Dracula Has risen From The Grave

Artist: Thomas William Chantrell
Format: UK Quad (30"x 40")
Condition: Very Good
Year: 1968


Amongst the Hammer Horror output, it is the Dracula series which has proved the most long-lasting and certainly Christopher Lee’s portrayal of the Count is now deemed iconic. His 6,5” frame and intensely cold stares brought an imposing presence to the character and never descended into camp parody. “Dracula Has Risen From the Grave”, released in 1968, was the fourth entry in the cannon and the third to feature Lee as the Count. It is still regarded as one of the best of the series and to this day is praised for its direction and lurid visuals.

This example of the UK Quad poster, designed by Tom Chantrell, has been signed by Lee and is a definite horror classic. Chantrell imbues the design with an eerie array of blue, black and white alongside sublime Gothic imagery and great artwork of the Count himself. Admirably it also retains the horror aesthetic and creepy overtones of the film without displaying either too much flesh or ‘going overboard’ on gore.

When he was without reference stills to draw inspiration from or copy, Chantrell would often photograph himself or pose family members for inspiration. Shown below, courtesy of www.chantrellposter.com, is a photograph of Chantrell posing as Christopher Lee which he subsequently based his design on. Undeniably an interesting insight into Chantrell’s creativity and his designing process, other examples of this technique included using his wife as a model for Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) in his “Star Wars” Quad.

One of Chantrell’s most recognisable and effective pieces, the Quad for “Dracula Has Risen From the Grave” is further evidence of why he is now considered the leading British cinema poster artist of the latter half of the 20th century. Demonstrative of the high esteem afforded to him is the fact that the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, have recently acquired the original artwork for the poster, shown below courtesy of www.chantrellposter.com. For much more detail on Chantrell’s work please also refer his dedicated website www.chantrellposter.com and to Sim Branaghan’s comprehensive book “British Film Posters” (2006).