Blood for Dracula

Blood for Dracula

Director: Paul Morrissey, Joe Dallesandro, Udo Kier, Vittorio De Sica

Cast: Paul Morrissey, Joe Dallesandro, Udo Kier, Vittorio De Sica

     
 

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The second of two horror films shot in a single production term and bearing the name of pop-art icon Andy Warhol (whose participation pretty much ended with the use of his name), this film is slightly superior to its higher-profile predecessor, Andy Warhol's Frankenstein. Direction is credited to Warhol factory filmmaker Paul Morrissey, though there still

Overview

The second of two horror films shot in a single production term and bearing the name of pop-art icon Andy Warhol (whose participation pretty much ended with the use of his name), this film is slightly superior to its higher-profile predecessor, Andy Warhol's Frankenstein. Direction is credited to Warhol factory filmmaker Paul Morrissey, though there still exists a very vocal camp who insist that the real credit should go to Italian director Antonio Margheriti. Euro-horror leading man Udo Kier assays the title role, playing the count as a pale, anemic-looking blood junkie with an overwrought accent. Finding the supply of "weer-gin" blood diminishing rapidly in Romania, Dracula is forced to seek a fix in a predominantly Catholic Italian province, where he is certain a few virgins still exist. He travels with his assistant (Arno Juerging) and his coffin-sealed sister to the decrepit, crumbling mansion of the financially-strapped Marquis DiFore (a tour-de-force performance from Bicycle Thief director Vittorio de Sica) who welcomes the affluent Count with open arms, hoping to marry off any one of his four daughters. Dracula clearly has other intentions for the girls... but his plans are rudely thwarted by beefy, socialist handyman Mario (Joe Dallesandro), who has been dutifully divesting the young maidens of their -- ahem -- virtue, thus tainting their blood and making it unsafe for vampiric consumption. Very unsafe, it turns out -- as we are treated to protracted scenes of the death-pale Count vomiting up gallons of blood. Rated "X" at the time of its release (and subsequently re-rated "R" ten years later), this outrageous catalogue of depravity features wildly campy performances, inane dialogue and an outrageous climax.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Lush Italian production design, beautiful cinematography, and slick dialogue and performances distinguish this film directed by former Andy Warhol cameraman and collaborator Paul Morrissey. The movie, which is commonly known as ANDY WARHOL'S DRACULA, follows the famed vampire Count Dracula (Udo Kier), who needs the blood of a virgin to survive and travels to Catholic pre-World War II Italy, claiming to be in search of a maiden bride. The accents alone make BLOOD FOR DRACULA worth seeing. Kier's Peter Lorre-esque Romanian accent is a sheer delight; his Dracula inhabits a world divided between "whoors" and "weer-gins." And legendary director Vittorio De Sica, who plays the father of four potential "brides," rolls his R's like a champion. The sexual drama of the Dracula legend comes to life here, even as Kier's pale, thin, sickly Dracula becomes symbolic of the dying aristocracy. Campy yet charming, softly pornographic, and awash in gallons of regurgitated nonvirgin blood, the film hits nary a wrong note and is perhaps as underrated as a film can get.
All Movie Guide - Robert Firsching
The companion piece to Flesh for Frankenstein is also available as a gorgeous widescreen DVD with audio commentary by Paul Morrissey, Udo Kier, and Maurice Yacowar. Like the other film, this one also features great photography and splattery gore dismemberments. It also has Kier as the villain, Arno Juerging as his assistant (here named Anton), and Joe Dallesandro as a virile stud. Once again, Kier and Juerging are marvelous, balancing the most ludicrous dialogue with a hilariously deadpan earnestness that is essential to good camp. That's where the comparisons end, because this film is much more elitist and philosophically oriented than its twin. Morrissey was unique in the Andy Warhol stable, a right-wing conservative, who, like his colleagues, delighted in hobnobbing with the rich and famous, but did so for much different reasons. In this film, an outspoken Marxist peasant (Dallesandro) becomes lord of the manor after deflowering a 14-year-old girl. This act defeats Dracula, who can only drink the blood of "weergins" and is left without sustenance, making him vulnerable to a flamboyant dismemberment. Dallesandro says he raped the girl to save her from Dracula, but the audience knows his true (Communist?) motives. Thus, the proletarian peasant is presented as more exploitive than the wealthy land barons. As Yacowar points out in the liner notes, "Mario represents not the triumph of the people, but the replacement of one tyranny with another, less dignified." Morrissey clearly believes in the superiority of the upper classes -- even those as decadent as presented in Flesh for Frankenstein and Blood for Dracula -- over the common rabble. That may be the root of the problem with both Morrissey horror spoofs, because once the viewer gets beyond the surface craziness and outrageous visuals, they're really sucker-punches at the audience, ostensibly playing to their instinctive delight in bashing the idle rich while simultaneously condemning the masses as a far worse horror. One can get past that, of course, because both of these films are still very funny and remain over-the-top splatter highlights of the '70s, but Morrissey's obvious disdain for the average man comes through in every smug frame.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/20/2005
UPC:
0014381014921
Original Release:
1973
Rating:
NR
Source:
Image Entertainment
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:43:00

Special Features

Newly remastered; Director-supervised high definition transfer; Widescreen version (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 tv's; Audio commentary by Paul Morrissey and Udo Kier (Commentary originally produced by the Criterion Collection); New audio recollections from Paul Morrissey; Screen test; Still gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joe Dallesandro Mario
Udo Kier Dracula
Vittorio De Sica Lord Difiore
Maxime McKendry Lady Difiore
Arno Juerging Anton, Count's assistant
Milena Vukotic Esmeralda
Gil Cagne Townsman
Roman Polanski Man in Inn
Stefano Oppedisano Actor
Dominique Darel Saphiria
Stefania Casini Rubinia
Silvia Dionisio Perla
Maxime de la Falaise Actor

Technical Credits
Paul Morrissey Director,Screenwriter
Andrew Braunsberg Producer
Gianni Giovagnoni Art Director
Carlo Gizzi Score Composer
Claudio Gizzi Score Composer
Enrico Job Production Designer
Jed Johnson Editor
Ted Johnson Editor
Luigi Kueveillier Cinematographer
Luigi Kuveiller Cinematographer
Carlo Ponti Producer
Carlo Rambaldi Special Effects
Jean-Pierre Rassam Producer
Franca Silvi Editor
Andy Warhol Producer
Jean Yanne Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Blood for Dracula
1. Opening Titles [3:07]
2. Leaving for Italy [9:46]
3. The Count's New Home [8:11]
4. In Search of a Wife [5:12]
5. Lonely for Company [8:12]
6. Family Affairs [7:57]
7. The Arrival [9:52]
8. Must Be Tonight [6:19]
9. Aristocrats and Peasants [10:12]
10. Going Down? [3:32]
11. Bad Blood [5:12]
12. Much Too Young [3:34]
13. Kiss of Death [2:49]
14. Chopping Frenzy [12:20]
15. End Credits [5:57]

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