Cinema/TV, Dracula, Film Notes

Your Daily Dracula – La Dinastía di Dracula (Dynasty of Dracula) (1978)

Your Daily Dracula – Roberto Nelson, La Dinastía di Dracula (Dynasty of Dracula) (1978)

A tired little Mexican vampire movie.  In a 16th Century prologue reminiscent of several Paul Naschy films, Gilles de Rais-type Satanist Antonio de Orloff (Kleomenes Stamatiades) is staked by the Inquisition near the Convent of Five Moors.  Madame Kostoff (Erika Carlson), the villain’s girlfriend, vows to bring him back.  Three hundred years later, de Orloff’s better-behaved descendants own the property.  Baron Van Helsing (Roberto Nelson) arrives from Europe and tries and buy the estate.  Along with the traditional tux and cape, the Baron has a remarkable Elvis ‘do with attached sideburns and huge fangs.  Dr Fuentes (Fabián), fiancé of heroine Beatriz (Silvia Manriquez), instantly pegs him as a descendant of Dracula.

Unusually, the film’s Dracula (we never find out his real name or relationship to the famous vampire) is less important than de Orloff and his witch sidekick.  The Baron claims the usual bunch of victims (‘snakes don’t drink blood’) on the side but spends most of his time working towards de Orloff’s Walpurgisnacht resurrection.  Dr Fuentes teams up with a priest (José Najera) — the man of science has to convince the man of faith vampires are at work — to defeat the evil.  The ‘Lucy’ figure is Beatriz’s mother Doña Remedios (Magda Guzmán), who is vampirised and converted to the Baron’s cause but gets staked and has her mouth stuffed with garlic (a rarely filmed Stoker lick).  Finally, de Orloff briefly returns from the dead in a cavern and the heroes see off the villains with a lot of fire.

Poorly directed by Alfredo B. Crevenna (Bring Me the Vampire), it deploys elementary special effects when the vampire suddenly appears or the witch turns into a dog.  Single-named Fabián is the Mexican actor Fabián Aranza, not the American pop singer Fabian Forte.  Nelson, bare-chested in his final face-off with the priest, is an ineffectual pantomime Drac, snarling and hissing for the kiddies.

Extract from Kim Newman’s Video Dungeon.


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