’s not the one true God himself is like a red rag to a bull.

The actor portraying Caligula in both films, Jay Robinson, was only twenty-three and then twenty-four respectively when he starred in them. This is incredible to imagine as he is absolutely magnificent as the spoilt brat of an Emperor, who quite literally throws screaming tantrums when he doesn’t get what he wants.

‘I want Tribune Gallio! Bring me Tribune Gallio before morning or I’ll have you all killed!’ What did I tell you? Completely and utterly spoilt…

In DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS, our freed slave Demetrius finds himself in a school for gladiators run by Ernest Borgnine’s tough nut, Strabo. Demetrius attains such success in the arena that he attracts the attention of Messalina, the wife of Caligula’s doddery old uncle, Claudius.

Messalina, played by Susan Hayward, is a saucy temptress who has forced her aged hubby to wear the cuckold’s horns so many times that they’ve worn an actual groove across his bald pate. When a fatal incident in the gladiators’ recreation room causes Demetrius to reject his Christian faith, the horny little hussy has no trouble at all in luring the hunky gladiator to her bed.

Caligula takes an interest in the robe in this film, mistakenly believing that it imbues the wearer with powers of immortality. Huh. It’s not a flippin’ cloak of invisibilty or anything. It’s not a magic cloak or anything like that. Or is it…?

Anyway, he orders Demetrius away from his carousing and merry-making in Messalina’s love-dungeon and tells him to find the robe and bring it to him. Demetrius finds the robe, but he finds something else as well, something which will hopefully jerk him back to his senses in a big way. And after several months spent lying between Messalina’s alabaster thighs (nice legs, what time do they open…?), the randy sod’s gonna need some serious deprogramming…!

These old films are so special. They’re not just for Easter, either. Any Saturday or Sunday afternoon during the year would do for a good long viewing of a nice swords-and-sandals epic. Now bring me a mojita this minute.

That’s right, bring me a mojita right now or I’ll feed you all to the lions! Haha, I’m only joking, of course. I simply wouldn’t dream of channelling my inner Caligula (Caligulady, geddit?) around you guys. As if I’d feed you guys to the lions. But a mojito would be nice…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens’ fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

SINISTER 2 AND INSIDIOUS 3: TWO BRILLIANT HORROR MOVIE SEQUELS REVIEWED BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Insidious-Chapter-3-1

SINISTER 2 and INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3: TWO HORROR MOVIE SEQUELS REVIEWED BY SANDRA HARRIS.

SINISTER 2. (2015) DIRECTED BY CIARAN FOY. PRODUCED BY JASON BLUM, SCOTT DERRICKSON AND BRIAN KAVANAUGH-JONES. STARRING JAMES RANSONE, SHANNYN SOSSAMON AND LEA COCO.

INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3. (2015) WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY LEIGH WHANNELL. PRODUCED BY JAMES WAN, JASON BLUM AND OREN PELI. STARRING LIN SHAYE, LEIGH WHANNELL, ANGUS SAMPSON, DERMOT MULRONEY, JAMES WAN AND STEFANIE SCOTT.

These two horror films from 2015 have a lot in common. They’re each co-produced by hotshot horror movie producer Jason Blum and they each belong to two of the biggest horror film franchises in recent years, SINISTER and INSIDIOUS.

I’d already seen the original SINISTER movie, starring Ethan Hawke as true crime writer Ellison Oswalt, and loved it, but I was coming to INSIDIOUS 3 completely blind, having seen neither of the first two INSIDIOUS films. Chapter 3 blew me away, so I now absolutely cannot wait to get my mitts on the first two instalments.

SINISTER 2 sees Deputy So-And-So from the first SINISTER movie desperately trying to keep a beautiful young mother called Courtney and her two small sons Zach and Dylan from the clutches of two villains.

The first of these is Courtney’s abusive husband, who has discovered his wife’s remote hiding-place for herself and her two boys. This violent hot-head wants his family back, but they don’t want to come back. This is where Deputy-So-And-So, who’s completely smitten with Courtney, comes in. Can he be her knight in shining armour…?

The other villain is, of course, Bughuul, the freaky-ass supernatural child-snatcher from the original movie. Both of Courtney’s kids are seeing dead children all over the creepy house in which they’re hiding out with their terrified mother who’s fleeing from her nasty husband, but Bughuul seems to have his evil eye on one of the boys in particular to do his vile bidding. Can Deputy-So-And-So stop this possessed kid from destroying his whole family…?

Bughuul is once more adding to his collection of freakishly sick home movies in this film, by the way. As a huge fan of crocodiles, I loved the home movie in which they featured. The rat thing, while being imaginative and inventive, made me sick to someone else’s stomach, haha. Very Marquis de Sade-esque, I’m sure.

As for the rest of the home movies, it was all just like, fire again, seriously? Still, there’s some pretty nasty stuff in there. Damn you, Bughuul, you sick f**k, will you ever get yours…? I await any future developments with intense interest.

INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3 sees a pretty young student called Quinn Brenner battling with the evil demon that has unfairly attached itself to her. All she wanted to do was to contact her dead mother (clearly she’s never seen any of those ouija board movies, the dozy mare!), but instead she finds herself in great physical danger as the demon of someone who died a long time ago tries to drag her down into the Underworld with him.

Yes, it’s a guy. Remember the nearly-dead guy in the bed in the movie SEVEN (1995), starring Brad Pitt? First-time director and a close friend of James Wan, who directed the first two INSIDIOUS movies, Leigh Whannell, wanted his demon to look like the guy from SEVEN. The demon is actually played by the guy from SEVEN…! He’s equally terrifying in both films and he’s the reason why I will never, ever watch the movie SEVEN again. So there, haha.

Quinn enlists the help of psychic Elise Rainier to help her fight the demon. Elise, brilliantly played by Lin Shaye, apparently featured in the other two INSIDIOUS movies, along with ghost-hunters Tucker and Specs, played by Angus Sampson and Leigh Whannell himself.

The scenes in which Elise goes into the otherworldly zone known as ‘The Further’ are freaking terrifying. Parker Crane, or the ‘Bride In Black,’ whose origin story I’m unaware of because I haven’t yet seen the first two films, scared the living daylights out of me. I definitely want to find out more about such a hideous and malevolent creature.

The scene where Elise follows the demon known as ‘The Man Who Can’t Breathe’ (because he’s wearing a gas-mask, see?) down into the dark depths of her Reading Room nearly spooked me half to death as well. The film is full of jump scares, which some horror fans tend to look down on, but when they’re well done, as they are here, they can be super-effective.

Heart-throb Dermot Mulroney (YOUNG GUNS, COPYCAT, MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING) plays the rather ineffective Dad here who keeps leaving his crippled daughter to fight the demon on her own. Lin Shaye totally steals the show for me though. She kicks ass all through the movie, especially against the ‘Bride In Black.’ I wish she was my Nan, haha.

Anyway, these are two terrific sequels from franchises which I know you horror fans will all know as well as you know your own names. Both are well worth watching and, as for INSIDUOUS Chapters One and Two, I cannot wait to get my hands on them.

There’s a lot of top-notch, high quality horror flicks being made nowadays, despite some folks’ assertions that all the best horror movies were made thirty or forty years ago. It gives one a lot of hope for the future. It surely does.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens’ fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor