Blood for Dracula
Film: Blood for Dracula
Director: Paul Morrissey
Writer: Paul Morrissey
Starring: Joe Dallesandro, Udo Kier and Vittorio De Sica
This film begins in the Romanian castle of Count Dracula, who is played by Udo Kier. He is with his sister and his servant, who is played by Arno Juerging. Kier and his sister need the blood of a virgin in order to survive. They have not been able to feed recently and it has made them very weak. Juerging comes up with a plan that they go to England, France or Italy to find a ‘bride’ for Kier to gain his strength back. It appears in their area that there are no pure-blood virgins. Kier finally agrees to go to Italy.
They end up staying an inn and learn about a wealthy family that lives nearby. It appears that they have four unwed daughters and that they live in the ways of the Christian God. Juerging relays this information to Kier and states he will set it up to meet with them to find a bride.
The patriarch of the family is Vittorio De Sica. His wife is played by Maxime McKendry. We meet McKendry as she is sitting out on a patio with her eldest daughter, played by Milena Vukotic. We learn much later on that she is still a virgin and that she was engaged to be married, but it failed.
Out in the fields are the rest of the daughters. The next eldest is played by Dominique Darel and she is a free spirit. She immediately opens her top and exposes her breasts. She is really close to her sister, played by Stefania Casini. She is also a free-spirit, but able to reign it in more than her sister. She exposes one of her breasts. Finally there is the youngest, Silvia Dionisio. She tells them to stop what they are doing and yells so her mother can hear. She scolds them for acting so lewd.
While they are out in the fields, we see a worker of the estate walk up. He is played by Joe Dallesandro. He scolds Darel for the way she is acting and tells her to cover up as well.
We learn that this was once a proud and wealthy family, but Sica has lost much of their money due to gambling issues. They no longer have any servants and their estate is falling into disrepair. When Juerging shows up with the prospect of Kier marrying one of the daughters, McKendry is all for it and asks them to stay with them while Kier decides who he will marry. The big requirement is that the bride must be a virgin.
We soon learn that two of them are out of the question. Darel is in love with Dallesandro. Her and her sister Casini make love to him all of the time. He is vulgar and bitter about his position. He wants to marry one of the daughters, but I only believe he does, because he is below them in class. Dallesandro reads communist manifestos and believes a revolution will happen here like it did in Russia. He is also angry that he works so hard with nothing to show for it, while the aristocrats above him enjoy themselves. Dallesandro is not as innocent as he will lead everyone to believe.
Kier first meets with Darel. She brings up his special vegetarian meal and then he interrogates Darel about her purity. She contends up until Kier bites her neck that she is a virgin. We see what happens when Kier drinks blood that’s not pure as he becomes very ill. He vomits all of the blood up. Darel does not become a vampire, but she does become a servant to Kier.
We then get a scene where McKendry is upset with Darel, because she will not be his bride. Darel states that Kier knows she is not a virgin during their talk and McKendry is angry with her. It falls next on Casini to sway him. She is even worse than her sister. She sleeps with Dallesandro, but she also does not love him. She is lazy and just wants to marry a rich man who will spoil her. She tells Dallesandro that he is beneath her and that she is just enjoying life. She also talks about things with Dionisio that she is too young to hear and seems to be putting ideas in her head.
Casini does meet with Kier as well. He finds her beautiful and when he drinks her blood, he gets the same effect. This weakens him to the point where he needs to return to his castle in Romania. McKendry is very disappointed at the prospect of him leaving without a bride. Juerging does inquire about Dionisio, but learns she is too young.
The bitter Dallesandro knows there is something going on and he is the first to realize that Kier is a vampire. Will he be able to convince the family before it is too late? Can he stop Kier from taking Dionisio? Or will this family all fall a victim to Kier?
I have to say first off that this film isn’t all that bad. I unfortunately had a bad copy that kept messing up and the voices weren’t always synced with their mouths. With that said, this film is a pretty solid horror film that is more allegory of the society at the time. The film points out that society and its people are no longer pure. It states that it is only found in the most unlikely and the young. It also shows that good and bad can corrupt, as that is what both Kier and Dallesandro do in this film. It brings up the idea of the class system and how those that are oppressed want to rise up and how delusional the class above them is. This is something that still is an issue to this day. I found the story to be a little bit boring, but the acting surprisingly was pretty solid. I thought Kier played a great, sickly vampire. This film has the vampires that are normal like humans, they do not like the sun, religion annoys them, and they have to drink pure blood only and can eat certain foods as well. Dallesandro was pretty good as the communist worker, anti-hero. He does some bad things in this film to get back at the class above him and I feel that makes his character more enjoyable.
The first thing is that I didn’t like the copy I watched, but I won’t hold that against this film. I also felt not a lot happened and a lot it was the characters telling us their lines. I felt more showing than talking would have been nice, but I also see there were some restraints from being able to do that. A lot of it was the characters explaining themselves and it had to be done the way the film has it. I also didn’t care for the ending of how Kier meets his end. I felt it was out of context for this film. There was a lot of sexual vividness, but nothing violent. The ending goes really violent out of nowhere and I thought it was a bit out of place.
With that said, I thought this was a solid take on Dracula. It is much different from other versions. This one is definitely an art film, so if you do not like those, I would avoid this one. If you can get past that, this has some pretty good acting, a decent story, but it is a good allegory for society at the time. Some of the issues actually are still relevant today. Not the best Dracula version out there, but different so that makes it enjoyable. If this sounds good I would give it a chance. If not, I would avoid giving this one a viewing then.
My Rating: 6 out of 10