My notes on Mistress’s of Dracula (1974, 2014)
Either a long short or a short feature (at 48 minutes), this is a cobbled-together completion of a feature-length amateur film mostly shot (on film) in 1974, with major unfilmed sequences covered by long captions and a coda shot (on video) by original director Ted DiPaolo in 2014 that finds an unnaturally aged Dr Van Helsing (DiPaolo) facing off against an airbrushed clip art vampiress in the bayous. In the original film, several sweaty guys with moustaches and eye-abusing shirts get angry when their wives are drawn into the orbit of a cloaked, bearded, jokeshop-fanged Dracula. Dr Van Helsing is introduced shirtless and drunk playing cards with lowlifes, while the normal quartet had their Monopoly session interrupted by Madame Laveau (Katrina Groover), a ‘voodooienne’ who prophesies doom and is secretly working for Dracula (Joe Durkin). A few scenes feature vampire action in the woods and there are some quite ambitious effects for a no-money effort. Still, a lot of flubs and flaws – including the awkward title – are left in. The 2014 redo adds subtitles and music. I have to admire DiPaolo for getting this thing finished, though – his oeuvre extends to Rasputin (2013), with Durkin copping that Christopher Lee role too.
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