Release: Nov 12, 2019 - Author: brainbug1602 - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB
The long version from the UK Blu-ray (Hammer 2012 Restoration) by Lions Gate was compared to the long version from the German Blu-ray by Anolis.
The vampire hunter Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania to the castle of Count Dracula, where he applied for the position of a librarian. In fact, however, he plans to kill the count. In the library, he meets a vampire woman who claims to be held captive by the count. When she wants to bite him, Dracula appears, hurls the woman away and Jonathan becomes unconscious. When he regains consciousness, he sets off in search of the count's resting place. He finds his hiding place in a tomb, but when Jonathan stakes the vampire woman, Dracula wakes up and kills him. Some time later, Jonathan's colleague Dr. Abraham Van Helsing travels through Transylvania and also arrives at the castle, which is now abandoned. Only Jonathan can release him from his curse. Dracula has left to look for Jonathan's fiancée Lucy Holmwood. Lucy's brother Arthur and his wife Mina notice that Lucy is getting worse. The family doctor Dr. Seward is at a loss, so Van Helsing is consulted. He suspects that Lucy is already under the spell of Dracula and recommends decorating her room at night with garlic to save her. A domestic worker, against the advice of Van Helsing, follows Lucy's request to remove the garlic from her room, allowing Dracula to enter her room and make her his bride. Van Helsing and Arthur want to remove Lucy's curse, but Dracula has already chosen Mina as the next victim...
Hammer Studios' search for new material for film adaptations resulted in various remakes of the classic universal monster films, including The Curse of Frankenstein, The Mummy and Dracula, each starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Dracula only loosely sticks to the work of Bram Stoker. Jonathan Harker is no longer a real estate agent, but directly a vampire hunter pretending to be a librarian to murder Dracula. The roles of Lucy and Mina have been swapped, Renfield doesn't appear at all, while Dr. Seward is no longer the head of a mental hospital but only the house doctor of the Holmwood family. Some changes are certainly due to the budget. If in the book Dracula travels from Transylvania to England, then in the film Transylvania is never left. Instead of three brides there is only one in Dracula's castle. Without question, the events in the film were accelerated by the changes. Today it's difficult to imagine but in the past the film had a much more shocking effect on the audience, who were used to black-and-white films and now saw red blood on the screen for the first time.
At the time of the film's production, it was a normal process for the BBFC to have a strong influence on the development process. The idea was that the producers didn't have to shoot critical scenes if they had to be cut again anyway due to the BBFC specifications. For example, the recommendation not to use too transparent nightgowns was already made in advance. The finished film was still too critical for the BBFC, so some scenes had to be removed. For a long time, this censored version was considered the longest, despite rumours that a longer version was shown in cinemas in Europe and Japan. In September 2011, Hammer announced that Simon Rowso had discovered 4 reels of the Japanese theatrical version at the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo. The reels had the last 36 minutes of the film and actually contained some shots that were missing in all other releases.
On 18 March 2013, Lions Gate released a Blu-ray in the UK with a long version reconstructing missing scenes from the Japanese theatrical version. For the Blu-ray release in Germany, Anolis took a closer look at the Japanese version and actually discovered two shots that were apparently forgotten in the Hammer restoration. So in the finale you see Dracula's hand falling to ashes in an additional shot and afterwards a cut on Dracula himself. The German Blu-ray is thus three seconds longer than the long version on the UK Blu-ray, making it the longest version of the film to date.
Anolis Blu-ray: 82:13 min.
For the sake of completeness: After Arthur has disappeared into the bushes and the camera fades over to the house, the black screen is a little longer in the Anolis version.
Anolis: 0.84 sec.
When Dracula is confronted with the cross by Van Helsing and his hand begins to disintegrate into dust, the Anolis version shows two more shots. Dracula's hand can be seen once again, followed by a cut on Dracula himself.
Anolis: 3.0 sec.