Cinema/TV, Dracula, Film Notes

Your Daily Dracula – Maximillian Grabinger as Max Dracula, Dracula in Vegas (1999)

Your Daily Dracula – Maximillian Grabinger as Max Dracula, Dracula in Vegas (1999)

Director-writer Nick Millard is also, under various pseudonyms, a maker of nudie/porno movies from 1963 to the 1970s, then turned to cheap horror pictures, including the Criminally Insane and Death Nurse series and Doctor Bloodbath (as Nick Philips) and Satan’s Black Wedding (as Philip Miller).  Using his real name for a change, he wrote and directed this barely-over-an-hour-and-be-thankful-for-it shot-on-video quickie – which as a step up from Ray Dennis Steckler’s Vegas-made horrors, but still pretty ropey.

Eager to explore higher education, fresh-faced and heavily-accented Max (Maximillian Grabinger), scion of the Dracula family, gets offers from Harvard, Yale and UNLV – only for his father (Sam Gartner) to insist he reject the Ivy Leagues and head for Vegas because it’s full of pretty nexk showgirls and gold-diggers … while his mother (Flora Myers, aka Frances Millard, aka the director’s Mom) warns him about whores with AIDS and suggests he only go out with girls under the age of fourteen.  Luckily, that’s not the direction the film goes in – Max arrives in Las Vegas, where you can play slot machines in the airport while waiting for your baggage, and settles into college life.  He is taken with nice girl Christine (April Leigh), which means he neglects the neck-biting – though we get some scenes of him sinking jokestore fangs into initially reluctant, eventually willing victims, with the peculiar frill that his mouth is always bloody before he bites.  Besides those plastic fangs, the major budget expenditure must have been laundering the t-shirts that get dribbled on.

Even at this running time, it’s padded – with a cameo for Uncle Felonious (Perry Todd), who makes ‘art movies’ (an inexplicit clip from one of Millard’s old pornos shows up), and Grabinger appearing in shades and red lipstick as the ghost of a vampire who got staked after making the mistakes Max is making.  There’s a punchline, but the setup is so bungled it barely registers – let alone as a twist.  Frances Millard is the best thing in it – as a John Waters sort of character, though quite a bit of her AIDS-phobic ranting is more uncomfortable than funny.  Production values are below minimal.


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