Director: Herbert L. Strock
Writer: Ralph Thornton
Cast: Sandra Harrison, Louis Lewis, Gail Ganley, Jerry Blaine, Heather Ames, Malcolm Atterbury, Mary Adams, Thomas B. Henry, Don Devlin, Jeanne Dean, Richard Devon, Paul Maxwell, Shirley De Lancey, Michael Hall, Craig Duncan, Edna Holland, Carlyle Mitchell, Voltaire Perkins, Barbara Wilson, Jimmy Hayes, and Lynn Alden
Composer: Paul Dunlap
Release Date: 11/23/1957
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Hoping to expose the terrible potential of human nature, boarding school science teacher Miss Branding (Louise Lewis) obtains an amulet from the Carpathian Mountains, experiments on student Nancy Perkins (Sandra Harrison), and turns her into a vampire that kills while under hypnosis. Unable to control the monster within herself, Nancy confronts her teacher before transforming into a bloodthirsty creature—with a horrible outcome.
The third installment in AIP’s lineup of teenage monster movies, Blood of Dracula deserves criticism for its misleading title, second-rate vampire makeup, and cringe-worthy musical number. B-movie buffs and sci-fi/horror fans may nevertheless enjoy this film, which benefits from an occasional creep factor.
Blood of Dracula may evoke praise for its atmospheric murder sequences, one of which occurs in a creepy graveyard on Halloween night. (It should be mentioned, of course, that Nancy’s transformation into a vampire is hampered by primitive special effects, which serve only to undermine the spooky tension of said murder sequences.)
Lacking the inner conflict of the Teenage Werewolf and the tragic pathos of the Teenage Frankenstein, Nancy Perkins—though a victim of malevolent forces beyond her control—may struggle to evoke sympathy from the audience.
Blood of Dracula should also be noted for its illogical mad scientist theme. Specifically, Miss Branding never explains how turning Nancy into a vampire—actually reminiscent of a werewolf, her tenuous connection to Dracula notwithstanding—will convince the scientific community to abandon its experiments with nuclear power.
Similar to The Vampire, Blood of Dracula provides a science fiction twist on a supernatural legend. In spite of its original concept, however, this offering is marred by unlikable characters, goofy make-up effects, and mad scientist hijinks of an absurd variety.
Overall Quality: 3/10
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