COUNTESS DRACULA (Hammer)

Written by Guy Adams

Review written by John Parker

John Parker is a Graduate-qualified English/Spanish Teacher, owner and director of CHAT ENGLISH, an English Language Centre in Avilés on the north coast of Spain . A voracious reader, he has particularly loved horror fiction for many years.


COUNTESS DRACULA (Hammer)
Hammer
RRP: £6.99
Released: 7th February 2013
Pbk

We are in the 1930s. Elizabeth Sasdy ( a nod to the director of the film) is a movie star on the wane. She and her movie star husband Frank Nayland are living a marriage that is nothing more than a sham. And they are getting older. Elizabeth does not like this one bit. Then, after an accident involving one of the maids in their sumptuous mansion, Elizabeth discovers that blood will rejuvenate her making her young, beautiful and as voluptuous as she was at the beginning of her career. And so begins a tale of, vanity, murder and pure evil.

Guy Adams has updated Peter Sasdy’s 1971 movie Countess Dracula to Hollywood in the 30s. Having been a fan of the original film starring Ingrid Pitt, I didn’t think I was going to like this novel. However, I am happy to say that Adams pulls it off. The whole premise is absurd but the plot is typical of the old style Hammer films. It doesn’t matter how silly it is that blood can make Elizabeth younger, the reader just has to go along with it. At 250-pages, it’s a roller coaster of a story and it is an enjoyable ride. As the novel progresses, things get more and more horrific and the novel seems to get darker and darker, culminating in a wild Hollywood party at the estate of Sasdy. Adams also manages a nice twist at the end of the novel although some readers may not like it. Overall, it’s worth the price of admission.

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