We are introduced to Udo Kier’s rendition of Dracula during the opening credits, when we are forced to observe him covering up his cadaverous pallor with blush, lipstick and eyebrow pencils. He finishes up by painting his grey hair black as the camera pans around to his rear, to reveal that he isn’t casting any reflection in the mirror he’s sitting in front of.

We are then introduced to Dracula’s ridiculous and quite oily sidekick Anton as he pesters the Count about finding a victim soon. Apparently, the Count can only feed on the blood of a virgin (ostensibly female), and Anton’s big plan is for the Count to travel to Italy in search of a new victim. Anton’s feeble reasoning is that they will have an easy time finding virgins in Italy because the Catholic Church has its headquarters there. The fact that Italy is also top of the shop when it comes to European pornography never seems to illuminate Anton’s flimsy scheme.

OOHWe are also dipped hip-deep in the film’s Eurotrashiness almost immediately. The Count begins sniveling and whining about how much he dislikes traveling, and how much he would like to bring his stuffed animals along (I wish I was making this up). Anton sports an annoying (and quite fake) accent like Chekov’s from Star Trek. He can’t seem to pronounce the word ‘virgin’, instead saying ‘WERR-jinn’. He also tells the Count that the Italians will be impressed by his ‘typo’ (title). Why this would be a greater benefit in Italy than in Romania remains a mystery.

All of this discussion about typos, werr-jins and stuffed animals is conducted in the presence of Dracula’s sister, an unnamed and fairly attractive brunette. After convincing the Count to go to Italy to find a victim, they lead her into a coffin and seal it up. We never see her again, nor is it explained why they don’t take her along, or if she has to feed on virgins as well. The film disavows any knowledge of her. We suspect that it was the director’s sister who wanted a part in his latest film.

Next thing you know, ol Drac\'s a millionaire...

Anton and Dracula pile into a 1920’s style car in broad daylight, conveniently equipped with the Count’s coffin tied to the roof as well as a rickety old-style wheelchair (which looks like it may have belonged to the old woman from Beverly Hillbillies at one point). The Count also seems immune to the daylight, for reasons which are never explained.

Then we are subjected to some painful examples of poor filmwork — the camera follows the car along the road regardless of what obstacles obscure the camera’s viewpoint, so we get quite a few closeups of hills, trees and the sides of bridges.

One jump cut later, we see a scene with several young ladies tilling a garden. Their mother is keeping a watchful eye on them from a balcony, and saying her lines with such lack of emotion while staring blankly to the side of the shot that she could only have been reading them from a cue card.

Before they can get any amount of substantive work done in the garden, the ladies begin complaining about how hot it is out. Just like a Monty Python skit, they proceed to strip off their clothes and strut around, still not getting any work done. Some sharp words shouted from their mother ends the impromptu burlesque, but not before the gardener/butler/handyman of the house can lurch into the scene and sneer, “Cover yourselves up”.

Another jump cut. This time back to the Count and Anton rolling up to some kind of inn in their car (coffin and wheelchair also intact). They disembark and amble in.

After some silly conversation with a worthless old woman, they rent a room. Anton immediately begins to make some very indiscreet inquiries regarding the location of some available virgins, using the silly and quite tenuous cover story of a Romanian count who has lost his wife and is looking for another one, and it’s quite important for her to be a virgin because of the Count’s religious and family tradition. Why in Italy and not Romania? Well, the Count loved his wife a lot, and another Romanian bride would remind him of his late wife too much, hence a trip to Italy.

The locals seem to regard Anton’s strangeness as though it rolled through their little town twice a week, and send him to see a nobleman named Fiorre who has four daughters of marrying age.

Goofy seizure time!Could these four young women be the ones we witnessed in the garden? You bet your sweet vomit bag they are! Of course, the Count can’t simply meet the girls…no, we must be tortured by their bizarre father (who is obsessed with names), be subjected to Anton’s seedy self as he procures some blood to tide the count over (he ‘accidentally’ drops a loaf of bread into the blood of a little girl who is hit by a car in the road – and brings it back to the room for the Count to slurp on), observe that the girls are hardly virgins while subjecting themselves to the butler’s abusive sexual ways, and bear witness to the Count’s goofy epileptic-like seizure brought on by a lack of blood (which seems to last several minutes).

Eventually, the Count is asked to stay at the Fiorre mansion, which has seen better days. As a matter of fact, the girls’ father is so tickled that the Count wants to marry one of his children because he thinks that the Count is rich – he envisions rebuilding his lost fortunes on the Count’s imagined wealth.

The plot then unfolds like a rotting banana peel sitting in the sun.

The Count, wheeling around in his wheelchair, meets each of the two oldest young ladies in turn. He interrogates them very indiscreetly about their virginity. They wobble about like geisha girls, nodding at his insistent questions, confirming their virginity. Then, the Count feebly attacks them.

He slurps at their necks for what seems like a short eternity, and after a few moments of sitting still with a sated smirk on his face, his face turns green (accomplished by shining a green light on the actor) and he vomits up their blood into the nearest toilet or bathtub. It seems as though he does his best to smear it all down his front as well. Yuck.

Having been attacked by a vampire turns the young women into obedient zombie-like people – which is how the audience feels by now.

The Count gets into a pleasant conversation with the eldest daughter, who seems to actually be a good match for the Count and they get along well. Of course, with a movie as nasty as this one, this can’t end up well.

Mister Fiorre has to take a business trip to London, and that’s when the human zoo of this film rears up.

The gardener/butler/Marxist revolutionary finally figures out that the Count is a vampire, and declares it as though he’s known it all along. The big confrontation (such as it is) is on!

The butler prepares himself for a battle with the undead, arming himself with improvised weaponry scrounged from the tool shed. Just as we thought that the film couldn’t get any nastier, he proceeds to quickly rape the youngest daughter (who is one of the only virgins left in the house), in order to protect her from the Count. It seems to be a case of the cure being worse than the disease.

The camera seems to take an inordinate interest in the trickle of virginal blood that’s left behind on the wood floor as the audience goes, “Ewwww”. You haven’t seen ‘Ew’ yet, my friends!

The mother manages to get her hands on a small revolver, and hovers around her recently raped child while completely ignoring her eldest…who, to the best of everyone’s knowledge, is still a virgin.

The Count is in bad shape, but manages to crawl into the room with the trickle of blood. He laps at it, feeling his strength (such as it is) returning. Now, you may say “Ewwww!”

EWW

Anton is still scurrying around, and runs into the mother. After a brief argument, Anton produces a stiletto and stabs Mom. He doesn’t get far, though: Staggering around, she manages to bring her pistol to bear and shoots him through the head as he tries to scamper away. We’re even treated to a goofy close up of Anton’s face, with eyes rolled back and a dripping hole in the center of his forehead.

The butler finally corners Dracula, who seems to have no supernatural powers whatsoever. He runs like a schoolgirl as the butler takes after him with an axe, scampering about like a beetle. Unfortunately, it’s just not enough…he is dismembered limb by limb, resembling the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

After leaving limbs strewn all over the castle, the Count finally flops down in the courtyard (the only fight he puts up is hissing with his fangs bared after loosing both arms). The eldest Fiorre daughter tries to stop the Butler, throwing herself on him and wailing about how he’s no longer a threat. The butler is unimpressed by her pleas, stabbing the count through the chest with the broken handle of the axe.

When she sees this, the girl comes completely unglued, and after a lot of screaming and bawling she dives on the jagged axe handle while it’s still jutting from the Count’s chest. She dies while lying on what remains of him. And who says that romance is dead?



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