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Today in Horror History: Hammer Double Feature


On October 8, way back in 1970, Hammer Films released a double bill of The Horror of Frankenstein and Scars of Dracula.

Horror of Frankenstein is one of many Hammer frankenfilms and falls into the mon-com category (monster comedy). Co-written and directed by Jimmy Sangster, Horror of Frankenstein stars Ralph Bates as Victor Frankenstein. Bates was cast to give the movie “youth appeal” and is portrayed as the young, sexy-pants version of the old standard. Kate O’Mara of Hammer’s The Vampire Killers, plays his housekeeper/bed warmer. David Prowse who is best known as Darth Vader in Star Wars portrays the square-headed, muscle-bound monster, who could easily be a WWF star today. He played Frankenstein for Hammer one more time, in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell.

The general gist of the story is when Victor Frankenstein isn’t killing neighbors to piece together his monster, he’s frolicking with his maid. His monster, however, is causing some serious trouble around town.

Scars of Dracula has all the trimming of classic Hammer: Christopher Lee in the role of the count, plastic vampire bats flapping around, and heaving cleavage ready to be bloodied. In this version of the iconic story,  Dracula rises from the dead (again) and goes on a bloody spree in his castle after a young man is lured there by a seductive and willing harpy. The young man’s brother and fiancee also show up at the castle looking for him and wouldn’t you know it, Dracula falls for the fiancee, Sarah Framsen, played by Jenny Hanley, who unless I am mistaken, basically ended her career with this film.

Patrick Troughton, better known as the second Doctor Who, fills the role of Dracula's man-servant Klove. But, in a twist on the typical story, Klove also falls for Sarah. Indeed, it seems that every man in the castle is smitten with her. Must be those golden curls. At any rate, Dracula is done in by his own greed, desire, and a devoted servant he treats cruelly.

There’s almost nothing good to be said about Scars of Dracula. While there are some bloody parts, the scariest thing about it is, arguably, Troughton’s eyebrows. See them in action below: