March 21, 2005

You know, they just don’t make movies like this anymore. That’s probably because the NAACP would have the production shut down within about five minutes.

Also known as “Vampira,” Old Dracula follows, well, an old ass Dracula as he tries to revive his Vampire Bride, Vampira (points for originality, huh?) from a bad case of “deep anemia.” (And what the hell is “deep anemia”?) A vampire’s got to make a living, so Old Dracula regularly rents out his castle for tourists and photo shoots…and it just so happens that Playboy Magazine wants to a layout on the “most bitable Playmates.” So the playmates descend on the castle and Old Drac sends his henchman, Maltravers, to collect blood from them on the off chance that one of them will have the correct blood type to revive Vampira – and one of them does? Oh happy day for Old Drac! But of course, Maltravers forgets which sample came from which Playmate, so they just mix them together and infuse Vampira. Uh oh, one of the girls was black! And guess what? Vampira wakes up black! Too bad Old Drac is quite the racist…he spends the rest of the movie contriving a way to get Vampira back to her once lily-white state.

You may be asking yourself how a movie like this got made…Lord knows I was. I also found myself wondering how in the world David Niven was persuaded to star as Old Dracula – senility, perhaps? Or was it blackmail? Blackmail to force him to play a black male? Um, I’ll explain that one later…

Despite the premise of Playmates being involved, there is surprisingly little T&A. A few of the pseudo-Playmates go topless, but nothing titillating. And despite the fact that Dracula is a character in the film, there is suprisingly little blood – and even less killing. Only one death occurs in the whole film – and Old Drac cannot even do it himself – the pussy has to get his manservant to do it for him! That’s what I get for watching a PG “horror film.”

In case you’re wondering – and you probably aren’t – Old Drac does get his just desserts at the end. Not only does the second transfusion fail, but Vampira bites him during the transfusion with the expected results – Old Drac turns black. Why was I surprised that the result was David Niven in blackface? Not even good blackface – he looked like Gene Wilder in Silver Streak. Luckily that was the last shot in the film, or I would have turned it off right then.

Year – 1974
Rating – PG
Runtime – 88 minutes
Genre – Vampire Comedy
Director(s) – Clive Donner
Writer(s) – Jeremy Lloyd
Actor(s) – David Niven, Teresa Graves, Peter Bayliss, Jennie Linden, Nicky Henson
BOB Rating – One BOB
Favorite Quote – "You rang a bell in my head, sir?" - Maltravers (Peter Bayliss)