Daughter of Dracula (1972) [Blu-ray]
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In the early 1970s, cult filmmaker Jess Franco inspired by the Hammer horror films being made in the UK revisited the iconic monsters of yesteryear, placing them in the castles and crypts of the Spanish countryside, and bracketing the thrills with scenes of frank eroticism. Daughter of Dracula was inspired by Sheridan LeFanu s Carmilla (which was also the source of Hammer s lesbian vampire trilogy), but as one might expect, Franco s version was unlike any treatment the story had yet received. When the nude body of a murdered woman washes onto the beach, a police inspector (Alberto Dalbés) and a reporter (Fernando Bilbao) focus their attention on the castle of Count Max Karlstein (composer Daniel White) and his niece (Britt Nichols, The Demons), a beautiful woman who appears to be wrestling with an ancestral curse.
Bonus Features: English Subtitles, Audio commentary by film historian Tim Lucas, Alternate safe footage (less sexually explicit), Original heatrical trailer
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A series of brutal killings are plaguing a remote European village. The locals insist they are the work of vampires, but a police inspector (Alberto Dalbes) and a reporter (Fernando Bilbao) dismiss this claim as superstition. The murders coincide with the arrival of beautiful Luisa Karlstein (Britt Nichols), summoned by her dying mother, who tells Luisa she is the direct descendent of a man who harbored a terrible secret.
The movie is a combination of the lesbian vampire theme; the Italian giallo genre, usually with mystery elements and often with slasher, supernatural horror, or crime fiction elements; and sexploitation. There aren’t any really scary horror moments. Count Dracula himself (Howard Vernon) is a character but remains in his coffin throughout. As a vampire films go, this is pretty tame stuff, the pace is far too slow to create much suspense, and the acting is merely fair.
Bonus features on the unrated widescreen Blu-ray release include new audio commentary by film historian Tim Lucas, alternate “safe” footage (less sexually explicit), and original theatrical trailer. The film is in French, with optional English subtitles.
Pretty-much all corners are cut here. Franco creates little in the way of atmosphere or any standout horror set-pieces. There's a lot of frumpy sex and nudity to pad out the pretty thin notion of Dracula's daughter inheriting the familial curse after her dying mother prompts her to visit the family tomb, and claim her destiny. If that sounds interesting, it's not, Franco just invests too little of himself to pull off the scenes that might have made this a horror film. Even poor Howard Vernon as the count, is given nothing to do but look stupid in his poorly made coffin that he actually never gets out of (!?)
The sex scenes are what I've come to expect from Franco, short on eroticism and long on pans and zooms that ultimately linger on muff. Franco isn't interested in conveying what the actors are supposed to be experiencing, he more-or-less just shows us what gets him off about being there filming them. It's pure voyeurism and little else.
Oddly enough what really sinks this one is the music score. Instead of a jazzy or psychedelic creation from the likes of Bruno Nicolai, you get a fairly pedestrian offering from Daniel White that fails to work in tandem with Franco's technique. It really illustrates how make-or-break a good, appropriate score is to a Franco film.
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Very nice looking 1970's sexy babes
great smooth Jazz music . when music was music with TALENT !Read more
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