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Billy the Kid versus Dracula

USA 1966
produced by
Carroll Case, Howard W. Koch for Circle Productions
directed by William Beaudine
starring John Carradine, Chuck Courtney, Melinda Plowman, Virginia Christine, Walter Janovitz, Bing Russell, Olive Carey, Roy Barcroft, Hannie Landman, Richard Reeves, Marjorie Bennett, William Forrest, George Cisar, Harry Carey jr, Leonard P.Geer, William Challee, Charlita, Max Kleven, Jack Williams
written by Carl K.Hittleman, music by Raoul Kraushaar

Dracula, Billy the Kid, Dracula (John Carradine)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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On a trip to the American West, Count Dracula (John Carradine) falls head over heels in love with a photograph Betty (Melinda Plowman) - so he kills her mother (Marjorie Bennett) and her uncle she has never seen (William Forest), who happen to travel on an all-night stagecoach with him and assumes the identity of the uncle to meet the girl and move into her home.

Dracula has soon convinced the girl that he really is her uncle and after the death of her mother also her guardian, but her fiancé is not so easily convinced, and her fiancé is no other than Billy the Kid (Chuck Courtney), who has left his outlaw days behind him zthough and has since become Betty's ranch's foreman. Billy's suspicion concerning the Count are only fuelled by two German immigrants (Virginia Christine, Walter Janovitz), who have just lost their daughter (Hannie Landman) to a vampire, and who have since found employ in Betty's household. It doesn't take them long to come to the conclusion that Dracula is actually a vampire and the one who has killed their girl, too. Billy believes them soon enough, but it's impossible to convince Betty, who thinks all of this is supernatural mumbo-jumbo.

Billy's main rival for his job as foreman and for the affections of Betty, Dan Thorpe (Bing Russell), sees Dracula's arrival as a chance to get rid of Billy, teams up with the vampire and convinces him to let him drive Billy our of town. When he tries to though, Billy shoots Dan in self-defense, then rushes to Betty's rescue, who has been bitten half to death by Dracula. Billy gets her to the local Doctor (Olive Carey) just in time, then though he is arrested for shooting Dan. Dracula isn't one to let Betty go that easily though, so he snatches her back from the Doctor to take her to the caves he has chosen as the new home for himself and his bride (though heaven knows why he wants to live in a cave instead of Betty's house). The Doctor though has read up on vampires, frees Billy from jail, and together they go vampire-hunting - and in the finale, Dracula gets staked once again, as was to be expected.

 

The title alone, Billy the Kid versus Dracula, promises a laugh riot, and that veteran Dracula John Carradine is in it doesn't exactly hurt either, now does it?

Problem is, while all of this sounds great in concept, the film as such isn't, it's a rather dull Western with clumsily attached and badly executed horror elements, a film that's blandly directed, atmosphere-free, and in which even John Carradine gives a tired performance.

In all, pretty much a disappointment. Sure, it's a bad film, as much was to be expected even from the title, but it's not of the so bad it's good-kind many of us have hoped for.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD