Friday, October 15, 2010

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Blood of Dracula's Castle

Written by Rex Carlton
Directed by Al Adamson & Jean Hewitt

Glen Cannon...Gene Otis Shayne
Liz Arden...Jennifer Bishop
George...John Carradine
Mrs. Townsend...Paula Raymond
Mr. Townsend...Alexander D'Arcy
Johnny...Robert Dix
Mango...Ray Young

When fashion photographer Glen Cannon inherits a castle from his recently deceased 108-year-old uncle Thomas, he and his model fiance embark on a road trip to inspect the new (old) digs.  It's currently inhabited by the Townsends, who had been renting it from Thomas, but Glen plans on giving them the boot and turning the place into his studio.  The Townsends have lived here for a long time, however--a very long time--and they're not exactly eager to uproot.  Still, they invite the new owners to stay as their guests for a few days while they hammer out the details.  And what a few days it is, full of spooks and kooks and things that go bump in the night.

You see, the Townsends are no ordinary family unit.  The Mister and Missus are actually the Count and the Countess--as in Dracula.  Their deformed oaf of a caretaker, Mango (yes, Mango!), collects young women and stores them in the cellar for feeding.  George, the creepy butler, is a follower of the god Luna, saved from a lynch mob by the Townsends ages ago, and encourages them to offer up the occasional sacrifice to his dastardly deity.  And their friend Johnny is a sociopathic loose cannon, just escaped from the mental institution, whose psychotic episodes share a direct correlation with the phases of the moon.


These aren't your typical movie monsters, although I'd wager that the variances stem more from budgetary restraints than any sort of innovation.  For instance, you won't see any fangs on these vamps, as they prefer to drain the blood from their victims one serving at a time, and drink it from a wine glass while waxing pretentious about the "vintage".  (They do sleep in coffins and avoid the sunlight, so they have at least some respect for tradition.)

And although Johnny reeks of werewolf, he's never once referred to as such...nor does he ever actually transform.  Which honestly serves only to make him more frightening, the only intimidating character of the whole bunch, as he alternates discussing how much he dislikes doing bad things with actually doing bad things, grinning maniacally all the while.

This is far from a good movie.  It's cheap and poorly made, it's oddly paced, and it often makes very little sense.  But the characters are so offbeat, and the situations so charmingly stupid that I couldn't help but enjoy myself the whole way through.  If I owned a revival drive-in theater, I'd double-bill this one with The Corpse Vanishes on opening night.

Good clean cheesy fun.

1969
84 Minutes
Not Rated
Color
English
United States

"I'm fine!  I just killed a butler!"
--J/Metro

5 comments:

  1. I wanted to like this movie a lot more than I did. There is some serious freakin' broken magic here but you're right, the pacing is way, way off.

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  2. Richard: "Broken magic"...that pretty much sums up this film in two perfect words. Sorry you didn't enjoy it quite as much as I did.

    --J/Metro

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ah, I love these kinds of movies....
    Perfect fare for October.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It made me think of what the Addams Family might really do to unfriendly visitors. D'Arcy definitely has a Gomez vibe going on. Doesn't make this a good movie, though. But it still has that fascinating car-wreck quality of Adamson films.

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  5. This movie is so deliciously dumb, I love it.

    ReplyDelete

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