Sunday, October 31, 2010

Movie Review: Zoltan: Hound of Dracula (1978)


Zoltan: Hound of Dracula

Written by Frank Ray Perilli
Directed by Albert Band

The Russian army accidentally uncovers the Dracula family tomb, and a possibly (probably) supernatural earthquake dislodges a coffin from its little cubbyhole.  Inside this coffin, the soldier standing guard finds a shrouded corpse with a wooden stake through its heart.  He does the only logical thing in this situation: he removes the stake.  Almost instantly, the corpse is revived and the solder is attacked.  But not by Count Dracula;  No, that's way too cliche.  This particular vampire is in fact Dracula's faithful canine companion:  ZOLTAN!

That's right, folks: a vampire dog who feeds on the blood of other dogs and then turns them into vampire dogs!  It's just too bad that Ol' Zoltan seems to have lost his taste for cats, because the cats would feed on mice, and fleas would feed on them all, and we'd have one hell of a nature picture on our hands.

Anyway, Zoltan uses his (da-da-da-dat-da-da) puppy power(!) to revive 50/50 vampire-human hybrid and former personal assitant to Dracula himself, Feit Schmidt.  Together, Zoltan and Schmidt head out into the world to locate and transform the last remaining Dracula descendent, a man now living in Los Angeles under the name of Michael Drake.

Believe it or not, this movie takes itself quite seriously.  It's just too bad that it's neigh impossible for us to do the same.  I mean, buying that Dracula fed on a dog and turned him into his demonic pet was hard enough, but when you have a whole pack of DracDogs running about--including a little puppy!--forget about it.  Half of the time this movie seemed more like a strange Animal Planet special than a horror movie.  But that's not to say that I didn't enjoy it.

Quite the contrary:  The bloodsucking dogs, the ugly Feit Schmidt, the old police inspector big pimping in a black convertible with his own themesong--all of this added up to jolly, cheesy fun.  And the puppy resurrection scene was equal parts cute, frightening and ridiculous...something special, to be sure.

Vampire fanatics, horror hounds, bad movie maniacs, and dog lovers alike can enjoy this cheddar.  And this is proof positive that The Hills Have Eyes 2 wasn't the only movie where the canines have flashbacks.

Rated R
90 Minutes
United States/Italy


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