The Brides of Dracula is a 1960 British Hammer Horror film directed by Terence Fisher. It stars Peter Cushing as Van Helsing; Yvonne Monlaur as Marianne Danielle; Andree Melly as her roommate, Gina; Marie Devereux; David Peel as Baron Meinster, a disciple of Count Dracula; and Martita Hunt as his mother.
It is a sequel to Hammer's original Dracula (USA: Horror of Dracula) (1958). Alternative working titles were Dracula 2 and Disciple Of Dracula. Dracula does not appear in the film (Christopher Lee would reprise his role in the 1966 Dracula: Prince of Darkness) and is mentioned only twice, once in the prologue, once by Van Helsing.
Plot Synopsis[edit | edit source]
In the third of Hammer's increasing horror genre, this outing takes place after Drac has been given the stake. Though the narrator informs us that his past victims are still doing his dirty work. A French teacher named Marianne comes to a small village to start her new job at an all girls' boarding school. However along the way she is dumped by the carriage driver, scared of traveling any further at night, at the local inn. There, she meets the Baroness Meinster and is invited to stay in her castle. Marianne accepts and stays the night though she is informed of the Baroness's son, Baron Meinster, who is said to be insane and locked away in his room for his safety. However that night, Marianne sneak into the Baron's room and meets him, shackled (literally) to a wall. He convinces her that the Baroness is mad; to get the key and free him so both of them can escape.
Marianne does so but later finds the Baroness dead with two bite marks on her neck, the Baron now missing and the maid, Greta, cacklling over her. Terrified, Marianne flees the mansion and faints in the woods where she picked up the next morning by none other than the famous vampire hunter, Dr.Van Helsing. After reviving her, he drops her off at the school and starts investigating some strange murders that have been occurring lately around the village. The recent victim being a young girl with marks on her neck. Back at the school, Marianne gets settled in and meets Gina. More talking and plot points later, Helsing finds out that they've buried the girl and goes to do the dirty work (staking, beheading, the usual…) but finds someone at the site.
It's revealed to be Greta whose she coaxing something in the ground. After a few minutes (a famous scene in the movie) the girl ,now a vampire, raises out of the casket. Helsing and a priest try to intervene, but the girl transforms into a bat and gets away as well as Greta. The night isn't over for the good doctor as he heads to the mansion after receiving some tips. There he finds the baroness, also a vamp now, as well as the Baron. The Baron escapes but oddly enough, the baroness doesn't and tells Helsing that she was the one responsible for her son's state and now must share in vamprism as atonement. Helsing offers a way out however via staking.
Meanwhile back at the school Gina and Marianne get acquainted and become fast friends. However the following night after a little talk and Marianne goes to bed, the Baron pays Gina a visit. Needless to say, she is found dead the next morning with the infamous bite marks on her neck. However this time Helsing is ready, he has Gina's casket moved to a horse stable as a precaution before being buried. Marianne goes to visit and help out the stable hand watching after the casket. Mysteriously however the locks on the casket suddenly fall off, only still bolted. The stable hand goes to get new locks but is killed by a vampire bat leaving Marianne alone.
The rest of the locks come off and Gina rises as an undead. The vampire Gina tries to get Marianne to let her bite her and together join the Baron up at the windmill. But Helsing, sensing something amiss and finding the stablehand's body, bursts in and saves Marianne while Gina escapes.
After calming Marianne and getting the info of where the Baron is, Helsing goes to the windmill to finish it once and for all. He manages to locate the baron's coffin but Greta, the girl vampire, Gina and the Baron are waiting for him. After a brief fight with the Baron, Helsing gets knocked out which the Baron takes the opportunity to sinks his fangs into his neck!
He then takes off to find Marianne, which he does in her dorm room fully revealing his vampire nature to her but doesn't bite her. Wanting to save that part for an about to be vamped Helsing. Unknowest to our antagonist, the good doctor isn't going out that easily and literally burns the vampirism out of him before it takes hold. The Baron soon comes back with Marianne intending for Helsing to watch as he makes her undead. But Helsing grabs for his holy water and splashes it into the vampire's face (his lovely servants even tried to hiss him a warning) scarring him horribly which, in his rage, throw down some candlesticks and sets the windmill on fire. Helsing grabs Marriane (Gina and the other vamp girl are mysteriously missing. Flew the coop perhaps?) and leads her to the roof while the Baron is trying to make a hasty escape in the windmill's courtyard.
In an extremely well done scene, Helsing jumps onto the windmill and turns it so the moon shadows it as a cross…right over the fleeing Baron. Seeing the power of good of that magnitude, the vampire doesn't stand a chance and drops dead right there. Helsing and Marriane go to ground level, make sure he's dead, and then embrace after that horrifying ordeal, ending the movie.