Blood for Dracula (1974)


BLOOD FOR DRACULA (Dracula cerca sangue di vergine… e morì di sete!!!) (aka: ANDY WARHOL”S DRACULA)

(director/writer: Paul Morrissey; cinematographer: Luigi Kuveiller; editors: Jed Johnson/Franca Silvi; music: Claudio Gizzi; cast: Udo Kier (Count Dracula), Joe Dallesandro (Mario), Arno Juerging (Anton), Maxime McKendry (Marquise Di Fiori), Milena Vucotic (Esmeralda), Sylvia Dionisio (Perla), Stefania Cassini (Rubinia), Dominique Darel (Saphiria), Vittorio De Sica (Marquis Di Fiori), Roman Polanski (Man in Tavern); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Andy Warhol/Jean Yanne; Image Entertainment; 1974-Italy/France-in English)

“It’s a few bites away from being a delicious spoof on Dracula.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A somewhat tamer but still raw companion piece to Paul Morrissey’s Flesh for Frankenstein (1973), in which Andy Warhol does nothing but lend his name to both films. Paul Morrissey (“Bike Boy”/”Flesh”/”Trash”) is the writer-director, who keeps things raunchy and on the south side of the perversity line in this revisionist version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula story. It’s a few bites away from being a delicious spoof on Dracula, but it’s right on the money if you’re looking for something gross that has a blood-splattered climax and is a Warhol signature film even if he wasn’t part of the creative process.

A sickly Dracula (Udo Kier) in need of a virgin’s blood within the next few weeks or else he’ll perish, under the advice of his secretary, Anton (Arno Juerging), leaves his vampire sister to rest in Transylvania and travels with his trusted assistant by car and with a coffin strapped to the top, for Italy. They go there because it’s a Catholic country and therefore it should be easier to find a virgin there than in his Romanian homeland. Anton finagles an invite into the home of the aristocratic Di Fiori family, who are strapped for cash because the patriarch Marquis Di Fiori (Vittorio De Sica) gambled away his inheritance in the London casinos and his wife, the Marquise Di Fiori (Maxime McKendry), is desperately looking to marry off her daughters to wealth. Dracula is excited about the prospects of meeting the marquis’s possible four virgin daughters, the eldest Esmeralda (Milena Vucotic), the youngest at 14 Perla (Sylvia Dionisio), Saphiria (Dominique Darel) and Rubinia (Stefania Cassini). The Marxist handyman Mario (Joe Dallesandro) is balling both the slutty Saphiria and Rubinia, but when they go to Dracula’s room they lie and say they’re virgins. After biting each, he finds himself taken ill because their blood’s impure. The bites however put them under his power, but they are saved from being vampires because luckily they weren’t virgins. Finally Dracula’s plans are foiled by the belligerent Mario, who despises the aristocrats and gets a head start on the impending communist class revolution he predicts is around the corner as he goes after Dracula with an ax and chops him into pieces before staking him.

The funniest and most perverted scene has Dracula lapping up from the floor the youngest sister’s puddle of blood after the hired hand raped her so that she wouldn’t become a vampire, since she’s the only sister who is a virgin.