Blood for Dracula (1974)

blood for dracula poster 1974 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 6/10

Flaw but containing some interesting ideas

Potential aspects of the story are buried in the bad parts of the film

Movie Info

Movie Name: Blood for Dracula

Studio:  Compagnia Cinematografica

Genre(s): Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  March 1, 1974 (West Germany)/November 6, 1974 (US)

MPAA Rating: R

blood for dracula udo kier vampire virgin

DAMN…this is slutty blood

Count Dracula (Udo Kier) is dying.  Weak, Dracula and his assistant Anton (Arno Juerging) travel to Italy in the hopes of finding virgins capable of feeding him and saving his life.  The family of Il Marchese di Fiore (Vittorio de Sica) and La Marchesa di Fiore (Maxime McKendry) find themselves in financial trouble and rich count could be their key out of the hole they find themselves in.  The daughters of the family Esmeralda (Milena Vukotic), Saphira (Dominique Darel), Rubina (Stefani Casini), and Perla (Silvia Dionisio) could be the key to Dracula’s survival…but a worker named Mario Balato (Joe Dallesandro) could “ruin” Dracula’s chances of finding the virgin he needs.

Written and directed by Paul Morrissey, Blood for Dracula is a vampire horror film.  Loosely based on Bram Stoker Dracula’s 1897 novel, the film was widely released as Andy Warhol’s Dracula.  The Criterion Collection released a remastered version of the film (Criterion #28).

blood for dracula sister review

Sisters are doin’ it for themselves!

I had to really work to find Blood for Dracula.  While released by the Criterion Collection, the film and its accompanying film Flesh for Frankenstein are both out of print.  With weird copies in foreign languages and hacked up version, finding Blood for Dracula took much, much longer than watching it…it was ok.

The movie is a rather strange construct.  There are some issues dealt within the movie that are “above” the plot involving the idea of class and the aging concept of wealth and power.  These are combined with a story which pretty much involves a vampire and others asking women over and over again if they are virgins.  It is a weird and not entirely satisfying combination…though sometimes funny.

The movie feels like porn in how the actors approach it.  The actors are very wooden and Udo Kier’s Dracula is worthy addition to the actors who have played the role simply because he plays it so bizarrely.  I also particularly like Arno Juerging as the most suspicious manservant ever as he hunts for virgins for his master.  Unfortunately, Milena Vukotic, Dominique Darel, Stefanie Casini, and Silvia Dionisio all blend together as the sisters and it would have been fun to have more distinction between them.  Joe Dallesandro also gets special notice as the boy-toy spoiler who deflowers most of Dracula’s victims before he can reach them.  There is also a small, uncredited cameo by Roman Polanski in the bar scene.

blood for dracula ending udo kieer vs joe dallesandro

It’s just a flesh wound!

The movie’s large chateau set also is underused.  A lot of time is spent exploring the “decay of wealth”, but it feels like the chateau could have been even more a sign of a time that is dying.  The vampire bloodletting is quite gory at times with Kier savoring every drop but his dismemberment at the end is more akin to the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail than actual gore.

I wish that this movie was a bit more readily available not because it is great, but because it is interesting.  I feel there is a good movie within the rather campy Blood for Dracula, and oddly, if I could remake a vampire movie, it might just be Blood for Dracula because all the right pieces are there for a good story.  Fans of vampire films and Dracula should try to seek it out…even if you are kind of disappointed in the end.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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