31 Days of Horror 2016, Day 15: Blood for Dracula (1974)

Incredible.

Udo Kier may not be the most imposing vampire, but he definitely has the wide eyed stare down to an art. In Blood for Dracula, Udo and his thick German accent go on the hunt for “wergans”, the blood of which are the driving force of his survival. This journey is a cacophony of mismatched accents and sexual promiscuity among Dracula’s potential suitors. Seriously, we see the girls for what they really are: young women who have a refreshing lack of modesty and a soft spot for a certain rough and tumble hired hand with an unexplained New York affectation. These inconsistencies and intentional over-acting are what make the film so charming, I think. The movie is visually stunning in the way vampire movies so often are, but without these “errors” I do not think the spectacle would stand on its own. Then again, this film does provide a number of compelling screenshots, so perhaps I’m wrong. In fact, there are several moments in the film that look more like a painting than live action footage, most of which feature Dracula suffering an allergic reaction of sorts, to tainted blood; a conflict which causes our vampire to cry out “the blood of these whores is killing me!” What follows these anaphalactic episodes must be the most entertaining barf scenes I have had the pleasure of viewing. In particular, Kier’s wild bout of hacking into a porcelain bathtub is so exhaggerated and goes on for so long, that it resurrects visions of Looney Tunes characters playing possum. It’s nearly slapstick humor. Meanwhile the girls of house Fiore fall under the vampire’s thrall in spite of their initial disinterest in him as a suitor.I don’t have any real complaints about this film. I hate to spoil it for any of you who may give it a shot, but I will tell you that the ending is sure to tug your face muscles up into a smile. I now fully intend to see the other horror collaboration between Warhol and Morrissey, Flesh for Frankenstein, in the near future.

Challenge Fulfilled: Vampires!

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