The undead Dracula is dying. It seems that he needs the blood
of virgins to exist, and there are no more left in Romania
(eh?). Feeling extremely weak, all he wants to do is be taken
to the family vault with his sister and be laid to rest. However,
his aid proposes a trip to Italy, whose people are said to
be very religious ... and pure. Arriving at a small town,
he announces in the local tavern that he is searching for
a wife. Someone suggests a family with four daughters. The
parents are seduced by the Count's title and money and, when
they notice he is very ill, offer Dracula the choice. All
four daughters claim to be virgins, but the middle two are
having regular sexual relations with the groundsman. Can the
family and the groundsman learn the truth about Dracula before
he finds the pure daughter and regains his strength...?
I suppose the fact that the film title is being marketed as
Andy Warhol presents Blood for Dracula should have been
fair warning that this would be an attempt at some sort of
art statement. The difference is that this version of the
Dracula myth, written and directed by Paul Morrissey,
is a million miles apart from the classic Universal Bela Lugosi
or Hammer Christopher Lee portrayals. Vdo Kier (a German living
in America who acts out a Romanian in Italy) plays a Count
who has no super-strength or hypnotic powers; in fact, he
is sick and weak as a kitten for the majority of the movie.
He is not burned by sunlight or crucifixes, but has a slight
aversion to them, and we see him at the opening of the film
reddening his lips and blackening his hair with make-up, as
if this is how others think he should look.
all of this is supposed to present the character as vulnerable
and so induce the viewer's sympathy, let me tell you it fails.
The evil creature of the night simply comes across as a damp
squib. We are only reminded occasionally that this is a vampire
film. When he bites the necks of the sisters, believing they
are virgins, he spends longer throwing-up the blood in the
bathroom than he does drinking it in the first place. More
time is spent concentrating on the relationship between one
of the sisters and the groundsman, so that you get the impression
you're watching Lady Chatterley's Lover instead. Periodic
bad dialogue and exaggerated expressions, particularly from
Dracula, make you wonder if this production is simply thinly
disguised as Confessions of a Vampire.
include a commentary by Paul Morrisey and Vdo Kier; production
stills with commentary; and screen tests.
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