Mama Dracula -Belgium/France, 1979

Mama Dracula is a 1979 [released 19 November 1980] Belgian-French film produced, directed and co-written by Boris Szulzinger. The screenplay was co-written with Pierre Sterckx and Marc-Henri Wajnberg. The movie stars Louise Fletcher, Maria Schneider and Jimmy Shuman.

Mama Dracula, a character based on the true story of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, an enthusiast of rejuvenation baths consisting of the blood of young virgins, must come to terms with a shortage in the modern era. She invites scientist Professor Van Bloed from the USA to aid her quest for virgin’s blood…

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Reviews:

“The photography and the settings are adequate but the farcical script never achieves the level of inventiveness required to get away with such a thin plot.” Phil Hardy (editor), The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror

“Fletcher struts about in a feather boa and undergoes various costume changes but projects zero in the way of oozing sex appeal. Moreover, at age 46 and of rather broader figure, she is physically wrong for the part. Even with the film being played as the comedy it is, she never seems to get into the spirit of the burlesque.” Richard Scheib, Moria

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“In places this verged on the amateurish in spite of the professionals before and behind the camera, doing nothing but demonstrate how crucial a decent script is to this kind of effort, which was unavoidably missing with Mama Dracula. If little else it offered a benevolence in its attitudes, though that only meant its teeth were blunted. Surprisingly lush music by Roy Budd.” Graeme Clark, The Spinning Image

“…a relentlessly camped-up embarrassment […] But the puerile result doesn’t have a laugh in it from beginning to end.” Jonathan Rigby, Euro Gothic

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“Neither flashes of self-conscious technique nor the presence of Fletcher can raise this film above the level of its sophomoric humor and mediocre plot.” Alain Silver and James Ursini, The Vampire Film

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Choice dialogue:

Virginie: “I’d like to go kissy kissy bang bang with you!”

Cast and characters:

  • Louise Fletcher … Mama Dracula – Frankenstein and Me; Firestarter; Strange Invaders; Exorcist II: The Heretic
  • Maria Schneider … Nancy Hawaï
  • Marc-Henri Wajnberg … Vladimir
  • Alexander Wajnberg … Ladislas
  • Jimmy Shuman … Professor Van Bloed
  • Jess Hahn … The Detective
  • Michel Israel … Rosa
  • Suzy Falk … The Nanny
  • Vincent Grass … Fiancé
  • Marie-Françoise Manuel … Virginie
  • José Gral … The Innkeeper
  • William Del Visco … The psychiatrist

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