Friday, August 17, 2007

Blood of Dracula

Well for the second night in a row, I watched another dud, last night’s being the B horror flick “Blood of Dracula” (1957) from everyone’s favorite low-rent studio, American International Pictures. I hadn’t seen it in probably 30 years and didn’t remember anything about it. After watching it last night, I now know why.

“Blood of Dracula” is pretty lame, dealing with a young woman (Sandra Harrison) who is sent to a girl’s boarding school. She doesn’t fit in, and while there comes under the spell of a teacher (from the Carpathian Mountains) who, using hypnosis, turns her into a vampire.

It’s amazingly dull, but only runs 68 minutes so it’s not annoyingly overlong. It’s probably best remembered today for the memorable vampire make-up. With her big bushy eyebrows and hideously overgrown fangs, this particular lady vampire is one for the books.

Typically for these 1950s teen horror flicks, there’s a musical number to liven things up. The song in this one is called “Puppy Love” (no relation to the Donny Osmond song) and in one scene during the song two girls hit each other with couch cushions. Far more enjoyable than anything I saw in “Moulin Rouge.”

“Blood of Dracula” is paired on a recent DVD with “How to Make a Monster” (1958) another teen horror flick. This one stars Robert Harris as a famous make-up man who specializes in monsters. When the studio’s new owners come in and fire him, telling him horror pictures are dead and people want to go see comedies and musicals, Harris hypnotizes the actors playing the Teenage Werewolf and Teenage Frankenstein – while in full make-up – to do away with the snooty owners. I guess it isn’t very good but it sure is fun to watch. For buffs there’s the added pleasure of seeing some memorable monster masks on display in the concluding ten minutes (in color, while the rest of the film is in black and white).

Because the new owners believe teenagers want only songs and comedy, we are treated to a scene where John Ashley sings the immortal “You’ve Go to have Ee-ooo.” Again, better than anything on display in “Moulin Rouge.”

I’m hoping to break my streak of two clunkers in a row and watch something good this weekend.

Rating for “Blood of Dracula”: One and a half stars.

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