Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Count Dracula's Great Love (1974)

I've always been fascinated with how other countries take on famous characters in horror. Japan gave us several vampire films and the absolutely bizarre kaiju flick "Frankenstein Conquers the World", Mexico gave us The Aztec Mummy, and then there's Spain's Paul Naschy, who gave us his take on the Wolfman, the Mummy, Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and in the case of Javier Aguirre's* "Count Dracula's Great Love", a certain vampire.

The plot is pretty simple: A bevy of women and some guy end up in a castle owned by Dr. Wendell Marlow (Naschy) Well, it turns out that the good doc is actually a bad doc, and by that I mean he's Dracula. Well, he and other vampires (whom he fights from time to time) begin turning these folks into vampires...except for one girl, a virgin who he needs to resurrect his daughter. Problem is, he starts to fall for her.

A mix of old school Gothic horror, unintended camp, dark romance and unapologetic exploitation (Paul sure does get the girls to drop their drawers in his movies), "Count Dracula's Great Love" is plenty of fun for fans of 70's Euro Horror. Here, we get

  • Paul Naschy being his usual self, this time sporting Bela Lugosi hair
  • Frequent topless women
  • Some fun pre "Dawn of the Dead" style bloodshed, including a nifty bit with a scythe
  • Atmosphere that reminded me of the good Hammer Vampire movies from the 70's-you know, the likes of "Vampire Lovers", "Vampire Circus" and "Countess Dracula"
  • Sapphic vampire feeding scenes that would make Jean Rollin proud
  • Requisite staking and whipping
And more. It's largely enjoyable, though it does run into pacing problems, as the movie tends to move a bit slow. Also, while this isn't something I would normally complain about, but the dubbing here is atrocious. It would be nice if an original language print with subtitles, but that doesn't seem to exist at the moment.

Still, for fans of this kind of thing, this is a must see. Also, it's in the public domain, so you can watch it free whenever you want to.

Rating: 7.5/10

*This isn't the only time Aguirre and Naschy collaborated, as the director also did "Hunchback of the Morgue."


2 comments:

  1. Did you watch the Elvira's Movie Macabre version? If not you should check that out.

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  2. I watched that version, but not the one with Elvira.

    ReplyDelete