Dracula Sucks-He gets his resurrection in or on? in 4K…or “This Time The Count Is Not Just Going For The Throat!!!”

My first experience with road rage!?. Plus all those vamp and Dracula films of the funky ‘70s….

It was a good time for vampires, especially Dracula in the ’70s. As you will see as we dig deeper in to this explosive time for various genres at the box-office and elsewhere. Our main attraction materialized at the end of the decade and gave everyone a ot time at the Drive-In. Either as Dracula Sucks(1978) or aka Lust at First Bite(1979) with 40+ minutes of alternative footage… and which maybe the version I saw at the Rochester Drive-In that summer of ’79.

Someone is rising to the occassion after a “good” days sleep!!!

Starring Jamie Gillis as the Count and Reggie Nalder as Dr Van Helsing. Featuring a who’s who of star studded adult film actors including Seka in her first film plus Kay Parker, Annette Haven, Johm Holmes and Serena. Boasting the largest adult film cast ever assembled kind of like the Avengers.

Dracula after recently purchasing a nice modest castle adjacent to a nearby phsychiatric institution. We have the arrival of a mother acompny her son who has some afflictions similar to the Renfield character* ehe hehe heh oh master(See Bram Stokers original novel of Dracula). Two Dr Sewards who run the clinic and guest — a Dr Van Helsing hm-hm hm. A very “adventuress” nurse in the shape of Seka(iconic adult film star) . Lots of fangs, blood & biting-fog and gothic settings. Nice lighting effects gives the story the proper atmosphere with very intuitive camera angles- the tilting of the camera during dolly’s with some smoke and a slight slow down of the film not quite slow motion. It works well to produce a type of hynotic or giving the illusion of strange goings on. All this and some very impressive, if not disturbing fangs. Make up is spot on.

Above- highlights of Love at First Bite offering the more atmospheric scenes.

So this not your typical Dracula or vampire flick nor is it your standard adult-X-Rated excursion.

Tag lines-

Dracula gets his in 4K!

Sucking has never looked better!!! or is it has never been better?

  • ***Originals-

This Time The Count Is Not Just Going For The Throat!!!

Just one of those biting moments in life…

More taglines-Teeth Chattering Horror!!!

Dracula Sucks is being resurrected or remastered in 4K with a UHD release from Vinegar Syndrome. Yes that’s right. The “boys” from Connecticut are digging deep down and way back to 1978/79/80.

The reason for the 3 dates is depending on what country you resided in that is when this film saw it’s release and also that determined in many cases which version you either saw or was available. Somes it was the rating standards/policies or the mores of that country. But there were possibly a limited amount of theaters that screened adult fare(be it the X-rated material). This also explains the R-rated Dracula Sucks edit. Check IMDB for every version and all,the alternate titles for this legendary film. But what tyou won’t find in their listing is the bonus Lust at first Bite that is included here on the Bluray disc.

Lust at First Bite which is the hardcore version was produced by a totally differnt company than Dracula Sucks and has the 40 + minutes not in Dracula sucks but imagine that Draculs Sucks is approximately 20 minutes longer.

***The release is an exclusive and will not be available any where except for Vinegar Syndrome.

If it were not for this new release from Peekarama/Vinegar Syndrome I would have been able to solve this very peculiar mystery that has had me wondering WTF. Because I have seen part of this movie at several times in my life and each time I’m like I don’t rememberthat or I know there was another scene or this scene seems either shorter or there a lot more bloodletting going on and a lot less “sucking” … It literally is because of this three versions.

  • *** Clarification- What you the fan will see and have at your descretion is both Dracula Sucks the longer edited with all the gothic scenery and extra bloody scenes like when unsuspecting Jonathon(John) Harker(Paul Thomas) has a very biting experience from the recently turned Mina(Annette Haven).
  • Titles galore- aside from Dracula Sucks this cult classic had 16 other titles …. Draculax (France), American Dragula(India), The Coming of Draculas’ Bride(Alt USA) & more… And the true X-Rated version Draculas’ Bride.
  • Annette Haven recieves top billing in Lust At First Bite and appears in the credits before and after the main titles appears on screen, which is very unusual. However depending on when Lust was edited and feleased she was making quite a splash in poularity and ahd a very busy shooting schedule. She was very much in demand.

