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
Dracula has soon convinced the girl that he really is her uncle
and after the death of her mother also her guardian, but her fiancÚ is
not so easily convinced, and her fiancÚ 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.
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.