Count Dracula (1970) Review

dracula_1970

As I searched for Dracula films after reading the novel, I stumbled upon a rare find. I wasn’t aware of this film, and I’m not sure how many of you are, let alone watched it. There’s spaghetti westerns, well this qualifies as spaghetti horror. Made in Italy, 1970’s Count Dracula features horror hero and macabre mainstay Christopher Lee in the title role. A role he played in more films than any other actor, yet Bela Lugosi is who most people recall.

I wasn’t expecting much. I had hope for Christopher Lee. He’s the only cast member I’d ever heard of, and that probably goes for the rest of you as well. Klaus Kinski does a remarkable job as “Reinfried” as it says in the credits. Kinski doesn’t speak, but he doesn’t have to say anything. His looks and actions speak volumes. As for Christopher Lee, well, this isn’t Horror of Dracula in film or performance. He does look the part as Bram Stoker envisioned the vampire.

If you’ve read Bram Stoker’s novel, you’ll find Lee appears as described staying true to the original. The story in the film is another matter. The film itself reminds me of a Hammer film, one of their lesser productions. Count Dracula can’t decide if it wants to replicate the original story or not. It begins following closely, then veers off course. There’s weak attempts to return, but the film is a jumbled mess. Too many missing sequences and situations which need an explanation abound. The acting is wooden and uninspired. The old fake bat on a string gimmick appear on more than one occasion. I don’t think the film wanted my laughs to be intentional.

Count Dracula is a bad film, and a boring one at that. I was so bored, but for writing material and to compare with other Dracula films I continued. Unless you’re a big Christopher Lee fan, there’s no reason to watch. If you’re a big Christopher Lee fan, there’s still no reason to watch. As with the novel, Dracula doesn’t appear often. The lone bright spot in the film is Klaus Kinski.

Copyright © Drew Martin 2016

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