SCARS OF DRACULA (1970)
"If you like rubber bats, then this is the Dracula movie for you!" might not seem like a compliment, but this might be the most effective a rubber bat has ever been in the history of rubber-bat-themed filmmaking. Scars of Dracula is one of three Christoper Lee Dracula films to come out in 1970, making for, arguably, the best year Count Dracula fans ever had.
Scars of Dracula has a thrilling opening, seeing an entire town rise up against Dracula together to burn down his castle. It's a good idea and a refreshingly place to open a Dracula story. It ends terribly for them, of course, but seeing an entire town fight and lose to a single man really makes it clear why everyone is rightfully terrified of Dracula.
For Doctor Who fans, there's also the surprise appearence of Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, turning in a beautifully tormented performance as Dracula's servant, Klove. In many ways, this is Klove's story, and Troughton, a skilled character-actor, delivers a solid performance.
As for those rubber bats I mentioned, for me they straddle the chasm between silly and scary effectively. And it helps that every actor who encounters them really tries to make us believe they are a real threat. When they fail, it's hilarious, and when they succeed, it's chilling.
The reason for the high recommendation here, though, is because Christopher Lee gets to talk more in this movie than in almost all the other Dracula movies combined. And this version of Dracula is actually kind of nice when, you know, he isn't being a blood-sucking fiend. There's even a point where he offers one of the white hats some wine, the white hat drinks the wine, says it's delicious, and Dracula thanks him for the compliment. It's a nice to see these extreme sides of Dracula and any excuse to see a version of Lee's Dracula that actually speaks is good by me.
This movie also wins for having the best Dracula death scene of any Hammer Horror movie, ever. Much like Dracula Has Risen From the Grave, this death scene is worth the price of admission alone.