Blood for Dracula (1974) Review

blood-for-dracula-poster

I have a friend who recommends a lot of movies to me. Even though I’ve loved horror my whole life, there are a TON of films I haven’t seen, mostly the more obscure/exploitation/cult favorites. That’s where my buddy comes in. I have a continually growing list of recommendations and since this site likes to highlight many lesser known films, the best motivation for me to burn through my list is to write up reviews for you guys!

The first review I bring you is Blood for Dracula (1974). This is one of Andy Warhol’s forays into film (he did a shit ton of stuff but this and Flesh for Frankenstein were the only ones recommended – for obvious reasons). But after you read my review, you might end up staying as far away from his crap as possible.

Or mayhaps you’ll think me a slow witted neanderthal who wouldn’t know art if it sat on my face.

(I probably reveal a few spoilers here because I can’t help but share with you the utter ridiculousness of this film)

Blood of Dracula is about Count Dracula (duh) and his impending death. Seems that if he doesn’t get the blood of a virgin ASAP, he, as well as his sister, will die within 2 weeks. As there are no more virgins in Romania, he must travel to Italy because we all know how religious the Italians are and they require a woman be a virgin for marriage.

Okay…

While there, Dracula’s valet, Anton, discovers a family with four daughters. They used to be rich but lost all their money because reasons and are now desperate to marry their brood off to the highest bidder. Well, they push the second oldest because the oldest (Esmerelda) was already engaged once so she’s…used, I guess (?) and the youngest (Perle) is only 14.

Too bad the other two are major whores.

When Drac is invited to stay with the family, he moves quickly on Saphiria only to discover she’s not pure. After feeding on her, he turns green and vomits violently into the tub. Strike One. Rubinia is no better and again, he becomes severely ill after drinking her blood. Strike Two.

Whatchu talkin' bout, Willis?
Whatchu talkin’ bout, Willis?

(The thing in this story is that once you’re bitten by a vampire, you can be controlled by it. Unless you’re a virgin – then a simple bite TURNS you into a vamp. Just keep that in mind…)

Now Dracula has two willing slaves that do as he commands. And right now he commands they bring their 14 year old sister to him. DO IT NOW! Unfortunately, Perle escapes and runs into Mario, the healthy young servant who’s been fucking the other two sisters regularly. He has figured out what is going on – that Dracula is a vampire and if he gets his hands on Perle while she’s a virgin, she’ll become just like him. So the best thing to do it let Mario deflower her and then she’ll be safe.

What. The. Fuck. Considering he spoke earlier in the film about how much he’d love to rape the shit out of her, this is rather chivalrous on his part.

As some virgins bleed after their first sexual encounter, I’m sure you can guess what Dracula does when he finds a puddle of blood on the floor after Mario’s and Perle’s dalliance. Ewww. That does help him out a bit but now Mario is on a tear to kill the monster. And with the climax that just absolutely HAD to inspire the Black Knight scene in Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail, we watch as Dracula is finally defeated.

I can’t even…

I wanted to watch this because I really knew nothing about Andy Warhol. Sure, his pop art crap is ubiquitous but I didn’t know anything else. So color me surprised that he has extensive film credits. Unfortunately, like most everything in the art world, I just don’t get it.

BloodforDracula1
OMG, this isn’t vegan OR gluten free? You MONSTER!

This was the most pretentious crap I’ve ever watched. I’m sure at the time it was considered avant garde and witty and all the sycophantic bullshit people spewed in his general direction so they could be avant garde and witty by association. His disdain for the rich and bourgeoisie and status quo was not exactly subtle with the Mario character spewing love sonnets for Russia and their revolution and how awesome they are (the look of the film indicates the story takes place in the 1920s).

The acting is terrible. It appears as if everyone is just reading lines from cue cards just off camera. I haven’t seen this much stiffness since I watched the porno, Thundercrack. It doesn’t help that all characters talk a lot – instead of showing us action, the film just has the actors explain it. I’m sure that was a cost issue, not an art choice. Because if it wasn’t…oy.

The actual character of Dracula is terrible. He’s more whiney than Louis, for pete’s sake (Interview with the Vampire, for the uninitiated). Though vampires are my favorite supernatural creature, this is Dracula at his worst. He’s not a caricature. He’s a wishy washy watercolor better suited for cheap generic chain hotels.

All that considered, there are a few highlights.

Udo Kier played Count Dracula. I’m not saying he’s a fantastic actor but he’s so quirky and takes parts in the most unique and/or unusual productions (Ace Ventura is perhaps an exception but HE is definitely out of place in that film). He’s a joy to watch.

If you like naked women (and who doesn’t?), the two whore sisters are topless or full-frontal through a good 2/3 of the movie. It sure doesn’t hurt that they are gorgeous.

And I already mentioned the epic final fight scene that any Monty Python fan will appreciate.

With just a handful of niceties, though, I can only give this cracked fanger 2 hatchets (out of 10).

About the Author

Peggy Christie has been writing horror fiction since 1999. Her work has appeared in several websites, magazines, and anthologies, including Necrotic Tissue, Code Z: An Undead Hospital Anthology, Black Ink Horror, Elements of Horror, and Vicious Verses and Reanimated Rhymes. Her short story, “Why Be Normal?”, opened the anthology Reckless Abandon from Catalyst Press which premiered at the Horrorfind Convention in 2002. Her collection, Hell Hath No Fury, was published by Hazardous Press in May of 2013. Peggy is also the Secretary of the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers. She even has her own webpage. Check it out at themonkeyisin.com.

Peggy loves Korean dramas, survival horror video games, and chocolate (not necessarily in that order) and lives in Michigan with her husband and their two dogs, Roscoe P. Coltrane and Dozer.

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