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Imre (Victor Alcázar) travels the Romanian countryside with four
lovely girls, his girlfriend Marlene (Ingrid Garbo), promiscuous Elke
(Mirta Miller), Senta (Rosanna Yanni) and virginal Karen (Haydée
Politoff), when all of a sudden their coach breaks down next
to what used to be Castle Dracula, but has since been used as an insane
asylum before being taken over by doctor Marlowe (Paul Naschy), a
scientist dedicated to research. Marlowe quickly welcomes the five of them
into his mansion as his guests ... for quite some time, as it turns out,
because Marlowe doesn't have wheels of his own, and his next supply coach
won't arrive until a week from now. Still, Marlowe is the perfect host,
and all four girls are soon interested in him. There's just one problem,
Marlowe is also Dracula the vampire, and to come to full power he has to
seduce a virgin without the use of his supernatural powers, shag her
without drawing her blood, then sacrifice her in a special ceremony to
resurrect his beloved sister. There is another problem, too, besides
Dracula, who refrains from blood-drinking for now, there are other
vampires in the mansion, and soon enough, Imre, Marlene and Senta are
gone, only to return later as vampires.
Dracula's charms soon work on
Elke, but when he beds her he has to find out she's a virgin no more.
Soon, she too is taken by the other vampires and turned into one of them
Karen doesn't seem to mind too much that her companions are all
gone, and she and Dracula, who protects her from the other vampires (the
vampires are another thing she doesn't care about too much), soon fall in
love. Eventually, Dracula manages to bed her without sucking her blood,
and with that achieved, he prepares her for sacrifice - but ultimately
realizes he cannot give her up even for his sister because he loves her to
much. So he gets rid of all his vampire friends, sinks his sister's coffin
in a nearby pond, then tries to persuade Karen to let him suck her blood
to become one of his kind - but when she refuses, he stakes himself - not
a death he dies too often in other movies, now is it?
horror that's neither as good (as in so-bad-it's-good) nor as bad (as it
that's bullshit) as you might suspect it to be:
- Paul Naschy, then still at the beginning of his career and then
rather wooden almost by definition, does not completely screw up his
role. True, he's not a great Dracula, but he's not completely useless
as well. (I simply have to add here: Naschy has become a great actor
later in his career, just not yet in 1972.)
- The film has not simply become a sex-and-gore flick, there is an
actual story attached to the nudity and violence going on, anmd one
that features quite a few unusual plottwists, including Dracula's
suicide at the end.
- The story of the film is also one of its problems though: Too much
emphasis is put on the romance angle of the plot to really keep the
tension of its horror roots alive.
In all, if you're into Euro-horror just like I am, it's certainly an
interesting film - but that doesn't make it especially good, just a nice
oddity in any Euro-trash- or Dracula-collection