BLOOD OF DRACULA’S CASTLE (1969)
Article 2241 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-5-2007
Posting Date: 10-1-2007
Directed by Al Adamson and Jean Hewitt
Featuring Alexander D’Arcy, John Carradine, Paula Raymond
Dracula, his wife, their evil butler, their homicidal maniac friend, and their hulking handyman rent a castle where they keep women chained up to supply them with blood and for sacrifices to the moon. When the ownership of the castle passes to a young couple who plan to evict the monsters so that they themselves can movie in, complications arise.
This is a rather strange entry in the Al Adamson oeuvre. Though it shares a certain similarity to DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN in that it gives us a wide array of monsters/villains (two vampires, a homicidal maniac who may be a werewolf, a moon-worshiping butler, and a big hulking deformed man), it doesn’t really use them in the same way. The biggest oddity here is in the character of the two vampires; Dracula and his wife are played as an effete upper-class couple who never attack anyone directly; they don’t even suck blood from their victims, but drink it in wine glasses prepared by their butler from the women chained in the basement. These characters alone make me suspect that the movie may have been conceived as a comedy, and the fact that I have something of the same reaction to NIGHTMARE IN WAX , which was also penned by writer Rex Carlton, only strengthens that feeling. It’s pretty mild in comparison with some of Adamson’s other movies, and there are story elements that I don’t care for. For one, in the final moments when the young couple take on all of the villains, four of them are dispatched with far too much ease, and all of the foreshadowing that takes place about the homicidal maniac losing control of himself during the full moon comes to precisely nothing; no transformation takes place of any sort, and, for that matter, he shows virtually no self-control at any time during the movie at all. And though Barbara Bishop is no doubt a very attractive and shapely woman, it’s rather hard to pay any attention to her in her opening scenes, as she keeps being upstaged by dolphins, killer whales, and walruses.
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