I knew some of the films I would watch as I work my way through John Landis’ Monsters in the Movies (available from DK Canada) would be bad, I don’t think I was ready for how bad.
Blood of Dracula is that bad.
A horrible film that required a lot to drink in its hour runtime, this one was primed for mocking, and that definitely made it easier. Exploring the Vampire chapter in Landis’ book has been very entertaining but this one definitely tried the patience.
A horrible script, with no real connection to the Dracula story,the film follows headstrong Nancy Perkins (Sandra Harrison) as she is shipped off to an all girls school because her father has gotten newly married (six weeks after the death of his previous wife) and is headed off to his new life… without her (and the bad dialogue is there from the start!).
Finding it hard to fit in, and being very much an explosive firebrand, Nancy has a hard time fitting in with the other girls in her dorm. She has, however, caught the eye of one of the professors, Miss Branding (Louise Lewis), who is intent on proving her scientific hypothesis.
It seems the scientific community, composed of men, sneer at her theories, so she is intent on proving them wrong… she believes that there is unlimited potential within humanity, a potential that could prove more dangerous than an atom bomb.
Using hypnosis, as well as very ‘scientific’ amulet, she is able to bring a darker presence to the fore, a vampiric presence, which brings over a physical change in Nancy, as well as insatiable blood lust and violence.
When her vampire side takes over, she is unstoppable, and the bodies begin to pile up. It’s unfortunate that Nancy is made the monster in the piece, as is Branding, because both of them are smart, inspired women, who are vilified, and made to appear as monsters, while the other female (and male characters) are stereotypes that spew the most ridiculous dialogue and behave in the most inane ways.
Nancy’s vampire makeup is unusual, and distinctive, but that may, in fact, be the only thing this movie really has going for it.
If you are going to settle in for this one, make sure you’ve got something to drink, a friend to share the experience with, and talk and laugh your way through this dated piece of 50s cinema.
Honestly, I can’t even imagine the kids at the matinees enjoying this one… though they may have dug the vampire bits.
As bad as this one was, I still had a great time watching it. There are so many fun things in this book, so pick one up for yourself, and join director John Landis and I as we explore Monsters in the Movies… available now from DK Books .