I’m a big fan of vampires. Blood of Dracula’s Castle fits the bill, in an exploitation/campy way. From books to films, I love vampires, maybe more than Sharks. (except those Twilight vampires, don’t even get me started on that shite). In this 1970 release by Crown International Pictures, we see The Count Dracula, named Count Charles Townsend (Alexander D’Arcy) and his wife, Countess Townsend (Paula Raymond) living in a desert castle named Falcon Rock,
in Arizona. Odd, but maybe they have an undead version of TB and moved to AZ for the warm, dry climate.
Plot of Blood of Dracula’s Castle
Interestingly, instead of stalking and biting their prey, Townsend/Dracula and his beloved live off the more humane method of extracting the blood of their victims via syringe, and enjoying the harvested blood in crystal, in their sitting room, like upper-crust characters from a British novel. Progressive. At one point Countess Dracula mentions a future of artificial blood – a way for vampires living in the real world. Shades of the future True Blood perhaps?
The vampiric couple are attended to by a faithful butler, George (Hollywood legend John Carradine, father of actors David, Keith, and Robert) that worships the Moon Good, Luna, and the resident hunchback half-wit servant/killing machine, Mango (Ray Young). They are assisted by recent prison/asylum escapee Johnny (Robert Dix) who is either a psychopathic killer or werewolf depending on the version of the firm.
Of course, there is a fly in the ointment. Vampiric bliss cannot last unimpeded. After a 99 year lease for the castle, photographer Glen Cannon (Gene Otis Shayne) acquires the property when a relative dies and bequeaths the estate to him. With his model girlfriend, the attractive Liz Arden (Jennifer Bishop) they decide the make Falcon Rock their home and evict the current vampiric tenants.
Townsend and his wife don’t wish to leave, and Glen and Liz are forced to stay the night because of car trouble. Their sleep is disturbed by a woman screaming and the howls of a wolf. They eventually find the Townsends/Draculas sleeping their respective coffins, in a room beside a trio of manacled (and mini skirt-clan) young women.
Now, prisoners, the urbane Townsend wants Glen to sign over the deed to him so they can continue their stay in Falcon Rock. They make the pair of lovers witness a sacrifice to Luna the Moon God – one of the chained-up vixens is burned at the stake to slake Luna’s need for burnt offerings, I guess.
Of course, the heroes destroy the bad guys and free the chained (maybe) virgins. Just like any other movie – good triumphs over evil.
Interesting facts about Blood of Dracula’s Castle
- The castle is a real castle – the Shea Castle in California was used as the location for this film.
- The film is set in Arizona, but in one scene Glen and Liz are swimming in the ocean adjacent to the castle and estate. I’m no geography whiz, but I’m fairly sure there is no ocean in AZ.
- There are two versions of the film. In one version the character of Johnny is a crazed killed triggered by the moon. In the TV version, he is a werewolf.
- Jayne Mansfield was set to star as Countess Townsend, but she died in a car accident before shooting started.
- There was to be a sequel, titled Dracula’s Coffin. It was announced but never made.
- There’s a great continuity error. In one scene a hapless victim can be seen standing on platforms. These magically disappear in the next scene. Obviously, her chains were magically made longer (by the props team) in between scenes.
Who stars in Blood of Dracula’s Castle?
|John Carradine||…||George – the Butler|
|Paula Raymond||…||Countess Townsend|
|Alexander D’Arcy||…||Count Dracula – alias Count Charles Townsend (as Alex D’Arcy)|
|Gene Otis Shane||…||Glen Cannon (as Gene O’Shane)|
|Jennifer Bishop||…||Liz Arden (as Barbara Bishop)|
|Vicki Volante||…||Ann – Motorist Victim|
Should I watch this?
It isn’t a painful watch. If you’re into campy, exploitation films – have it. If you want a laugh or two in a horror film that’s not really a horror film, this one. is for you.