Blood of Dracula’s Castle (1969)

Blood_of_Dracula's_Castle_(1969)‘If you violate our sacrifice, you can never be one of the eternal ones…’

Count and Countess Dracula are dead and well and living in an isolated American castle. They are looked after by faithful old retainer George, an escaped psychotic killer and a deformed giant called Mango.

Al Adamson is a notoriously bad film maker, known chiefly for his horror movies of the late 60s and early 70s. His most famous (or should that be infamous?) was ‘Dracula Vs Frankenstein’ (1971) which featured the final performance of Lon Chaney Jr. The old horror icon on duty here at Dracula’s castle is John Carradine in the role of butler George. Of course he’d first played Dracula himself in ‘House of Frankenstein’ (1944) and had donned the fangs again for the seminal ‘Billy the Kid Vs Dracula’ (1965) but here the Count is portrayed by cuddly Alex D’Arcy and the Countess by Paula Raymond, the heroine who helped fight ‘The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms’ (1953).

Bloody hell, how did we fail the audition for the Addams Family?

Bloody hell, how did we fail the audition for the Addams Family?

The interaction of these 3 veterans is by far the picture’s greatest strength. You see, the vampires are just like an any other retired married couple; taking drinks by the fireside before going off to bed. Of course they sleep in coffins and there are some young girls chained up in the cellar but everyone is entitled to some little eccentricities at their time of life. Actually, it’s the servants who do all the dirty work which mainly involves the new owners of the castle. You see the property’s only rented! The culture clash between the hip young couple who want to move in and the comfortably settled old bloodsuckers provides some wry humour amid the rather tedious thrills.

There’s little here to suggest that Adamson belongs in the same breath as terrible film directors like Ed Wood, Larry Buchanan or Andy Milligan. Sure, the movie is cheap, slow and completely unconvincing but it’s fairly professional overall and actually mildly entertaining. However, I have read that ‘Blood of Dracula’s Castle’ (1969) is Adamson’s most coherent and accessible work so I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve seen some further examples…

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