Dracula Sucks – USA, 1978

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Dracula Sucks – also released as Lust at First Bite and This Vampire Sucks – is a 1978 American adult horror movie directed by Phillip Marshak from a screenplay by Daryl Marshak (Cataclysm) and David Kern, very loosely based on Bram Stoker‘s Dracula.

The film stars Jamie Gillis (who played the Count again in 1980 in Dracula Exotica), Reggie Nalder, Annette Haven, Seka, Serena, Kay Parker, John Leslie, Paul Thomas, Mike Ranger and John Holmes (Evil Come Evil Go and Count Spatula in Sex and the Single Vampire).

Associate producer and editor Nettie Peña directed Home Sweet Home (1980). Second unit director Norman Thaddeus Vane later helmed Frightmare and The Black Room.

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At an exclusive sanitarium, strange things are happening: patients are acting differently and are being found with mysterious bite marks in their necks.

Visiting professor, Van Helsing (Reggie Nalder) believes it to be the work of vampires. With the arrival of Count Dracula (Jamie Gillis), things get even stranger and more violent, as the diabolical count sets his sights on the beautiful Mina (Annette Haven)…

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Reviews:

“There’s a strain of goony humor that is undercut by a genuinely eerie ambiance. It is an unwell universe where the dysfunctional out-rules the healthy and that includes a large part of the medical staff … the fact that Van Helsing (played by character actor heavy Reggie Nalder) manages to out-creep Dracula, there are no real character safety zones here.” Dangerous Minds

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“Common sense takes a backseat to cocaine-fuelled nonsense and the audience is expected to make sense of it all. But we can’t. Because it’s annoying. Eventually, the effort to pay attention makes us ambivalent … As the plot is forgotten, the film unravels into random, vignette-styled chaos.” Joseph A. Ziemba, Bleeding Skull!

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“In terms of style and production value, the film is on par with some of the more ambitious low budget horror films from the period thanks hugely to the time-consuming camera set-ups by cinematographer Hanania Baer (Elvira: Mistress of the Dark), the Castle Hill location, reasonably convincing if not always consistent period costumes and props, and decent to good performances…” Eric Cotenas, DVD Drive-In

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The film has been released on DVD by Vinegar Syndrome. It includes the following features:

• 2-disc DVD Set | Region Free | 16:9 Anamorphic
• Director’s cut of Dracula Sucks
• Alternate Lust at First Bite edit (40+ minutes of alternate footage!)
• Commentary w/ Actor and Co-Writer Bill Margold
• Return to Castle Hill featurette w/ Producer Darryl Marshak and Bill Margold
• Original theatrical trailer
• German Art Gallery

Buy Dracula Sucks on DVD from Amazon.com

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Also released as:

  • Dracula’s Bride
  • Lust at First Bite
  • Desejos à Primeira Mordida (Brazil )
  • Drácula chupa (Spain)
  • This Vampire Sucks (UK: video and DVD re-title)
  • Dracula… ti succhio (Italy)
  • The Coming of Dracula’s Bride (USA: alternative title)
  • La novia de Drácula (Venezuela)
  • Liebling, du beißt so gut (West Germany)

Trivia:

This film should not be confused with 1979 German comedy Dracula Blows His Cool, which was also released in some territories as Dracula Sucks.

Dracula Exotica – USA, 1980

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Categories: 1970s, adaptation of a novel, Dracula, exploitation, vampire

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