Dracula (1958)

The British horror boom which ran from the late ’50s until the early ’70s received short shrift on this list – which is disappointing for great films like Curse of Frankenstein, Theatre of Blood and Death Line, but perhaps inevitable given the fact that so many films of the period have aged so poorly. But it’s no surprise to see a solid placing for the film that started it all, Hammer’s (for the time) groundbreakingly savage and saucy take on Stoker’s classic novel, and one of the key works in the modernisation of horror. All those frilly frocks, heaving cleavages and creaky sets don’t look especially modern now, but this was the film which clarified forever the link between vampires and eroticism, as embodied by Lee’s stately, stalking presence as the ultimate gentleman fiend. TH
Dir Terence Fisher (Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Michael Gough)

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