Thursday, May 31, 2018

drac attack.

Just back from a week in Spain with my youngest and his class where - as well as taking in the local scenery, delicacies and practicing our Spanish - I managed to get everyone to visit the castle where they filmed Return of The Blind Dead.

Where I stole some rocks to bring home.

I'm now worried that I'm gonna get knocked up in the middle of the night by a team of undead Templars ready for revenge.

Anyway, what better way to take my mind of that - and celebrate the trip - than with a wee bit of Paul Naschy.

Count Dracula's Great Love (AKA El gran amor del Conde Dracula, 1973).
Dir: Javier Aguirre.
Cast: Paul Naschy, Rosanna Yanni, Haydée Politoff, Mirta Miller, Ingrid Garbo and Víc Winner.

"The only thing you can think of is men. You'd sleep with a broom if it had pants!"

It's a cold dark night (is there any other kind?) in the backwoods of Transylvania (beautifully portrayed by the forests between the towns of Dénia and Xàbia in the eastern Spanish province of Alicante) Where comedy tramps and general ne'er-do-wells Geoff and Brian are busy delivering a huge wooden crate (that is to be fair not as wooden as either of them) to the local abandoned sanatorium cum creepy castle.

Reckoning that they're not getting paid enough to drag crates around assorted shrubbery at night the pair decide instead to open the crate and steal whatever trinkets are stored inside, unfortunately all it contains is the skeletal remains of a lady in a bad pound shop wig so - being a wee bit depressed at this - the pair excitedly explore the castle in the hope of finding something of value to steal.

Unfortunately for the dodgy duo they're being stalked by an unseen assailant who, after suddenly jumping out of a wardrobe bites Brian (to death) before planting an axe in Geoff's skull.

Which is nice.

Thanks to the wacky world of the shoddy dissolve and even shoddier titles we're quickly off to meet the studly Imre (Winner from Vengeance of the Zombies) who alongside a quintet of lovelies including the cute as a button Karen (the practically perfect Politoff), blonde bombshell (well more like a bombsite really), the seriously severe Senta (Fangs of The Living Dead's Yanni), pouty Elke (Naschy regular Miller) and his secret sexy squeeze Marlene (the terrifyingly chinned Garbo - no not that one - the one that was in that 'saucy' football comedy Las Ibericas FC) is traveling via coach to the nearby town of Cleftplate to take up residency as a professional bassoon player.

Admit it, even a sly tit wank would kill you.

Whilst regaling the laydees with daring tales of pub gigs and life on the festival circuit he realizes that they are about to pass thru' the exact spot in which  Jonathan Harker and Doctor Van Helsing killed Count Dracula and not one to miss a trick - or the chance of a quick glance at a heaving bosom - excitedly tells his companions the areas full gory story.

You see it wasn't only Dracula who caused terror in these parts as a few years after his (un)death a Doctor Terry Kargos bought the sanatorium and opened a men only gym cum sauna which it turns out seemed to be a cover for something a wee bit more sinister.

It appeared that many of the folk there died due to anemia and the doctor was suspected of harvesting their blood and using it in bizarre experiments.

Obviously he was hounded out of town by the locals and the place left abandoned.

Until recently that is when a Doctor Philip Marlow (Naschy channeling Liberace and The Count from Sesame Street via a drunken old uncle) paid a princely sum of £28 for it in order to open a drive-thru' garden centre.

Sounds legit.

"I fang you!"

All this talk of blood and gore spooks the horses causing the coach to lose a wheel and the driver getting kick in the face by a pony, killing him (the driver that is not the horse) instantly, leaving Imre and co. little choice but go to the castle and see if Doctor Marlow is at home.

Luckily he is (it would be a short film if he weren't) and graciously offers the group a cup of tea and a biscuit as well as a bed - or five - for the night.

After a quick snack and a plot-filling chat the group retire to bed (as opposed to retiring to the Costa Del Sol like your granddad) where sometime after midnight - probably - Karen is woken by a spooky noise and goes to investigate where she comes face to face with a now undead Brian who is now a vision of comedy fangs and ketchup.

As he moves in to bite her smooth, swan-like neck (as in it's long not covered in feathers) he is quickly chased away by a camply cape clad figure who then carries her back to bed.

"Put it in me!"

As our merry band head down for breakfast the next morn they are surprised to discover that their generous host is nowhere to be found, instead he's left a note explaining that he's off checking his traps* in the woods and to help themselves to Rice Crispies. you think he may actually be sleeping cos he's really Dracula?

Whilst Imre and Marlene head off into the woods to 'look for help', Karen, Elke and Senta decide to entertain themselves by having a poke around the castle's nooks and crannies which is kinda disappointing as I was hoping that they'd indulge in some nude volleyball but dem the breaks I guess, so the audience has to make do with them happening across Marlow's library where the find
- alongside a complete collection of Razzle and a dog-eared copy of The Book of Sex – the fabled diary of Van Helsing.

Senta, being the least thick begins to read aloud from the diary much to the chagrin of Elke who find it a wee bit too scary (no really) and begs her to stop.

