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Cinema/TV, Dracula, Film Notes

Your Daily Dracula – Las Alegres Vampiras de Vögel (1975)

Your Daily Dracula – Marqués de Toro as ‘Conde Erik Dracultre’, Las Alegres Vampiras de Vögel (1975)

Most Spanish vampire comedies – Un Vampiro para Dos (1965), El Jovecinto Dracula (1976), Bracula: Condemor II (1997) – parody American or British films; unusually, this pokes fun at the Spanish horror movies of the 1970s, with Gilberto Moreno as a comic variant on Paul Naschy’s well-meaning werewolf hero and even a cameo for a blundering Templar out of Amando de Ossorio’s Blind Dead series. The set-up riffs on Leon Klimovsky’s La orgia nocturno de los vampiros (1973) as a bus carrying Spanish entertainers through Transylvania breaks down near the vampire-haunted town of Vögel.  The unwary show folk stay overnight at the castle of ‘Conde Erik Dracultre’ (Marqués de Toro).  The Count, his son Otto (José Maria Tasso) and concubine Laura (Maria José Cantudo) prey on the troupe, who mostly get turned into vampires.  Meanwhile, back at the bus, driver Pietro (Moreno) tries to explain his curse – which manifests whenever the full moon comes from behind clouds but clears up when it disappears again.

The comedy is mostly of the running-around-going-eek variety, but there’s one funny routine where typically the gloomy goth bride of Dracula gets high on Spanish blood and does a spirited flamenco routine.  Cantudo, who’d been in the Naschy vehicle El espanto surge de la tumba, gives the best, wittiest performance here.  De Toro and (especially) Tasso overdo it, though their father-and-son vampires have unusual looks — de Toro’s Dracula figure has an ageing hippie Rasputin style.  It’s full of Benny Hill-style sauciness, with dancers running around the castle in underwear, but when it goes with sped-up motion as the vampirised mob pursue a surviving couple (top-billed Agata Lys and German Cobos) in the finale it’s almost properly nightmarish.  Written by Antonio Baylos and director Julio Pérez Taberno.

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