Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Erotic Rites of Countess Dracula – review


Director: Donald F Glut

Release date: 2001

Contains spoilers

I deliberated over whether to look at the Donald F Glut vampire films. A veteran writer of some iconic cartoon series he has penned and directed several vampire films, of which this is the earliest (that I own at least).

The thing is this isn’t quite sleazy enough to be sexploitation, it has some softcore sex and stripping but not enough (nor explicit enough) to fall into the pornography category and it has a story, but quite a flimsy one. It is definitely B movie material (probably lower than a B). Eventually I decided we would have to look at Glut’s work.

gothic decor
The film begins with a view of a castle and an interior that is really quite gothic and shows some nice camera work. This eventually gives way to a naked woman, Scarlett (Brick Randall), being fondled by three naked vampires. A voice, that of Renfield (Del Howison, Blood Slaves of the Vampire Wolf), begs forgiveness from the mistress and explains that he did it all for her.

eye mojo
Cut back to the 1960s and Scarlet is a singer/guitarist who wants to make it big and is about to cut a record, with the help of Skyler (Luther Robinson). She goes in the studio but has lost her lucky pendant (a peace sign). She goes out to look for it and hears dogs barking. A man approaches and says he is an admirer. He flashes some eye – though given her reaction it seemed very low on mojo!

William Smith as Dracula
It is of course Count Dracula (William Smith, Grave of the Vampire) – though perhaps owing more to the Jack Palance model than any other. He flashes fang and she holds up the peace sign, which he moves – unaffected – and bites her, enough to make her a vampire (in this it seems that a shallow feed will not turn). He then instructs Renfield to serve her as the Renfield family have always served Dracula and buggers off to Transylvania. Before he goes he says he will return eventually and might change his name. Renfield suggests Alucard!

the amqazing reappearing robe
The next night Scarlett wakes in her coffin. Renfield is on hand to offer his blood but has to stop her taking too much and the thirst feels unbearable. She goes to the recording studio and strips for Skyler. As he comes to her, her eyes flash and she picks him by the throat (in a shot where, for a moment, her robe mysteriously appears on her again). She feeds but, mercifully, not too much. He will have no memory of the attack. She decides that there has to be another way.

modern Renfield
Cut to now and she runs a private members nightclub called The Scarlett Countess. She has lived since that first night on blood packs. It is too much finally and she decides that, in the morning, Renfield must finish her. Her gets a stake and mallet but can’t do it. Instead he goes to an occult/goth bookshop run by Shado (Julia Anna Thurman) and finds an old tome that indicates a vampire can be become mortal again if three virgins offer themselves willingly to the vampire in one night. Of course, as Scarlett points out, where in LA would they find three virgins in a year, never mind a night? However, the search is on. Even if they find them, could there be a side effect to the cure?

fangs and blood
This was pap, but it was pap with softcore lesbian scenes, plus a striptease when Scarlet daydreams about a woman. There is a really crap animated bat that doesn’t bear thinking about. The acting is, well, sub-par but nothing is too offensive either. The plot is thin based around the new piece of lore mentioned. Three virgins is quite a step up from Vampire in Venice which had only one needed to break the curse.

We see that staking would be an option for killing a vampire, they have no reflections and holy objects burn – Scarlett turns a bible over in a hotel room to make it less offensive and, in a nice moment, her fingers smoke on contact. Not great but I have seen much, much worse. 2.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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