Blood for Dracula (1974)
|Category||Horror||Main Menu Audio|
|Year Of Production||1974|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Paul Morrissey|
Beyond Home Entertainment
Vittorio De Sica
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Blood for Dracula is another in the string of films written and directed by Paul Morrissey during the 70s, under the Andy Warhol Presents banner. This movie is very similar in style to his previous year's production, Flesh for Frankenstein. In fact, the two films were shot back-to-back in Italy. This is in essence a very campy nod to Hammer's successful period horror franchise.
The isolation of his Romanian castle and the promiscuous modern times has led to a drastic shortage of virgins (pronounced wergins) in Count Dracula's locality. With his health fading and the future of his bloodline at stake, The Count is forced to seek unspoiled blood elsewhere in Europe. Italy seems to be the best idea, a deeply religious and wholesome culture with what must be an endless supply of wergins ripe for the taking. Dracula soon convinces a gullible family that he is searching for a bride and begins sampling their delicacies, with hilarious results. It seems true wergins are just too difficult to come by these days!
Morrissey's blood-soaked, farcical film is as hilarious as it is plain stupid. Udo Kier returns in another lead role performance as the bungling, inept Dracula who is hopelessly reliant on his assistant. Roman Polanski joins the cast for a scene as a conman, giving without doubt the most professional performance to be seen here. If you love the kind of bloody vampire film that is terrifyingly crafted and anchored by inspiring performances, then you could do a lot better than see this movie.
Blood for Dracula has been transferred to DVD in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Contrary to the disc's packaging, this transfer is definitely not 16x9 enhanced, so beware. This transfer is as lifeless as that which was given to Flesh for Frankenstein, so if you have read my review of that title you should know exactly what to expect.
This is a dull and undefined transfer. Although I did not see magnetic tape errors of any kind, this transfer looks suspiciously like it has come from an NTSC video source. There are no truly deep blacks to be found, and shadow detail is poor to say the least.
Colours are generally bland and ordinary, with no vibrancy whatsoever. Reds are the exception though: oversaturated to emphasise blood, but unfortunately this leads to unnaturally rosy skin tones.
Film artefacts appear now and then, usually in the form of white flecks of dust and dirt. The negative shows its age in many places - scratches and reel marks are fairly common. MPEG compression artefacts are nowhere to be seen.
There are no subtitles on this single-layered disc.
The only audio option is an English Dolby Digital mono soundtrack.
The dialogue of the film consists of some terrible ADR - perhaps they were rewriting the script in post production? The volume level of dialogue varies and this inconsistency tends to be irritating. Audio sync is generally good and only wavers on a few minor occasions.
As I stated in my review of Flesh for Frankenstein, the soundtrack score by Claudio Gizzi is the most professional aspect of this production, a haunting and melodic theme reminiscent of many classic European horror films from this era.
There was obviously no surround activity or subwoofer response in this mono soundtrack.
|Surround Channel Use|
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NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
A Region 1 Criterion release also exists, with these extra features included:
Both releases are coded Region 0 and do not have any subtitles. Despite not being 16x9 enhanced, the Criterion transfer is reportedly superior to the Region 2. The best value has to be the Region 2, offering both films in a package.
The video transfer is ordinary to say the least.
The audio transfer is comprised of some awfully inconsistent ADR.
There are no extras.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-525, using Component output|
|Display||Panasonic TX76PW10A 76cm Widescreen 100Hz. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Denon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete|
|Speakers||Orpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.|