Sunday, December 14, 2014

Blood For Dracula (1974)

Udo Keir is Dracula in Paul Morrisey's follow up to Flesh for Frankenstein.  Like the earlier film the film carried the Andy Warhol name above the title, but Warhol had nothing really to do with the film.

A political and social satire as well as a "horror" film the movie has the Count leaving his home for Italy because the supply of virgins has dried up and its believed that an endless supply of pure blood will be found in the Catholic country (Dracula will get violently ill if the person isn't a virgin). Things don't go that well for the count who finds not only less pure blood then he thought, but that his plans to drain the few remaining virgins are being thwarted by Marxist Joe Dallesandro as a Brooklyn accented peasant looking to smash the upper classes.

An occasionally clever film, this is one of several films from the early 70's and late 60's that re-imagined vampires in ways that go against the typical image of night crawling beasties ala Bela Lugosi (Jonathan, Nosferatu, Nosferatu in Venice). Here the count does go out in the day, he is not really all powerful, but anemic and sickly.

Better than the earlier Frankenstein film this is still not a particularly good film. The film is stilted with an odd collection of performances and accents. The film's serious musings about class structure and the vampire myths are under cut by the silliness of some scenes (the finale echoes the Black Knight sequence in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, with the addition of the counts lover behaving so stupidly- she literally rolls her eyes like a maniac-that it ruins any satisfaction at the end of the film.) The film does have its moments so its worth a look for horror fans in a forgiving mode since its an influential film of a sort.

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