Dracula’s Widow (1988)

Dracula's Widow We are in one of the darker corners of Hollywood, Los Angeles, where the young man Raymond Everett (Lenny Von Dohlen) owns a horror-themed wax museum. One day he gets some new deliveries, all the way from Romania, one of which is a casket that contains something you’ll never guess what – Vanessa, Dracula’s widow (Sylvia Kristel). Yes, a living, bloodsucking vampire. So why has she gotten herself all the way over to Los Angeles, you may wonder? No one knows. She doesn’t know, the script doesn’t know, even the Man Who Knows poster we see on the wall on Raymond’s apartment, doesn’t know. So where do we go from here? Who knows.

 

Anyway, as soon she rises from the casket, she goes straight to a bar where she hooks up a random, sleazy guy who will become her first victim to feed her need for human blood. At the same time, two men breaks into the wax museum while Raymond is upstairs sipping red wine and watching Nosferatu. After Vanessa kills one of the men, she goes up to Raymond and claims him as her slave before she puts her teeth in his neck, and wants him to take her back to her husband in Romania.

 

Instead of just giving her a one-way ticket and wish her the best, he tells her the shocking fact that Dracula is dead, and she’s a widow. Now she wants to know who killed him, so she can have her revenge. And guess what – Van Helsing’s grandson, simply named Dr. Helsing, coincidentally lives in Hollywood. Of course. And even though he’s old and fragile, and should rather be at a nursing home, he’s still determined and pretty eager to continue the legacy of his grandfather to hunt down vampires.

 

Dracula's Widow

 

And no joking here, this is the plot so far. We also get a crime investigation side-plot with Lt. Lannon (Josef Sommer) when Vanessa starts to leave more dead bodies around after her ongoing killing spree in Hollywood. When she’s not transforming herself into a bat, she uses her long fingers as daggers to kill her prey. There’s a pretty pointless, yet funny massacre scene with a group of devil-worshippers who are  about to sacrifice a naked blond chick to Satan, where the B-movie glory skyrockets all up to eleven. We see Vanessa turn into a monstrous creature with some really cool prosthetic makeup, as she kills off the whole group which leaves another gory crime scene to Lt. Lannon. He, of course, eventually gets in touch with Dr. Helsing, who easily convinces Hannon that all the killing is done by a vampire.

 

It’s noteworthy to mention that Dracula’s Widow is written and directed by Christopher Coppola, nephew of Francis Ford Coppola, who also made a certain Dracula film some years later. It’s easy to crap all over the film by comparing Christopher to his superior uncle, but Dracula’s Widow isn’t completely hopeless when it comes to cheap entertaining value, with some good old ’80s cheese. It’s a sleazy, gory and just a plain silly popcorn flick to kill off a Wednesday night. Nothing more, nothing less. The funniest moments here is of course the comical over-acting by Silvia Kristel, with her goofy facial expressions that she displays when she tries to look intimidating when she’s not wearing the monster make-up. Lenny Won Dohlen, known from Twin Peaks, has the same angsty look he always portrays. I also like the scenes with Dr. Helsing, that old geezer cracks me up. The guy who plays Lt. Lennon is the only one who takes his role dead serious, even though there’s absolutely nothing to take seriously here.

 

Dracula’s Widow is available on DVD after a quick search.

 

Dracula's Widow Dracula's Widow Dracula's Widow

 

Director: Christopher Coppola
Country & year: USA, 1988
Actors: Sylvia Kristel, Josef Sommer, Lenny von Dohlen, Marc Coppola, Stefan Schnabel, Rachel Jones, Duke Ernsberger, G.F. Rowe, Richard K. Olsen, Lucius Houghton, J. Michael Hunter, Traber Burns
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt0097230/

 

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VAMPIRISMUS – Vampire horror short

Once upon a time, in a small village of Transylvania, lived happily a beautiful young girl with her family and lover. Until one day, when she suddenly got sick and everything changed for her.

 

“Vampirismus” is a gothic vampire short film, made in black & white which suits an old-fashioned vampire tale so well.