Lots of Extras!!! Fans get the full treatment boasting and audio commentary by William Margold(actor/co-writer), 2 short films by producer Darryl Marshak including Potluck, a featurette on the return to Castle Ranch which is where a lot of the location shooting was done. A trailer and a German art gallery loaded with various posters and promotional material for that country’s release.

Poster Art & Ads during the 1979 release

**trivia — there was an R-rated version(see the above ad)offered at the theaters, Drive-Ins and on Home Video*(back in the day before we started to say Home Entertainment to encompase DVD/Bluray)

*** Road Rage on the highway

Here’s the road rage tie in- After a late night at the Drive-In my friends I were heading home. I’m feeling pretty good because I had just got my license and so cool that I was able to drive around without having to depend on anyone. Well remember we sat through two features and a little bit sleepy but with the power of youth I should be able to make it home… well while we made our way on to the 104 in my 1972 all stock green Chevy Nova(this was a sweet ride with 8 track system and killer sound system that myself and my good friend had installed). Any way at some point I had accidently drifted into a nearby lane. I immediately pulled back in to my own but I must have come near another car. This guy laid on the horn and blew by me. I fwelt horrible and a little startled…

  • Well this guy precided to pull in fron t of me and then slow down so I had slam on the breaks . He did this several times. So I decided to pull off to the next exit. This did not work. Every time I tried to get off he followed me. Well after several attempts I decided I was going to blow by him and get far enough ahead to be able to make my exit. The irony of all this is that I did finally get “away” from this nut case. And beleiev me this guy was nuts. He cut so many people off to get at me about 5 cars he ran oof the road. But here’s the thing(a Baldwin qoute)… A little ways ahead of this crazed person at about 80–90 mph I passed a cop who was sitting on the side of the road. Next thing I knew I had flashing lights and a siren approaching from behind. He pulled me over and being that I had just got my driving priviledges I clammed up .. not knowing what to say… but out came the ticket andas the officer was handing me nice copy of the back then three ply ticket stating my court date and all my rights that son of b*&%# drove by a t the speed limit and waved to me, wearing the biggest smile…well welcome to road rage back in 1978… oh there was happy ending well a partial happy ending…I was still shaken by all this when I finally got my day in court and after explaining all to the judge he reduced my charges and did not suspend my license… He did say if that ever happens again that I should defintely let the officer knwo what happened… and I thanked him profusely…whew!!!

Other Draculas of the ‘70s-

Yeah it was hard to keep a “good” vampire down especially in this decade of platform shoes and disco clothes… just think about all those Mandrin collars tied off shirts and halter tops with the exposed neck lines. It was enough to make a vamp salivate. Dripping good times!!!

They were every where and anywhere. Comic books, monster mags, Television not to mention the local bijou(theater) & Drive-In. In fact some Counts counted. A one- a two . I love to count(Sesame Street).

We had Dir Paul Morrissey’s take in Andy Warhol’s Dracula aka Blod for Dracula* mixing gore with soft core sex… lots of color. Udo Kier as the titled vampiric Count along with Joe Dellsandro as a Renfield type servant.

Look for this in a new 4K UHD release from Severin Films-available now on Amazon and Severin’s site.

  • Warhol/Morrissey’s version was very attractive Drive-In goers especially when it was aligned with Flesh for Frankenstein. Packed on the weekends thanks to those young adults with the expendable income. It was a double dose of Blood and guts/gore.
A typical “Wiseguy” no doubt. Thanks Joe for being so versatile!!!!
  • ** Joe Dellsandro besides being a cousin of one of my good friends. He played some manic type roles in films, offering at times indie cult aura in American underground films. He spent a lot of time in Europe-everything from Euro Crime (The Climber & Safari Rally) to Horror (Black Moon) . And one of his big roles-Lucky Luciano in The Cotton Club.
Imagine there was a 3D version. Blood leaping off off the screen and in to your lap was a conveyed tagline.

TV- included stints on Miami Vice, Wise Guy(1st season), Fortune Dane and the pilot for Matlock. How’s that for a resume? He did have an easy childhood. But that may have made him the incredible actor he became. To know more about Joe check out IMDB and Wikipedia.

