Friday, December 19, 2008

Dracula's Great Love [El Gran amor del conde Drácula]

Javier Aguirre | 1972 | 85 mins | Spain

It's hard to say what you see more of in Dracula's Great Love, boobs or candelabras. But the combination of the two definitely sets the tone of the film - gloomy, gothic, brimming with forbidden desire.

I thought this was going to be a very different kind of movie during the opening credits, which repeat a sequence of a man falling down some stairs in slow motion about 20 times. The sequence became so abstract and near psychedelic by about the 15th repetition that I wondered if the film itself would get all kooky and trippy with ye olde dracula. In fact, even though there's more sex in this than in the average Hammer film, it otherwise feels quite the same.

Four young women are stranded when their carriage loses a wheel (and a driver) on an isolated patch of woodsy road, and are forced to stay the night at the deserted and spooky old sanatorium where a young, handsome-but-strange doctor lives. One by one, they fall for the doctor and meet their inevitable fate: becoming hot vampire bitches.

A trio of vampire babes go on a rampage around town, capturing young maidens for the doctor, while he earnestly attempts to woo the final (and most innocent) of the girls. His ultimate goal is to enact some ancient ritual in order to revive his long-dead daughter, who is buried in a tomb under the sanatorium. But love might just make him rethink his priorities!

Paul Naschy is the sensitive doctor, perhaps the most Emo Dracula ever to grace the screen. His shocking finale in this film is touching enough to make you believe in love again.


Why said...

Probably the most improvised final 20 minutes of a film I've ever seen.

aaron said...

It's worth noting that this movie probably plays faster and looser with vampire lore than perhaps any other vampire film. For a while I assumed scenes were being poorly shot as day-for-night, but it soon became clear that no, those vampires just enjoyed going for strolls at high noon.