 

VAMPIRISMUS - Vampire horror short

 

Director: Gabriele Saffioti, Massimiliano Nardulli
Country & year: Romania, Italy, 2017
Actors: Marius Bodochi, Dan Condurache, Sorin Dobrin, Aida Economu, Victor Tapeanu
IMDb: //www.imdb.com/title/tt8568936/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Nosferatu in Venice (1988)

Nosferatu in Venice (1988)The movie opens with a group of duck hunters who happens to shoot down a bat. “It’s bad luck to kill a bat” one of them says, before one of their dogs eats it. And no, it wasn’t Nosferatu the dog ate, just a random bat. Then we jump to Venice where Professor Paris Catalano (Christopher Plummer) arrives to meet a young lady after getting a vague letter about Nosferatu. According to the letter, Nosferatu was last seen in Venice during a carnival in 1786, and legend has it that he’s still hiding in the city. Paris Catalano has dedicated his life to study Nosferatu, and is more or less the equivalent of Van Helsing. I assume they had to add a different name due to copyright, who knows. He eats dinner with the same people we saw in the duck hunting-scene in the beginning, where he gives a quick and half-hearted lecture about vampires, before he gets escorted down into a crypt under the tunnels of the city where a casket from Transylvania is located. The legend says that Nosferatu is the one who’s buried in that casket. So why not just open it, put the stake through his chest, and just be done with it? You tell me…

 

However, Professor Paris is certain that Nosferatu isn’t located in that coffin, and that he is shipwrecked somewhere. He won’t even dare to open it, in order to check if he’s right. So what’s he gonna do next? He gets a medium to summon the vampire. Nosferatu (Klaus Kinski) then stands up from a coffin somewhere on a random, obscure location and starts his journey. He stumbles into a gypsy camp where a fortune teller tells him that he’s been summoned by a young lady. He bites the fortune teller’s neck before he heads for Venice, for some more necks to put his teeth in… I guess…

 

And as you may have figured out, this movie has no relation to neither Nosferatu from 1922 nor the Werner Herzog’s remake from 1979 in any shape or form. Who knows what this movie really tries to be, but what it definitely is, is a completely incoherent mess. Christopher Plummer looks really confused here, and you can tell he has some difficulty with delivering his lines. That’s probably because there were five directors who came and left, after the first one got fired, so you can try to imagine the chaos and turmoil behind the scenes. It’s a miracle that the movie exists at all. And when even Klaus Kinski ended up directing himself in some of the scenes, then you know that everyone have seriously jumped the ship.

 

So yeah, this is one of those cases where a two-hour making of-documentary had been far more entertaining and interesting than the movie itself…

 

Klaus Kinski was perfect as Nosferatu in the 1979-remake and is probably one of his finest roles. Here, its the polar opposite. He refused to wear the same makeup and shave his long, blonde hair and approached the role with only some simple eyeshadow and puts on the iconic two front teeth when he feels like it. All the characteristics and known trademarks are gone; the hand gestures, the long fingers/nails, as if the guy refused to play the character altogether, and rather just not give a fuck and play himself instead. “Kinski in Venice”, yeah why not.. There’s zero Nosferatu about him. He acts more like a disturbed lunatic, high on whatever he can snort and who likes to hunt down and rape young women in Venice’s narrow alleys, than a fragile vampire who needs blood to survive. It’s almost comical…

 

Just to put it in a nutshell how extremely “off” Nosferatu is in this film: he’s asked if the daylight doesn’t frighten him. He answers: “It’s the night who frighten me.” So, there you have it. “Nosferatu in Hawaii” next? Despite all the retardedness, the film has its share of gothic and gloomy atmosphere and Venice looks really chilling and sinister, and seems like an unique place to shoot a vampire flick. At least, some of the five directors who tried to sail this shipwreck of a movie to the projection screen managed to add some really fine and moody imagery. And the fitting soundtrack by Vangelis isn’t bad, either. So, I’ll have to give some props in that regard.

 

Nosferatu in Venice

 

Directors: Augusto Caminito, Mario Caiano, Klaus Kinski, Maurizio Lucidi, Pasquale Squitieri, Luigi Cozzi
Original title: Nosferatu a Venezia
Country & year: Italy, 1988
Actors: Klaus Kinski, Christopher Plummer, Donald Pleasence, Barbara De Rossi, Yorgo Voyagis, Anne Knecht, Elvire Audray
IMDb: //www.imdb.com/title/tt0091651/

 

Tom Ghoul