Monday, June 09, 2008

Dracula blows his Cool – review

Directed by: Carl Schenkel

Release date: 1979

Contains spoilers

Dracula Blows his cool is, allegedly, a sex comedy. I say allegedly as, despite a huge amount of nudity and sexual reference, there is little sex on offer and barely any comedy what-so-ever. It is seaside postcard level at best but it has vampires and thus, as always, I feel a compulsion to sit through it and make little notes as I go along so that I can bring my thoughts to you, good reader of the blog.

Also, as often happens, the name of Dracula is being used in vain. Whilst Dracula is mentioned, in the dubbed version at least, our vampire is identified as one Count Stanislaus (Gianni Garko) – erstwhile of Transylvania and currently living in the crypt of a family castle somewhere (presumably Austria as that was the filming location).

The film starts off in a Doctor’s office where the Burgermeister (Alexander Grill) is giving blood. For some reason Mrs Nutcracker (Ellen Umlauf) is acting as nurse, I say for some reason as she also appears to be the teacher for the village. A man, later identified as Boris (Ralf Wolter), is lurking and steals two jars of blood. It seems this is not the first case of bloodnapping.

We see two hooded figures creeping towards a castle and also some torture involving scantily clad women on another, equally undressed woman. Mrs Nutcracker is one of the hooded intruders and sees the ‘ritual’. She then finds a statue of a phallus and takes it as evidence. This leads to a series of (to be honest) stale jokes involving hiding the phallus up her skirt and a switcheroo that leads to the phallus being given as a 100th birthday present.

Anyway, the ‘ritual’ is actually a photo shoot. You see Stan (Gianni Garko, again) is the son of the castle’s current owner and the castle is in danger of repossession. Therefore he has set up two things. One is the Dracula Disco, hoping to make money from some of the worst excesses of pop music, and the other is glamour photography. The lead model, Linda (Linda Grondier), is his girlfriend.

What he doesn’t know is that his ancestors, Stanislaus and Olivia (Betty Vergès), are down in the crypt. They have promised not to enter the upper castle so long as Boris keeps them supplied with blood. Fate conspires to prevent this and with a disco full of young people upstairs they are soon spooking around the guests.

A lot of the film’s plot is based around mistaken identity as Stan and his ancestor look the same. Well not at first, as Stanislaus and Olivia look rather crusty at first. However, a quick makeover each and they are at their glamorous best. Being given fang is the order of the day and is, quite obviously, a reference to sex – though there is plenty of allusions to that as well.

There is a little sequence with Olivia failing to understand the modern world. She drinks paint thinking it to be blood (because, of course, it wasn’t invented when she was a girl!) There is also a scene with her seeing a TV, thinking the characters on it are real (as you would, not), biting the screen and causing it to blow up. However she is soon in the swing of things.

We get vampire hunters. Stan’s brother becomes a self-styled vampire hunter but, to be honest, is somewhat of a failure. He, like so many who become hunters in vampire movies, starts researching his quarry, but relies on a Vampirella comic. At least he is hunting the real deal.

Mrs Nutcracker is related to Van Helsing, but she mistakenly believes Stan to be the centuries old vampire (despite having been his teacher when he was a child). Their confrontation was meant, I am sure, to be a highlight of the comedy. However the way the line “Turn to sh*t Satan”, came across was more crass than anything else. When the cross doesn’t work on Stan she decides it must be defective.

Whilst the film missed the mark severely there was one interesting moment of social satire when Stan discovers the truth and uses the vampires as a tourist lure, turning the castle into a hotel and having people pay to be bitten. It took the vampires and made them the victim of the socio-political vampirism of capitalism. There is even a line about if they had a vampire union they could collective bargain better terms and conditions. It was, however, too little too late.

In tone I was reminded both of The Vampire Happening and the following year’s Mama Dracula. Thankfully this was nowhere near as bad as Mama Dracula. Unluckily it was at about the same level and quality as The Vampire Happening.

However, as I mentioned, it did have a lot of naked female flesh – if you like that sort of thing, which admittedly I do.

2.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.


mice said...

I've seen this before and I actually thought it was funny and cool in a weird way.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

fair play Mice, we each get our own things out of movies - not my cup of tea at all.

Nice to hear from you

Chick Young said...

Your advice is as usual Taliesin sound and I feel that this film is probably shite, but damn you for those stills! While I think it will probably be an utter waste of time, the stills you grabbed have totally got my attention. Especially the one where the man's got the Vampirella magazine (of which, I've always been a big fan). I'll go in with MIGHTY low expectations then and hope there's SOME eye candy - because the stills you grabbed have grabbed me!

Taliesin_ttlg said...


Chick, I'll not be held responsible ;) Going in with a low expectation would be a wise thing to do, however, imho