Dracula-1979

Awesome trailer-all the right chills and forboding…

There was Frank Langella making the transition from Broadway to the silver screen reprising his role as Dracula in John Badham’s cinematic gem of the same name and released the same year as our main feature discussed here. This version had more dramtic chops and a plethora of thespian actors… including Sir Lord Laurance Olivier’, Donald Pleasance and boasting a score by John Williams(Star Wars)-produced by the Mirsch Brothers(Marvin and Walter). Dramatic, romantic(maybe a little too much)..gothic yes and well does love triumph over good?! See for yourself. Sets and photography top notch. Atmosphere most chilling. Moody absolutely…

Bram Stoker’s Dracula- starring Jack Palance as the infamous Count this time produced and directed by Dan Curtis(see below for more on/from Dan).

Dracula Blows His Cool- a hard R-rated vampire flick with Mr Sartana himself-Gianni Garko playing a descendent of Dracula getting caught up in snapping photos of very beautiful women. This some how has an unusual effect on him- It brings out the bite in him. loaded with nudity but also a great campy performance from Gianni(one of my favorite Euro-Western stars).

A West German/Italy Co-Production. Filmed locations were mostly Austria and minor locales in Munich/Bavaria.

Just think- a few years before Duncan Regher took his turn as Dracula in The Monster Squad. A pretty menacing Gianni Garko.

Have to catch the trailer-

Taglines- A Comedy You Can Sink Your Teeth Into!

You’ll darn near die laughing! It’s love at first sight!

Dracula’s Dog

Dracula(BBC 1977) starring Louis Jordan in the title role.

How bout the funnier side of the coffin?

One of AIP’s high end releases. Super popular at the Bijou and a great Box-office presence.

Love at first Bite(1979 again — a good year for Drac) with George Hamilton as the blood sucking “fiend” or friend? Arte Johnson as the manic yet faithful servant-Renfield. In a tour de force performance with his heh heh!!! quibs and when the stomach calls anything he can grab up that doesn’t scurry away as a delicacy. Rounding out the main cast fresh from her days of MacMillan and Wife TV series (71–76 with co-star Rock Hudson) as the love interest. Richard Benjamin as the vamps foyle. Directed by Stan Dragoti It was another film not afraid to take in the disco era and updating the time period of the story. Add in a first as Manhattan is about to meet the undead with Drac getting down on the dance floor.

*** Stan Dragoti was a competent Albanian director. A knack for mixing comedy with romance or action… Neccesary Roughness(Scott Bakula) and killing it with a comedic update in The Man with One Red Shoe ( Tom Hanks & Jim Belushi).

Other Vamps of the disco era…

I was kidding about disco — look at the two queens of the era promoted on the soundtrack. I love the art work and design on this.

Nocturna, Granddaughter of Dracula- You just can’t keep a Carradine down as in John. Or a Munster thanks to Yvonne De Carlo-one of my all time favorites. Again another Dracula in 1979. Making it’s way at the box-office via the Drive-In circuit(which is where I saw it).

Nai Bonet making a very stunning yet terrifying vamp. Alas she ends being seduced by the music as in Disco and who said Disco isn’t dead ala undead. She started out as a belly dancer and a quite famous one. Eventually trying to further her acting career she produced and starred in this and one other film. Unfortuantely it never went any further than this. But she did appear in some fun ’60s flicks including Boeing Boeing with Jerry Lewis and Tony Curtis and an episode of Beverly Hills Hillbillies(Max Bear & Irene Ryan) in the Shiek. And a Scopitone music video(which played on Jukeboxes)back in the day and released as single- Jelly Belly.

*** Nai was of Vietnamese and French descent. Starting and appearing at 13 years old on stage as a headliner at the Flamingo Hotel in Vegas

Hammer Films-

Above-one of the most famous of the never to be made films.

A promised-yet not to be Vampirella from Hammer Films. If only this had materialized. But it would have to have been in the very early ’70s or late ’60s. Because if not the script and production vaules may have been there to make a decent production. But we did get Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter, Vampire Circus and Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires( international Co-production between Hammer & the legendary Shaw Bros).

More Hammer-

Vampire Lovers (1970)starring Ingrid Pitt

Countess Dracula-again with Ingrid ‘71.

