Cinema/TV, Dracula, Film Notes

Your Daily Dracula – Sergio Madureira as Vladimir Vladislav, Newton Couto as El Conde, Banquete de Taras (1982)

Your Daily Dracula – Sergio Madureira as Vladimir Vladislav, Newton Couto as El Conde, Banquete de Taras (1982)

One online source prissily translates the title of this Brazilian horror-sex movie as Dinner of Sexual Desires.  It’s a sort-of vampire movie which seems to be heavily influenced by the Mike Raven vehicle Crucible of Terror – not a film many other films would go out of their way to remind you of.

Gregor Nastase (Jotta Barroso), a diminutive creepy guy, travels from Tranyslvania to Brazil – amusing himself on a coach by demonstrating his hypnotic power by making a sleeping woman masturbate – to the mansion of Vladimir Vladislav (Sergio Madureira), a descendent of Count Dracula who is also a sculptor.  Vladimir has the usual lumbering, bald hunchbacked minion and a big portrait of ‘el Conde’ (Newton Couto) over his mantelpiece.  Nastase – presumably the only Romanian name writer-director Carlos Alberto Almeida could think of – uses his powers to make the portrait come to life (or seem to come to life) so Dracula can do leering double takes whenever there’s any action in the big front room.  It’s sort of a comedy idea, but the film is rather solemn.  In the style of those Italian gothics of the early 1960s, a carload of fashion models (Bianca Blonde, Kelly Berg, Christina Keller, Sonia Bruna) are summoned from Rio de Janiero to the estate and put under the fluence.  This means they frolic naked with each other in a big fountain or dance sexily while eating fruit at the banquet table of the title, then one by one drift downstairs in see-through nighties to have sort of sex with Vladimir, who stabs them, drinks their blood from a chalice and coats them in plaster for the minions to put on pedestals in the garden.

Hardboiled, square-jawed, grinning Inspector Peri (Edson Heath) – whose hetero macho lifestyle contrasts with the perviness of the decadent Dracula offspring – and his sidekick (Edmundo Telles) set out to find the missing girls, and it all ends in the garden, rather anticlimactically, as a drop of blood gives the game away.  I saw it in unsubtitled Portuguese, so I’m not sure whether Vladimir is supposed to be a real vampire or (as he seems to say) an impotent psychopath.  The focus of the film is on the minion Nastase rather than the master, who dons a scarlet-lined cape for ceremonial sex/blood rites, and there are recognisable chunks of Bram Stoker in the dialogue plus a patchwork score from Ravel, Ray Parker Jr, Rick Wakeman, Pink Floyd and Bernard Herrmann (whose agents or estates probably never heard of the film).  There’s an even more obscure midget-themed porn parody As Taras do Mini-Vampiro (1987).


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