In 1905, a young altar boy (Norman Bacon) finds the corpse of a woman stuffed into a church bell. Everyone knows that Dracula was responsible. Even after Dracula was defeated, Monsignor Ernst Mueller (Rupert Davies) visits the village and finds that the boy is a terrified mute and the priest (Ewan Hooper) has lost his faith. The villagers will not enter the church because it is in the shadow of Dracula’s castle. Mueller decides to climb to the castle with a priest and exorcize it.

The priest gives up halfway and Mueller goes on alone. He attaches a metal cross to the gate during a thunderstorm. The priest stumbles and hits his head and his blood seeps through the ice and falls on the lips of Dracula. As the title says, he rises from the grave. Unknowing, Mueller returns home to Keinenberg, where he lives with his widowed sister-in-law Anna (Marion Mathie).

Dracula takes control of the priest. He is enraged that his castle is now barred to him. He forces the priest to reveal the name of the exorcist and to desecrate a coffin for Dracula to sleep in. He travels to Keinenberg and decides to take his revenge on Mueller’s beautiful niece Maria (Veronica Carlson). Dracula enslaves a tavern girl named Zena (Barbara Ewing) and nearly takes control of Maria, but her boyfriend Paul (Barry Andrews) rescues her. Dracula kills Zena and the priest burns her body in an oven. Dracula climbs over the rooftops and bites Maria.

Mueller discovers this and chases Dracula across the rooftops but is knocked down. He returns home and gives a book of vampire lore to Paul before he dies. Paul asks the priest for help, not knowing he is enthralled by Dracula. He forces the priest to lead him to Dracula’s lair, but they cannot stake him because the priest is faithless and Paul is an atheist. Dracula flees with Maria. At the castle, he orders Maria to remove the cross from the door. She throws it over the cliff and it sticks in the ground. Paul battles Dracula and tosses him over the cliff. He is impaled on the cross, freeing the priest, who exorcises him. Dracula crumbles into dust.

The film was directed by Freddie Francis and written by Anthony Hinds, the third featuring Christopher Lee as Dracula. The movie was called a triumph of style over content, but audiences loved it and it still has 80% on Rotten Tomatoes. It was Hammer’s most profitable movie. Veronica Carlson was discovered in a white bikini in a tabloid shoot. She posed topless in a graveyard for publicity photos, which may have had something to do with the film’s profitability.

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