Horror

Simply Misunderstood – Blood of Dracula (1957)

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Blood of Dracula was an American International Pictures release sandwiched between I Was a Teenage Werewolf and I Was a Teenage Frankenstein. For all intents and purposes, they could have called this I was a Teenage Vampire and yet for some reason, they did not. Perhaps it was so they could cash in on the Dracula name and if so, it was a smart move, but for those looking for the Lord of the Undead, they will not find him here. There is nothing worse than being sucked in by the promise of a title and then finding it has nothing to do with the picture whatsoever. False advertising blood-of-dracula-1957-14though it was, Blood of Dracula turned out to be an entertaining, if silly exercise in horror.

Much like Teenage Werewolf, this picture followed a similar path with its lead character, a girl named Nancy. She happens to be a little misunderstood due to the fact that she is a bit upset about her mother passing away, her dad remarrying, getting shipped off to an all-girls boarding school and getting picked on because she happens to be the new girl. Her science teacher feels for her, but has an ulterior motive in mind – a theory that every member of humanity has a hidden power within them and who better to test it on than Nancy. So with a little help from science and teenage emotions run amok, Nancy will sometimes transform into a demon-like creature, leaving bodies in her wake.

Fitting nicely into the man-made monster/mad doctor genre of horror films, Blood of Dracula is short on scares butblood-of-dracula-1957-11 still manages to provide a few eerie moments and the makeup on the creature is excellent. Sure, the teeth are ridiculous and very reminiscent of the Teenage Werewolf costume, but it does the job and Nancy turns out to be a monster you would not want to meet in a dark place. Louise Lewis plays an excellent villain, a woman who seems very altruistic at first, but one who you can see is very bitter thanks to the repeated rejections by her peers because she is a woman scientist. The horror of the film actually comes from her and the breaking of the trust that was placed in her by the girls under her care. There might have been a strange creature present, but she was the real monster.

As mentioned previously, there was quite a bit of material that was more than likely made unintentionally funny. As the film was also part teenage drama, the makers of the movie also tried to cater to that teenage set and some of it did not age as well as others, but it was all, surprisingly, relatable. In the end, it was a good film, not the best and not the worst, but good enough to while away an afternoon on.

3 out of 5
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