Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The Unquenchable Thirst of Dracula

Photo by Ashley Bird

In 1970 Anthony Hinds of Hammer Films wrote The Unquenchable Thirst of Dracula (originally titled Dracula – High Priest of the Vampires) as the intended follow up to Scars of Dracula, relocating the vampire count to India where he was to spread his evil influence. Writer-producer Hinds devised the script primarily to take advantage of frozen assets that Warner Bros (who financed and distributed Hammer’s output) had in India at that time. Ultimately, however, financing proved to be problematic and Hammer dropped the script in favour of updating the series to present day London with Dracula AD 1972.

Unquenchable Thirst, along with another mooted series reboot, Vlad the Impaler, ended up in the Hammer vaults where it sat for decades until De Montfort University’s Cinema and Television Archive (CATH) became the custodian of the Hammer archive, a collection of over 300 scripts, as well as books, posters and other memorabilia. In 2014, CATH’s Director, Professor Steve Chibnall invited Mayhem Film Festival co-programmers Chris Cooke and Steven Sheil to delve into the archive where they stumbled across Unquenchable Thirst, the Hammer Dracula that never was.

At this year’s Mayhem Film Festival in Nottingham, UK, Cooke and Sheil presented the unfilmed screenplay for the first time in a live reading on Saturday 17th October 2015.

Read my review here.