Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee star in The Van Helsing Mysteries?
Hammer horror purists have long debated the merits of director Alan Gibson’s final two Christopher Lee Dracula films, 1972’s Dracula A.D. 1972 (aka Dracula Chases the Mini Girls) and 1973’s The Satanic Rites of Dracula (aka Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride), with many citing the studio’s bid to “modernize” Dracula as being woeful and wrongheaded.
But the fact is that, years later, the Gibson Drac’s are better than okay, they’re rather awesome, with an urgency and kink that their wonderful but often stodgy period-piece predecessor’s lacked. That and having Peter Cushing’s Van Helsing back to battle Christopher Lee’s Dracula for the first time since their first waltz in Terrence Fisher’s 1958 flick Horror of Dracula just feels right…
Today, while sifting through our social media feed, we stumbled upon this gem, an irreverent “rethinking” of the hip and groovy Gibson flicks as a slick ‘70s prime time mystery series.
Witness the glory of filmmaker and Hammer fan Ed Glaser’s mock trailer for the imaginary series The Van Helsing Mysteries!
Of the genesis of the trailer, Glaser said this to us:
My wife and I have been watching Hammer horror movies all month. We got to “Dracula A.D. 1972,” the first of their two “Dracula in modern day” films, and both of us realized that despite all the groovy youth generation stuff, the film was _all about_ Peter Cushing, in his immaculate wardrobe, solving the mystery of Dracula’s resurrection. Eventually he teams up with a police inspector and both my wife and I thought “this is practically a pilot for a ’70s occult cop show! It’s ‘The Van Helsing Mysteries!'” And the incredible ’70s soundtrack just reinforces it.
The sequel, “Satanic Rites of Dracula,” follows the same characters, which gave it even more of a TV series feel.
So, just to amuse my wife, I cut a silly fake intro to “The Van Helsing Mysteries” using footage and music from “1972.” All it needed was the NBC Mystery Movie font (Folio Bold Extended) in “awful ’70s yellow” and voila! Honestly I never expected more than a few people would find it amusing.
Incidentally, somewhere among the Facebook comments was a compliment from the director of Kolchak: The Night Stalker. I about had a heart attack.
Check out Glaser’s kick-ass work (and groove on Mike Vicker’s awesome score!) below and tell us what you think!