Something To Sink Your Teeth Into
♦ Eli Roth has just created a new TV series about the History Of Horror for AMC and he is creating a list each week of the filmmakers who inspired the modern horror masters. Here’s his list of seminal vampire movies courtesy of AMC themselves…
Blood for Dracula a.k.a. Andy Warhol’s Dracula (1974, dir. Paul Morrissey)
Warhol was credited as a producer on this film, although he was primarily connected to it for advertising purposes. It was written and directed by Warhol’s associate Paul Morrissey, who has a crazy sensibility that’s all his own. In this iteration of Dracula, the Count goes to Italy to feast on the blood of virgins, and is sorely disappointed to find that there aren’t many virgins to be found! The film was originally presented in 3D.
Zoltan: Hound of Dracula a.k.a. Dracula’s Dog (1978, dir. Albert Band)
This film shakes things up by making a Doberman Pincher the lead vampire. Zoltan and his current master, the Innkeeper, seek Mike, the last living relative of Count Dracula. They find him camping in his Winnebago in California with his family and dogs. A “suspicious beast” murders the dogs, one by one. Mike eventually saves himself and his family by cornering Zoltan and sending him off a cliff. Nobody wants to watch dogs getting killed, but at least the movie tried to do something different?
Nocturna: Granddaughter of Dracula (1979, dir. Harry Hurwitz, as Harry Tampa)
Saturday Night Fever meets Dracula’s Daughter in 1970s Manhattan. In Transylvania, circa 1979, Dracula’s granddaughter Nocturna hires a disco band to play at their castle, which is currently The Hotel Transylvania. Nocturna and Jimmy, one of the band members, instantly fall for each other. Nocturna decides to return to New York with Jimmy. This upsets Dracula and his henchman, Theodore, who is in love with Nocturna. Dracula and Theodore arrive in New York to bring Nocturna back, and Jimmy has to fight them off with a neon crucifix. Nocturna has a pretty great disco soundtrack, featuring cult hits by Gloria Gaynor and Vicki Sue Robinson. You know if you’re the kind of person who will like this movie.
Love At First Bite (1979, dir. Stan Dragoti)
More disco Dracula madness, this time with a comic bent. After Count Dracula (George Hamilton) is expelled from his castle in Transylvania by the government, he travels to New York and sets up at a hotel. He pursues a beautiful model named Cindy whom he believes to be the reincarnation of his true love. Unfortunately Cindy’s boyfriend, psychiatrist Doctor Rosenberg, is onto Dracula. He also happens to be the grandson of Van Helsing, but has changed his name for professional reasons. Rosenberg makes many attempts to expose and kill Dracula, but ultimately Dracula wins the girl and they fly to Jamaica together as animated bats. Hamilton, whose tan is a recurring joke in the movie, was weirdly born to play this role. Dracula and Cindy’s disco dance scene is a highlight. Thankfully, the film’s recent Blu Ray release has restored Alicia Bridges’ song “I Love the Nightlife,” which was long missing on home video because of rights issues.
Vamp (1986, dir. Richard Wenk)
You think From Dusk Till Dawn was the first movie about a vampire strip club? Think again! In an attempt to hire a stripper for a party, three college students drive to a nearby city to visit a gentleman’s club. Unfortunately, all of the strippers are vampires, led by Katrina (goddess Grace Jones, who does a killer dance routine in body paint by Keith Haring). She seduces and kills one of the friends, AJ, and brings him back as a vampire. AJ can’t stand the thought of being amongst the undead so he kills himself with a piece of broken furniture. The other guys spend the night trying to escape the fanged femme fatales in downtown LA.
BloodRayne (2005, dir. Uwe Boll)
Rayne is the unholy spawn of the vampire Kagan (Ben Kingsley) and a human whom he raped and impregnated. When Dad kills Mom in front of her, Rayne vows revenge. Kagan needs to collect talismans that will make him King of the Vampires, so Rayne decides to collect them first and then kill him. Based on a video game, this film stars a lot of prestigious actors collecting a paycheck and is directed by Uwe Boll, known as the modern successor to Ed Wood.