Something I guess she doesn't often do seeing as how unconvincing she sounds.

Karen however seems fascinated by the tale of Dracula and his dead daughter and steals the book away for later.

...And they still can't get it tuned to 6 Music.

With not much else to fill the running time with we jump forward to lights out where after tuck  (sorry my public schoolness is showing) Karen curls up in bed to continue the terrifying tale, which is presented to us in groovy negative - presumably to hide the identity of the actor playing Dracula, which is a wee bit odd seeing as we can all guess that it's Naschy.

It does look nice tho'.

Pity the diary is utter drivel then, seeing as it appears to say that Dracula, although resurrected on an almost monthly after being slain is never 100% complete and can only regain his full unearthly powers by having sex with a virgin that has fallen in love with him for his personality as opposed to falling for him via the power  of spooky supernatural seduction.

Give that a try next time you're out on the pull lads and see how far that gets you.

Not only that but if this ever happens then Dracula can use his new found loves blood to then resurrect his daughter Sharon.

You remember, the skeleton from earlier.

See? They're not just making this shite up, there's a purpose for everything.

Insert cock here.

Whilst all this psychedelic flash-backery is going down Imre is wandering the hallways looking for the toilet when he's viscously attacked by Brian and given a bloody good biting, turning him into a vampire who then, in turn, messily attacks poor Marlene turning her too.

Phew, it's all go.

Marlow, tho' is too busy to notice as he's taken to following an oblivious Karen around like a lost puppy.

Albeit one with a huge nob and a really hairy back and arse.

Senta meanwhile has decided that she fancies a wee bit of naked Naschy herself so plans to seduce the doctor by falling into a bear trap, have him carry her to her room then expose her ample breasts and jump on him.

Who says romance is dead?

Unable to resist Senta's charms (OK tits) Marlow indulges in a wee bit of 'the sex' with her only to discover (disappointingly) that not only wasn't she a virgin but that he'd been thinking of Karen all the time.

Obviously the only course of action is to turn Senta into a vampire and go try his luck with Karen.

However as he's wiping his cock on his cape and scrubbing the blood from his mouth who should turn up but Imre hungry for blood.

And the only person with any left in the castle is Karen.

Much slow-style stage fighting ensues as Marlow tosses Imre out of the window and onto a handy spiked gate.

As he turns to dust Karen comes to realize that vampires are in fact real and that the king of them is standing infront of her professing undying love.

Will Karen and Draculabegin a romance to rival Harry and Meghan?

Will there be a wee bit more uncalled for - yet very welcome - nudity?

Will Paul Naschy ever shave his back?

It takes a special talent to get a still from a totally different movie on the poster. Fair play to him whoever it was.

From the fevered mind of Paul Naschy and the 70s busiest director (and official wrath of God) Javier Aquirre comes (quite literally) this supernatural tale of femmes, fangs and fancy  shirts all wrapped up in a blood red bow of sex and violence of the kind only found in Eurocinema of a certain age.

True the dubbing is ludicrously done, the effects are of a quality usually reserved for Christmas panto's and none of the lead actresses dresses fit but that just adds to its charm.

And talking of dubbing, if you think Naschy sounds familiar that's because he's using the voice of cult Eurohorror actor Jack Taylor whose CV reads like a must watch of quality cinema taking in everything from The Ghost Galleon to Pieces via The Vampire's Night Orgy (perhaps that's where the poster mix up came from) and Conan The Barbarian.

And he's still working.

And you think your mum is at bingo.

 Anyway back to the film at hand (before you start thinking this is a proper film blog) and while the obvious Spanish settings are in no way convincing as Transylvania the movie is so endearing as to make such trifling details irrelevant - we're here to see blood, babes, boobs and the big man himself take on the role of Dracula and whilst he may not hit the dizzy heights of Udo Kier (or Jack Palance) Naschy's vaguely puppy-like love lorn count is a fair extension of his more famous portrayal of the melancholic Waldemar Daninsky and is all the better for it.

It's just a pity he never donned the cape and fangs again.

Rum, sodomy and the lash.

But what of the rest of the cast I hear you cry.

Well whilst Víc Winner is all bushy sideburns and chiseled good looks his 'acting' style veers wildly from flat-packed shelf to homemade drinks cabinet the ladies do their best to walk and talk at the same time as they vainly attempt to stay inside their dresses that whilst looking very pretty appear to have been handed out at random.

Rosanna Yanni seems to spend the entire film hunched over in an attempt to get the obviously child sized communion dress to cover her breasts.

Poor lamb.

But at least Haydée Politoff looks yumsome.

As always.
But none of this matters as what we have here is a piece of pure Paul (Naschy) perfection that promises a veritable volcano of violence, sex and death which it delivers it in buckets and with a sneaky side helping of too-tight corsets and odd accents to boot.

If not cinematic gold it's at least a nice bit of terrifying tin.

*As in things to catch animals in, not young guys dressed as sexy anime-style laydees for the sexual gratification of others - thought I'd clear that up.

No comments: