Blood of Dracula (1957)

Blood of Dracula PosterNancy Perkins is your standard teenage hothead with the expected stepmother issues, giving her much put upon father a bunch of lip just because he’s moved on with his life after the death of her mother. And despite it being six long weeks since they planted Mom’s dead ass in the ground! Good gravy, Nancy! Do you expect your old man to be a monk the rest of his life?

Nancy is a proactive sort of delinquent though, demonstrating some real ambition when she grabs the wheel and tries to wreck the car while her parents are driving her to her new home at the lovely Sherwood School For Gals Permanently On The Rag.

Should we condemn her parents for abdicating their responsibilities just because there’s some rough waters in their newly blended family? Wouldn’t we expect her father to be the least bit understanding of his little girl’s anger and confusion about the passing and apparent replacement of her beloved mother?

Um, no. Dad has a honeymoon to get to! You can’t expect a guy who couldn’t last six weeks without a slice to put his honeymoon off just because dear old daughter has her training bra in a twist over his skank bride, can you?

Really though, between the slutty classmates she’ll hang out with and the man-hating lesbo teachers who populate the faculty, Nancy ought to turn out just fine. Why, she wasn’t at the school one night before she got into her first 5 on 1 catfight!

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You can make fun of Nancy’s clothes. You can eat her chocolates. You can even steal her cigarettes. But just like tugging on Superman’s cape, the one thing you do not do to Nancy is steal the framed photo of her boytoy Glenn! That’s the sort of dirty pool that gets a bitch her hair tore out by the roots! Damn, girlfriend is whack!

By now, you’re surely wondering what any of this has to do with Dracula or his grody blood. What you need to do is go watch I Was A Teenage Werewolf. Now, replace Michael Landon with Nancy Perkins and the werewolf with Dracula. Congratulations! You just sat through Blood of Dracula! It sure didn’t seem like 70 minutes of bloodsucking girls’ school mayhem, did it?

From the same producer and writer who also gave us I Was A Teenage Werewolf and I Was A Teenage Frankenstein, Blood of Dracula was clearly meant to be I Was A Teenage Dracula’s Daughter, but some Brainiac dropped the ball and came up with the very bland title we have here today.

Don’t let the wimpy title spoil your enjoyment of the movie though. There’s a lot of really good stuff for folks with a high tolerance for boring set up material, insipid dialogue, and an abominable lack of vampire action!

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First and foremost of course is the mad scientist in charge of getting the vampire action rolling. While those other teenybopper monster mash ups were content to keep Whit Bissell on salary for the role, Blood of Dracula goes with the middle-aged, short haired, and very single female chemistry teacher who is dead set on showing all those men who keep rejecting her thesis how wrong they are!

After hearing her plan for unleashing the hidden monster in some student as a way to get the world’s scientists to stop researching advances that could lead to destructive weapons, you’ll spend most of the movie trying to answer one question: Was this particular scheme measurably more idiotic than the one Whit hatched in I Was A Teenage Werewolf where he was going to revert man to his primitive state so the world would somehow start over?

The old maid chem teacher does take it to the next level compared to Whit though when it comes to creating her monster. Whit got his teenage werewolf by injecting some jungle juice or whatever into his boy delinquent. Old Maid creates her teenage vampire by using a very special amulet she got from deep in the Carpathian Mountains!

Guess what is bordered by the Carpathians? Transylvania! And well all know what Transylvania is famed for – rich mineral deposits, its timber industry, textiles, and wine making! And also vampires!

So just how does our little lady bloodsucker stack up against the Highway to Heaven Wolf Man and Teenage Frankenstein? Well, Teenage Werewolf looked pretty snazzy in his satin jacket and his make up was so classic, many might know it more than Lon Chaney’s, Jr. Wolf Man.

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Teenage Frankenstein of course looked like someone gave him a facelift with the business end of an ax – at least until they sewed Gerry Conway’s face onto him. Then he looked pretty sweet! Some might say that Nancy Perkins doesn’t fare too well. Some, but not me!

When she goes over the edge and gets that patented time-elapsed make-up job, she acquires a nasty set of dentures, her nose seems to get a little more piggish, she gets wooly-bear caterpillars pasted onto her eyebrows, acquires a Bela Lugosi hairline and tops it all off with Spock ears! Tell me that isn’t a monster’s monster!

I think that’s a lot more transforming than we probably have any right to expect. Most vampires just get some fangs and a little pale. Whatever. How scary is that? Nancy ends up looking like she was a gal from someplace in Europe like England or France! Now that is scary!

It’s all by the numbers as soon as she becomes a vampire. She knocks off a couple of classmates, stumps the police (except for the young doctor who immediately remembers that his roommate in med school was from the Carpathian Mountains and always prattled on about vampires), and ends up in a fight to the death with her chem teacher. (Talk about wish fulfillment for lots of us in the audience! I had a zit-riddled physics teacher I would have loved to take on in Thunderdome!)

Half female juvenile delinquent movie, half warmed over American International Pictures teenage monster movie, and all out winner!

© 2014 MonsterHunter

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