Thursday, June 29, 2017

Crónicas del horror español: Count Dracula's Great Love

Okay this week has been a bit crazy. Interview and Audio Review was awesome mind you. Again thank you Dustin for a stimulating take from fan to director. I have managed to let the week slip through my fingers that we may have a continuation to next week. Today's moving pictures hails from Spain via Javier Aguirre (Exosmois, Daphnis and Chloe, Acto de posesion, El consenso, Children's War, Los pajaritos and Voz) exploitation, drama and romance director extraordinaire and Spain's answer to Christopher Lee in how many horror films we can drag him into, actor Paul Naschy (The Mummy's Revenge, Vengeance of the Zombies, Night of the Werewolf, Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood, El lado oscuro, Rojo sangre, and Rottweiler) as we tackle the Lord of the Vampires and Prince of Darkness, Dracula. This is Count Dracula's Great Love a.k.a. Cemetery Tramps, Dracula's Virgin Lovers, The Great Love of Count Dracula and Cemetery Girls.

Hungry EeeYEeess...

Yup, it wouldn't be a seventies foriegn horror film without at least six alternative English titles. God bless them for it. Particularly curious on the Cemetery Tramps title. Were they really kicking that one around or was it just the working title?

Deep in the Carpathian Mountains, an eerie sanitarium looms over as two delivery men are off loading a large crate the size and shaped well enough to be a coffin in transit. The owner Dr. Marlow is now where to be found at the newly purchased wacko basket, the two men decide to raid the crate on the off chance it is filled with jewels and gold but more likely death. Ah I am familiar with this move from Dungeons & Dragons RPG games. It's were the party ignores the jewels and riches and heads right into the death. Poking around the pad of nutter one of the men is smacked in the face with an axe and the other gets fed on by a man in a black velvet cape. Boom! Go to opening credits! Now that's how you get a story going.

And now, another rousing game of Where's Karl's hand at.

Meantime, a stagecoach carrying four young women and one strapping lad (Cue Penthouse cheesy blues music) Karen (Haydee Politoff of The Collector, Queens of Evil, Interrabang, The Virgin of Bali, Chloe in the Afternoon and The 'Human' Factor), Senta (Rosanna Yanni of Kiss Me Monster, Sadist Erotica, Hunchback of the Morgue, Petra Delicado and First and Last Love), Marlene (Ingrid Garbo of Yo y las mujeres, Beunos dias, Acapulco, Maniac Mansion, Count Dracula's Great Love and Touch Me Not) and Elke (Mirta Miller of Ninas.... al salon, Pepito piscina, The Shark Hunter, Last Harem, El cepo, Bolero and Blockbuster) and randy lad or at least he should be, Imre Polvi (Victor Alcazar of Horror Rises from the Tomb, Hunchback of the Morgue, It Happened at Nightmare Inn, original Green Inferno, Vengeance of the Zombies, El espectro del terror and Earthquake in Chile) are all traveling along when their plot device um carriage wheel goes flying off at Borgo Pass, a region known for treacherous road. The the coach driver died after being hurled of his perch and the five of them must seek shelter and as luck would have it, a visible nuthouse not far from their previous peril. The five hoof it to sanitarium as it begins to thunder and rain down. Of course Dr. Marlow is a perfect host, inviting them in for food and shelter...maybe a midnight snack or two.

Last known picture of these character actors.

Yeah big spoiler, Marlow is Dracula. WHAT??!!! HOW DARE YOU, JAKE??!!! Yeah because none of you had clue one on this. Spare unto me. Please readers, I know how vast your intellect is or otherwise you would never be reading these fine quality reviews. So shockingly enough "Dr. Marlow proceeds to play hide and go suck with his guests building up an army of the undead to nip out and snag innocent virgins of the village with the exception of Karen. Dracula seeks to rebirth his lost daughter Radna in a blood ritual that will resurrect her from the darkness. Karen must be willingly become a bride of the undead and rule with Dracula for all eternity.

Naturally when you make vampiric tarts you chain them up in you dungeon. Them's the rules, people. So what else can we say about this film? Hmm well lot of whipping scenes, lesbian vampire scenes, plenty of topless scenes and ugh, seventies you can really drag those frames out let me tell you.

Will Karen be seduced by the dark side? Is Dracula into bigamy? What was the point of the ax to the head and stair falling scene five frickin' times in the opening credits?

Well the pacing is fair, the dubbing a bit off but nothing really horrible per say and if you needed a flick with jiggly girl vamps, you are in luck. Frankly at the end of the day this feels like someone wanting to make a fetish film but not ballsy enough for a solid R rating. Ranking under PG somehow it is nothing special. I liked a lot of the cinematography but Hammer does it better. 

Shot in this gorgeous location in Madrid called the Parque de El Capricho, where the Duchess Maria Josefa Pimentel  had constructed and preserved during her reign. It has a palace, a lakeside and even a maze leading to the bunker made during the Spanish Civil War where the dungeon was to be in the film. Also this huge iron bridge which was apparently the first of its kind in Spain.

Beautiful to look at but at the end of the day this genre has been done better.

Even in death this guy is still has chiseled good looks.