In the 1970s, a decade which seems to be dragging on forever in many cultures, the Hungarian Secret Police are ordered by the Soviets to keep tabs on Fábián (Zsolt Nagy), Hungarian hero of the Cuban Revolution, who has just come back to Hungary after some decades away and doesn’t look any older than when he left. Presuming Fábián has an anti-ageing secret, the Russians want it to keep Leonid Brezhnev alive forever.
Assigned to the gig are Mária (Lili Walters) and László (Ervin Nagy), secret agents who are also a (stale) couple. László, known throughout his apartment building for loud but brief lovemaking, seethes when Mária is instructed in seduction techniques to get close to the target. The spies find Fábián at a blood drive for Hungary’s communist allies in North Vietnam, and start noticing telltales – he tops up his fizzy raspberry drink bottle with donor blood, has a magnetic attraction for women, doesn’t go out in the day, has allergies to garlic in goulash and religious objects – which suggest, after consulting some handy books and a viewing of Blacula, the reason why Fábián still looks young. He also drives a really cool red sports car and has some splendid dance movies, which more than explains why Mária is drawn to him.
Written and directed by Márk Bodzsár, Drakulics Elvtárs isn’t that interested in its vampire theme – Fábián could be a glamorous American spy and the plot mechanics would still work. It has its slapstick elements – garlic grenades – but is mostly a wry comedy about what a useless plonker László is and why the more stylish Mária would want to get away from him and hook up with a non-evil undead bloodsucker. The strongest thing about it is the art direction/costuming/cinematography, which revel in the earth tones, wood veneer, reel-to-reel surveillance tape, porn moustaches, beehive hairdos, communist singalongs, government bureaucracy and drabness of the Warsaw Pact era, acknowledging that things were terrible but in a wry, comic way.