Vampires have come a long way from the putrid, re-animated corpses of yore. Thanks to the pen of Bram Stoker, his contemporaries, and thousands of subsequent writers, the once demonic mass of decaying flesh has been transformed into a suave gentleman with sublime social skills and a taste for repressed Victorian fiancées. Of this new, well relatively, wave of blood suckers none has been as tapped as Dracula for the big screen. While Christopher Lee may go down as the best actor to play the caped crimson consumer, the most memorable performance has to be that of Bela Lugosi. Want proof? Well, just look at DRACULA THE DIRTY OLD MAN and GUESS WHAT HAPPENED TO COUNT DRACULA, where our man of the hour is given a certain vocal inflection that bears more than a passing resemblance to that of a certain Hungarian AA member.
Dracula has a problem: he's too famous to use his real name but he's too vain to get rid of it completely. Solution: spell it backwards. That dead horse gimmick gets the s**t kicked out of it in DRACULA THE DIRTY OLD MAN. Here a reporter comes to visit a Mr. Alucard who turns out to be, yep, Dracula. Dracula, never the nicest guy, turns the poor sap into a werewolf. To add insult to injury he changes the poor bastard's name from Mike Waters to Irving Jackalman. (Get it?! Jackal-man!) Why a werewolf needs a name I don't know; perhaps when you're a centuries-old vampire you get a little soft in the head.
Irving Jackalman, whose head makes him look like a were-shag carpet sample book, has been made responsible for getting Dracula women. Since Irving is a Jackal-man one can understand that he's not about to send foxy ladies to his boss without first sampling the merchandise; plenty of lame-core simulated sex and gratuitous nudity follows.
With the exception of one scene the entirety of DRACULA THE DIRTY OLD MAN is overdubbed with no care taken to synch up the voices. In this way it resembles the superior PSYCHED BY THE 4D WITCH (also available from Something Weird Video), however where that film went so far off the deep end as to become accidental art this movie is just one crappy Catskills third-rate comedian joke after another. Even thought the film is only 69 minutes and filled with naked women, you'll swear it was longer than THE SORROW AND THE PITY. It's only thanks to the magic of porn logic that there are any jaw-dropping moments. (Like the "hey let's have sex in this cave where you were abducted to and raped cause I've never done it in a cave before" bit. Now that guy had class.)
There's no nudity in GUESS WHAT HAPPENED TO COUNT DRACULA, but you'll get the sinking suspicious there was supposed to be. Though IMDB doesn't link any of the cast to it, you'll swear up and down that everyone in this production looks like a '70s low rent porn star. Vampire Count Adrian has discovered the woman of his dreams, but she's got a boyfriend. What's a poor count to do? Well, he can sneak in to her house and give her a few bites while she's sleeping, slowly turning her into a member of the undead.
Featuring a twist ending that wouldn't wake an insomniac up and battles between the undead that look like half-assed variations on "uncle," GUESS WHAT HAPPENED TO COUNT DRACULA doesn't really have much going for it except that it includes a suave vampire type and as such made a nice bottom half to a double bill at the drive-in. Lord knows many a young kid relented to being knocked up rather than endure this, and in such the film served its true purpose.
Both films have faded prints specked with scratches and debris; guess you picky folks will have to wait for the Criterion edition. As with most Something Weird releases the sound is a tad low, so turn up the volume.
As usual this Something Weird release is chock full of extras. Dracula takes 30 minutes to get to a rather tepid punchline in the nudie "Dracula and the Dirty Old Witch." This feels like a truncated lame-core flick. John Holmes shows off his star power in "Sex and the Single Vampire" that also features the talents of that loveliest of lovelies, Sandy Carey. Here Mr. Holmes plays a wisecracking vampire whose house is invaded by a bunch of thirty something adults looking to knock boots. This short continues Something Weird's commitment to push the lame-core limits.
Looking for trailers? Well, they're here. Chevron pictures (Remember them? I don't) presents BLOOD SUCKERS. THE BODY BENEATH, previously released by Something Weird, has a trailer here and man, does it look good, sort of. Jean Rollin's REQUIEM FOR A VAMPIRE has its Harry Novak CAGED VIRGINS re-title-job trailer presented. Cult favorite DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS gets represented. Remember that really famous lady that killed all those other ladies and bathed in their blood, oh, a few centuries ago? Well she gets yet another cinematic treatment in THE LEGEND OF BLOOD CASTLE. Herschell Gordon Lewis' A TASTE OF BLOOD is represented. Want to hear an odd name for a film? How about THE VAMPIRE AND THE BALLERINA? Cheap foreign product gets the double bill treatment with THE VAMPIRE'S COFFIN / THE ROBOT VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY. It's a trailer so good they used a sound bite for the main animated menu.
Wrapping up the disc is the obligatory gallery of exploitation art with radio spot rarities.