When Left Alone – Dracula’s Widow (1988)

When most people think about vampire movies from the 1980s, it usually comes down to Fright Night or The Lost Boys which is perfectly fine as they are great vampire films. There are others of course that are just as good and quite possibly better like Near Dark and Vamp and then there are those that seem simply forgotten and while perhaps not as good, still provide an entertaining time for the audience such as Dracula’s Widow released in 1988.

The movie would star the legendary Sylvia Kristel of Emmanuel fame as the titular vampire, not to mention many other films, and Lenny von Dohlen opposite her as the unwitting pawn who becomes her possession, much to his dismay. As a man who enjoys a bit of horror in his life and is looking to get his latest exhibition off the ground, when confronted with a real vampire, Raymond as played by Dohlen, is at a loss and finds that not only must he give up his girlfriend, he finds himself changing and developing a thirst for blood though he has not fully turned like the woman who has bitten him. Directed by Christopher Coppola, he then takes the audience on a ride as bodies begin to pile up much to the consternation of Lieutenant Hap Lannon who has no idea what is happening, introduces Van Helsing’s descendant who does know what is going on and finds Dohlen’s character Raymond at a loss until a desperate plan is hatched to rid the world of Vanessa, wife of Dracula, once and for all.

Suffice it to say, this movie is not as good as those films as mentioned earlier but it does have a lot going for it such as Dohlen who puts in an earnest performance as the vampire aficionado who gets in over his head. Kristel is fairly good too as the widow of the vampire that started it all but compared to Dohlen, she does little other than lurk around, killing people to satisfy her bloodlust. That being said, the special effects were really good at times and totally laughable during others, combining to make for quite the compelling time. One could never doubt this being a horror movie as aside from the vampire presence, the copious amounts of blood spelled it out in no time flat. There were perhaps a few other things that one might call cheesy but they never took away from the picture as a whole and Coppola would keep things moving along at a decent pace until the finale when Dracula’s widow would finally meet her untimely, or timely, end.

Though some might not think the story was up to par and to be fair, it could have used a bit of improvement to make everything flow better, the story was decent and there was enough on the table that following it was not all that hard. The suspense could have been dialled up a little so that the horror was a little more impactful but overall Dracula’s Widow made for an enjoyable time.

2.5 out of 5

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