Twins of Evil-starring the double mint twins aka Playboy Playmates(for real)-Madeleine and Mary Collison. 1971… like I said early ’70s for hammer .. producing over 15 films.

Vamps go Black-

Blacula and Scream Blacula Scream…William Marshall as Blacula in two excellent action packed ’70s exploitation films.

Don’t leave TV out- or Dan Curtis…

Dark Shadows — ABC daytime soap about a vampire resurrected in Collinwoods that also dealt with other supernatural elemnts including a ghost and werewolf over the course of several seasons. Off set poster created as a reminder to the cast- Don’t forget your fangs!!! ‘mid ’60s to early ‘71.

The Night Stalker- A 1972 horror film starring Darren McGavin as intrepid reporter/journalist Karl Kolchak who is confronted with the very “real” (reel) possiblitity that there is a vampire stalking the streets of Las Vegas.

Problem is no one else will either believe nor admit that he may very well be right. Like 100%!!! Made for TV movie of the week. One of the highest rated and viewed Television film ever.

Cliffhangers- featuring the serial Curse of Dracula set in modern day San Francisco. Starring Michael Nouri. One of three serials airing in 20 minute segmants within an hour format. A mid season show February thru May 1979 with ten episodes. Part of the issue was the production costs due to three units shooting at the same time and battling Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley for an audience/ratings.

Kolchak- The Night Stalker 1974 weekly TV series- one of the episodes involves one of the vampires victims that “survived” the …Vegas incident.

Magazines and other forms of reading (comic books)meant to be read at the Midnight hour-all kept under the bed until that proper time.

Dracula Lives! 1974–75- Marvel strikes again with MM(Magaizne Management). Mostly standalone stories seperate from Tomb of Dracula comic book. Racier and more action and horror than aloud in comics with a more adult theme and storyline. *

  • Most of the horror comic mags regardless of the publisher was able to take more liberties in the adult themes since they were not sublect to the comic book code.
Not your average comic mag!!!!

Vampire Tales- a Marvel Comics imprint from Curtis

a black & white horror comic magazine featuring stories of Morbious and Blade from Marvel comics and other vampire good and bad. Was a short run as a series ‘73-’75. 11 issues and one annual

Weird Vampire Tales - courtesy of Eerie- another black 7 white with some excellent if not macabre covers featuring some extremely phsychodelic art…

Vampirella- born 1969 but swooping well in to the ’70s & early ’80s with over a 200 issues plus. From Warren Publishing and now from the desk of Dynamite. Thrilling us for over 5 decades.

But Vampi did not always adorn the cover of her mag. She was willing to share with new characters…
Jose Gonzalez — one of the most prolific of artists when it came to Vampirella and juts incredible skill and talent. A true artist…

From the mind of Marvel(Comics)- Marvel actually produced and created a variety of horror/monster based series and charcaters in the early ’70s but the following were all vampire :

Moribius-1971 & Blade- 1973 were more in line with the anti-hero. Morbius was a more original approach. Concerning a briilaint scientist, who seeking a cure for a rare blood disease that he had used an unorthodoxed serum containing DNA from Vampire Bats and electroshock. Testing it on himself due to his condition worsening. The results were disasterous for Morbius. Cuasing him to mutate into a being with seudo vampiric abilties and leaving him with a thirst for blood.

The Tomb of Dracula-1972

Related links to comic books golden age and more curent ..

Comixology-

Fiction-Book series:

Vlad Tepes 1975- 2000 by Fred Saberhagen.

The Little Vampire-1979.- A series of books about a little boy who wished he was a vampire. Until one day he actually meets one for real…

I hope that this excursion in to the world of Dracula has provided you with enough food for thought or a real “thirst” for knowledge. And if you’re a vampire maybe it’s blood. So if you happen to venture out on a misty night make sure you’re packing a clove of garlic and some holy water. It dosen’t hurt to be prepared. That is what great vamp hunters do…

So as the moon rises and darkness sets in I bid you “goodnight”…

See ya next time at Reviews on the Edge…

Doc over and out.

Bonus & related material-

Sex and Horror -Horror and Sex or Oh the Horror!!! Oh the Sex!!!

