With Kinski gibbering away in the padded cell as the puppet-like Renfield, and Lee re-running his seductive Hammer suavity as the Count, this near-forgotten low-budget version seems to have laid much groundwork for later forays into cinematic vampire lore. The script's ambitions (early marked by a not over-extravagant title claim to be illustrating Stoker's novel 'as written') are high and distinctly dead-pan, though perhaps not best served by direction that veers with some consistency to the endearingly inept (or, more charitably, to rigorous anti-illusionism?). Yet the movie emerges as a soberly intelligent reappraisal of a potent and oft-misrepresented mythology.
Cast and crew
Peter Welbeck Harry Alan Towers