“Blood of Dracula’s Castle” (1969)
Studio: Crown International Pictures
Starring: John Carradine, Alexander D’Arcy, Paula Raymond, Robert Dix
Directed by: Al Adamson and Jean Hewitt
Running Time: 83 min.
Synopsis: A man inherits an old castle, but he finds out a couple of vampires live there who are kidnapping young women and drinking their blood.
Crown International cannot make a good film to save their life. Blood of Dracula’s Castle is another bad film from the company. Although, I’ve seen worse from Crown, Blood of Dracula’s Castle is still a disappointment. I have to say this is like so many other Crown films that it had some of the tools to make a good horror film, but it just didn’t deliver.
The movie is about a couple, Glen and Liz, who inherit an old castle from Glen’s dead uncle only to discover that the place is inhabited by an older couple, Count and Countess Townsend, who happen to be vampires and the Count is actually Count Dracula. Glen and Liz arrive at the castle to inform the couple they have to move out, but unknown to them is that the Count and Countess have a group of women chained up in the basement to drain their blood. Other elements that are thrown in the film are an Igor/Frankenstein’s monster-type character, Mango, that does the bidding for the vampires, an escaped mental patient who is long-time friends of the vamps, and a butler, named George played by horror legend, John Carradine, who worships some type of moon God and wants to sacrifice women to them.
This film actually had some potential with some of the characters and setting, but it didn’t follow through. It could have been a great throwback to the classic horror films of the ’30’s, with the creepy castle they had and the vampires. It started off interesting and just never recovered. The vampires themselves were boring and wimps. The guy that was supposed to be Dracula didn’t even put up a fight when he was confronted by Glen and Liz and the vampires ultimately died from sunlight. Most of the villains of the film die anticlimactically.
Then there was the character of Johnny, who was the escaped mental patient. Johnny ends up going to the castle and reuniting with his friends, the vampires. The Count, Countess, and also Johnny keep saying he has a problem when the moon gets full and has to control his anger. At first I’m thinking he’s a werewolf, which would have been fitting for the film, but he never changes into one. It was a real let-down if you ask me.
One thing they mentioned in the film that stood out was a conversation that the Count and Countess were having with Johnny about drinking blood. The vamps no longer bite their victims in the neck, but instead they would eject it out of their victims with a syringe and then drink it out of wine glasses. The Countess jokes and says something like maybe one day they’ll make synthetic blood and then they could be law-abiding citizens and won’t have to kill anymore. Once I heard that, the HBO series, True Blood popped in my head, because in the series true blood is a drink that is synthetic blood created so vampires don’t have to kill and can live among the living.
Al Adamson, who mostly did movies for Independent International, directed Blood of Dracula’s Castle, but this was a Crown International film. Adamson’s movies are hit and miss for the most part, and unfortunately this is one of his misses. This film is another bomb from Crown and not really worth a look at all, unless you like bad cheesy films that are somewhat of a throwback to classic monster movies.