Monday, August 16, 2010

Blood Scarab – review

Director: Donald F Glut

Release date: 2008

Contains spoilers

More vampire madness from Donald F Glut, hot on the heels of The Erotic Rites of Countess Dracula and Countess Dracula’s Orgy of Blood. Once more a genre staple is used. In this case Erzsébet Báthory, anglicized to Elizabeth Bathory (Monique Parent, Blood Thirsty). A blurb at the head of the film suggests this is based on a true story, then explains that it is historical fact that Bathory killed 300 women (though, to be honest, the jury is out on that one) and the rest is speculation.

The speculation includes the idea that Vlad Dracula (reprised by Tony Clay) decide to merge the bloodlines and married Elizabeth – so actually using the “Countess Dracula” label with this movie would have been accurate for once! Anyway as the film starts Elizabeth arrives at the (Los Angeles) castle but cannot find Vlad anywhere.

the Mummy awakens
Meanwhile, over in a museum the Egyptologist Professor Foran (Brinke Stevens; Vampires Vs Zombies, Skeleton Key and Expendable) is working late. A mummy’s sarcophagus opens and the mummy (Bruce Barlow, Waxwork) comes to life. As it leaves the room alarms go off and Foran only finds a discarded piece of wrapping. Glut has done several mummy films as well as the vampire films and this sees a merging of those ‘franchises’.

Dracula flashes his eyes
Back to the vampires and Vlad had taken crap bat form and flown to watch the maidens Tanya (Cindy Pucci – a veteran of Glut’s previous mummy film) and the vampire obsessed Sarah who has changed her name to Mina (Natasha Diakova). Renfield (reprised by Del Howison) warns him of the impending sunrise but is sent away and so chases after fireflies. Perhaps if Dracula showed more sense he wouldn’t wear the dead weasel on his upper lip!

caught in the sun
As it is the sun begins to rise and he has to have Renfield drive him home at full speed. He gets to the castle door just a little too late and begins to fry. Next thing you know Dracula is nothing but a pile of ashes that Renfield dutifully brushes up and pours into a wee diddy coffin before burying in the garden. Bathory is a widow.

Bathory after Mina
The next night she takes over where Dracula left off and picks up Mina (Tanya is out for the night). There is a little bit of nude frolicking (this film actually tones the sex scenes down a lot compared to its predecessors) and a bite and then the same sunrise issue. However Renfield gets the Countess back just in time. She orders him to immediately find her a way to be able to go out into the sun.

sucking Ka
The means to achieve this eventually takes the form of the mummy, now inert again. Elizabeth passes her blood into its mouth, dedicated to Hathor (Angelica Monro), and summons the Goddess. The Goddess tells her how she may become a daywalker without losing her undead powers. She must dedicate herself to the Egyptian Gods and then feed on three maidens. She should not kill them but end the feed with a kiss, sucking up their ka (or lifeforce component of the soul) and making them her handmaidens. She will continue to feed off them until her body knows it can enter the sunlight.

recieving the gift of Hathor
That is all well and good but can Bathory be trusted and what will happen to Renfield when she no longer needs a daylight guardian?

There is not a lot of lore in this that differs from the other two films beyond the Egyptian additions I just mentioned. Interestingly Bathory becomes immune to the effects of the cross as she has dedicated herself to an older religion and thus the trappings of Christianity mean nothing to her.

Del Howison as Renfield
The film, like the others, looks better than it should and Glut cut down on the sex for sex’s sake. Clay is miscast as Dracula but Howison has grown on me as Renfield and his role is meatier in this than the last. Acting is not, however, a major prerequisite of this. Tanya has a flashback that seemed to be imported for the mummy movies (I haven’t watched them) and there is an Egypt flashback that possibly was from one of the earlier films.

showing fang
The film has a very unusual staking but I don’t want to spoil it. All in all a B movie, but the shame is that the story itself might have been tweaked to something a little more impressive than what we actually got as vampire/mummy monster mashes are not as common as perhaps piting the vampire against other movie monsters. 3 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.


Scare Sarah said...

How effing awesome does this look? Some nice pictures too...

Taliesin_ttlg said...

If you watch it, just wait for the staking!