‘The Blood Lusting Killer…’
Zoltan… Hound of Dracula – also released with the less exalted title Dracula’s Dog – is a 1977 American horror film co-produced and directed by Albert Band (I Bury the Living; Ghoulies II) from a screenplay by Frank Ray Perilli (Mansion of the Doomed; The Best of Sex and Violence).
In the film, a 17th century innkeeper, played by Reggie Nalder (Mark of the Devil; Salem’s Lot), becomes the willing thrall to the line of Dracula. Michael Pataki (director of Grave of the Vampire; Mansion of the Doomed) and Jose Ferrer co-star.
Although generally credited as a 1978 film, the American Film Institute indicates that the EMI financed film was completed in 1977 and US rights were then sold to Crown International Pictures.
A Russian road crew accidentally blasts open a subterranean crypt, and the captain of the road crew, fearing looters and criminals, stations a guard near the site. Late in the night, an earthquake shakes loose one of the coffins, which slides down and lands at the feet of the confused guard. Curious as to what has fallen before him, the guard opens the coffin and discovers the body of a dog, impaled by a stake. He removes the stake, which revives the vampiric hound Zoltan.
Zoltan opens another coffin shaken loose from the crypt, this one holding the body of an innkeeper (Nalder), who once owned the crypt. The heinous hound removes the stake from the innkeeper’s chest, reanimating the innkeeper…
“For something with as absurd a premise as this, it’s really not too bad. My biggest problem is with the pacing and length; the first hour keeps a decent pace as it builds up to the climax; however, the subsequent half-hour transforms into a Night of the Living Dead style siege as Michael Drake and Inspector Branco struggle against Zoltan and the other vampirized dogs.” Radiation Scarred Reviews
“It is a movie which is persistently and inescapably undone by its very premise. There are several scenes— most notably the one in which Drake and Branco are besieged in a tiny cabin by Zoltan and his pack— that come very close to working, only to implode in disgrace when the viewer suddenly remembers that these are vampire dogs we’re dealing with, and vampire dogs who are trying to get themselves adopted by an unwilling descendant of Count Dracula, at that.” Scott Ashlin, 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting
” … most of the movie is unconsciously hilarious, from the cheap synthesized score to the obvious and juvenile shots of the dogs’ heads against black backgrounds, their eyes aglow. Note also how the moon is full for an entire week.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers
“At the end of the day it’s a fun little movie … Michael Pataki is solid as Michael and he’s an actor you will recognise from a million different places, everything from Rocky 4 to Star Trek to Halloween 4. Jose Ferrer does some good stuff as the Inspector and Reggie Nalder is creepy as Zoltan’s owner Veidt … It all moves along at a nice swift pace and the legend Stan Winston himself provided the good quality makeup effects work.” Martyn, Halloween Love
” … the film is inventive and crudely but effectively staged, with Nalder’s cadaverously ravaged features promising much menace. But the effort seems to have exhausted both writer and director, who can dream up nothing better than to have Nalder moon about endlessly intoning “Soon!” to an impatient Zoltan…” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror
“The film is simply awful but the vampire dogs are sometimes a tiny bit scary and the film has considerable “accidental humor” in its favor. It’s odd to realize the director didn’t think vampire puppies would be funny but they are, and the abject ridiculousness of much of the goings-on makes it a fun film to watch with fellow bad-movie devotees.” Weird Wild Realm