Review of a film about which only I care: Dracula A.D. 1972

I didn’t intend to compose two consecutive entries in the “reviews of films about which only I care” series, but unfortunately I failed to anticipate that the X-Files: I Want To Believe would be so miserably unworthy of anyone’s concern as to demand inclusion in this piteous library. I remain utterly depressed by that foresaid fact, by the by. 

Moving on to the matter at hand, I’ve been watching a fair amount of That 70’s Show recently and have consequently come to feel that the 1970’s may not have been an odious decade in which to grow up, this feeling most probably accountable primarily to the fact that, for a reason that’s entirely beyond me, I find known Scientologist Laura Prepon compellingly attractive. I order to cure myself of this affliction- by which I mean failure to recognize the 70’s as loathsome, not the Laura Prepon thing- I turned to one of the more embarrassing chapters in Hammer Horror’s catalog of films starring Christopher Lee as Count Dracula: Dracula A.D. 1972.

If I may I’d like to address that tagline for a moment. An eye for hot pants? Declaring that Dracula is scoping out for short shorts doesn’t make the monster sound sinister, just pervy in a way that makes the audience uncomfortable. I can only assume that by ‘everything’ the individuals responsible for marketing meant ‘blood’, as the conventional definition of the term makes woefully little sense in this context, connoting that in 1972 Dracula has a mild foot fetish or something.  

However, I digress. The premise of the movie is rather easy to infer from its title– one hundred years after his most recent defeat at the hands of Cushing’s Van Helsing, Dracula has returned to wreck general havok while avenging himself upon the descendants of his foe, particularly the bellbottom-clad teen Jessica Van Helsing. Despite this rather pedestrian storyline, Dracula A.D. 1972 may very well be notable as the only motion picture ever to implement the act of resurrecting an undead nobleman as a metaphor for drug abuse.

When Renfield surrogate Johnny Alucard (somewhat relatedly, Dracula direly needs to sharpen his cryptography skills) proposes that he and his friends conduct the dark ritual in question, the ensuing conversation transpires in a uncannily familiar fashion, “Don’t knock it unless you’ve tried it” countered with “Well it’s dangerous isn’t it?” this idea in turn parried by “come on, it’s only a giggle”. In leading the black mass, Johnny turns on some trippy base-heavy music, which his peers proceed to ‘dig’ by gyrating slowly and demonstrating magnified sex drives as thick smoke, presumably produced by obsidian candles, swirls through the air. This analogue becomes wonderfully amusing when extrapolated to being unable to study because your roommates hotboxed the room with Dracula gas.

While Peter Cushing is superb as usual in the role of a 20th century heir to the Van Helsing name who is incidentally the spitting image of his ancestors, the capacity of the teenage gang on whom the film focuses to endear the audience leaves much to be desired. Without a great deal of exertion, I arrived upon a strictly superior concept for a Dracula movie set in the 1970’s: 

draculavst7s.png picture by xplus

 

I know Christopher Lee has said he has no intention of portraying Dracula ever again, a reservation for which I can scarcely blame him after Dracula A.D. 1972, I think once he hears this pitch he might reconsider. Perhaps to say this is a bit bold, but I believe this idea could potentially develop into the best film ever to feature Ashton Kutcher. 

– Gothicus Maximus

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One Response to “Review of a film about which only I care: Dracula A.D. 1972”

  1. That 70’s Show is great. I usually dislike repeats of any variety, but I’ll watch those occasionally. Even though distainful at first, because it is a repeat, it ends up funny anyway.

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