EVIL OF DRACULA (1974)
(a.k.a. BLOODTHIRSTY ROSE/CHI O SUU BARA)
Article #1409 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-22-2005
Posting Date: 6-21-2005
Directed by Michio Yamamoto
Featuring Toshio Kurosawa, Kunie Tanaka, Katsuhiko Sasaki
A new professor at a girls’ college has reason to suspect that the principal is a vampire.
This was the last of three vampire movies directed by Michio Yamamoto, and if IMDB is correct, these three movies account for fully half of his output in a directorial capacity. This would also be the last movie he would direct. I haven’t seen the first of the three movies, but I have seen the second, known here as LAKE OF DRACULA, and at the very least, this movie has a better (albeit rather generic) title than that one. There are some interesting touches here; the backstory involving the torture of a Christian (at a time in Japanese history when that faith was not allowed) is unusual, the use of a white rose with sharp thorns (and which turns red at one point) is a good touch, the vampires bite their victims on the breast rather than on the neck, and, this being Japan, there is no use of the usual Christian symbols to ward off vampires. Still, outside of the novelty value of seeing the Japanese trying to do a Hammer-style horror film, there’s not a whole lot here that’s really different in terms of story; in other words, you’ve seen most of this before.