Korero Press- * coming soon from…

I’m not sure of what the order of those words should be but back in the those ’70s days over in the little countries of Spain & Italy there was a lot things happening between the covers. Nope sorry folks I was talking about what the Italians refer to as Fumetti(balloon & pictures) aka comic books.

Fumetti’s were popular with adults and dealt with a more mature theme than our comic books and artists were extremely talented at drawing a more graphic-detailed visual along with colors and a rendering that is psychodelic in nature. There is evidence that Japanese manga had an influence on the art but still maintaining a gothic look at the same time. Also pushing to the limits the art seen in the Mens magazines and the Pulps of the ’50s and ‘60s. & the Hammer Films of the ’60s and early ‘70s.

*** The written word/storylines when I mentioned dealing with a more mature theme also addressed at a very early stage LGBTQ way before other comics did. Now maybe since delving in to sex and horror … just think Carmillia who drank the blood of women or Countess Bathory. Both had dalliances with same sex…

Thanks to Korero Press we have so far four volumes in this intoxicating series Sex and Horror. The first three highlight one particular artist in that genre.

You can find no better in mind blowing art than Emnauelle…

The Art of: listed Fumetti titles of the following

Emmanuel Taglietti-

including Zora La Vampira, Wallenstein( basically Frankenstein type storyline) ,

Ulula-a werewolf , she was cursed with international exploits involving Native American Indians along with ventures in LGBTQ. Sukia a heavily sexist take on vampires and females in general-ran 153 issues. 44 Magnum- Ex-Cia and leaning towards the Dirty Harry type films and Polizia action films from the mid’ 70s or

how about La Poliziotta “The Policewoman”(Angie Dickinson’s series was never like this!!!).

Allesandro Biffignandi- could do anything from war to horror to adventure… and he was closet to the days of Pulp and Mens magazines by far more than the other artists of Sex and Horror.

His work went beyond Fumetti and he found himself designing movie posters from time to time. Iconic comic strip and comic book characters came calling even in his later years when The Phantom and wolf leaped off hi drawing baord for #1582. Imagine that many issues later.

Atlantis meets Catain Ahab.

Fernando Carcupino- cover art for Vampirissimo are within his portfolio…

if you only got to view his humrous side you might think that Fernando was one of those one panel artists for Playboy. He certainly could do sex/ humor. But his talents made him versatile. Pretty much any genre.

Fernando putting some finishing touches.

Volume Four- this edition covers an assorted amount of art and work by various artists… peplum got it’s fumetti treatment in Messalina the more amorous adventures of the Empress at 185 issues ‘66- ’74,

This was a year before Flesh Gordon took off at the Drive-Ins.

Cosmine aka Atomic Sex Bomb (just make sure your out of the area when one of these go off-lol) taking space adventure all new lengths or is it heights-think Barbarella for some it’s inspiration but a very short run at only 10 issues. Speaking of aliens and space a mid ’70s take on Flash Gordon simply called Zordon but here the hero is an alien with many humanoid features and accompanied by a character again based on Jane Fonda. And this only a sample, way more- too many to mention.

as it says below it just doesn’t get freakier than this or let’s get shook as in our boots…

Each one of these volumes exhudes with extreme detail why these are the best of the best. providing chills and awe at the same time. And yet being able to transport the viewer/reader to another plane of for a well deserved parture from everyday life.

One additional piece of trivia related to Fumetti… don’t count the female persuasion out. One of the most iconic chacaters to come out of these hypnotic collections of eye candy was an internationally known iconic series- Diabolik!

Drawn by Frenando Carcupino-he had a way of capturing noir and strong lines for powerful emotions and menace and yet he was able to allow his playful side to come as well…see above. Diabolik was spot on.

(*see related article) Created by two women and eventually brought tpo the silver screen by legendary director-Mario Bava. A genius with matte work which is an art all unto itself.

***extra extra bonus-

More from Allesandro-

How about the inspiration for Dead Ant-

I leave you with one last image…Diabolik’s eyes by Biffignandi-No one better.

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Chris Nersinger

Chris Nersinger

Was born the same year that DR. NO (1962) premiered. His first movie, viewed at age 3 was MONSTER ON THE CAMPUS(1958).