Blood of Dracula's Castle, (Castle of Dracula) Reviews
The story of "Blood Of Dracula's Castle" is a bit of a train wreck with very little true attention paid to detail as the story falls apart. John Carradine, Paula Raymond, Alexander D'Arcy, Robert Dix, Gene Otis Shayne, Jennifer Bishop and Ray Young all star in the film which gives a nice nostalgia for some of us when watching "Blood Of Dracula's Castle" but not enough to really warrant any fan's of Dracula's to embrace the film completely. Dracula and his wife are practically neutered and remind me of the time the Flintstone's met Count Dracula. The addition of Mango, and a homicidal maniac to the film should have brought with them more blood but the only red that flows in this film mostly languishes in the glasses of Count and Countess Townsend. All this makes for a dull viewing experience.
The effects and soundtrack for "Blood Of Dracula's Castle" are also neutered in this one. For a film that claims to be exploitation horror I found no real show of exploitation save the bevvy of beauties chained to the castle wall. The deaths are almost none-existent and for the most part implied so I don't get the exploitative aspect branded to this film. The sound is very 1969 cheap-o that screams love-me-late-night- horror-host so there is no real reason to even bother with addressing that element of "Blood Of Dracula". Embrace this one if you wanna, I justify having it by my unending love of even crappy old movies and John Carradine. New horror fans just no that this is a 1969 Hammer film wanna be so don't expect much of anything here.
The film has a young couple (a photographer and his model) getting notice that they have just inherited a castle. The castle's current tenants happen to be Dracula and his wife, their caretaker (John Carradine) and their dumb Igor type character Mongo who only job seems to be bringing his masters young women for blood. According to our vampire duo AB positive blood from a woman is the best at keeping them looking young! Our young couple decide they want to live in the castle themselves and this proves as an extreme problem for a vampire residents who decide to try to kill their new landlords.
There is a lot of bizarre stuff going on here making this fall somewhat into that dreaded "alternative cinema" category but thankfully it doesn't sink as far as other films like Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks. The strangest aspect of this film is a subplot which involves a violent psycho escaping from a hospital and after a lengthy manhunt he kills a innocent bystander in order to go stay at the vampires' castle. Why? Well he wants to be immortal, what else! This extremely odd character comes out of nowhere and his relationship with Dracula and his wife is not explained and he seems at odds with Dracula's other typical servants. It seems like his character wandered onto the wrong movie set! Another problem is Dracula and his wife who are completely uninteresting. Dracula seems like a boring Robert Goulet and they both are eclipsed by their much more interesting caretaker, played by schlock movie great John Carradine. He sure did some Z-grade material back in the day but thankfully his presence was able to make these quickie films watchable. The film did have a few pieces of dialogue, my personal favorite being a scene when our leading man says a scream in the castle must have been a woman's electric toothbrush short-circuiting. I will admit I did openly laugh at that.
Though I gave the film a low rating it doesn't mean I didn't find some schlocky enjoyment. It's got bad acting, bad sets, and an odd script making it worthwhile find for fans of bizarre campy B-horror films from the 60's. Entertaining yes... but a good film, HARDLY!
Bonus Rant: If you're a fan of this film don't expect to find any DVD release to be transferred from a pristine print. The DVD I have from Mill Creek is considered the best release of the film but the negative has a lot of damage with tons of scratches. I usually like my old cult films to have some scratches and dirt on the negative as it adds to the experience but the damage here is to a degree that it really can take you out of the film and make it hard to watch. The film may not be good but there are fans for bad drive-in cinema like this and hopefully a negative will be found later in better condition.