Dracula’s Widow (1988) – The Bargain Basement of Horror

dracul;a's widow

You know Raymond Everett (Lenny von Dolen) really should have been more careful when he signed for that delivery of coffin sized boxes from Romania. Intent on getting his Dracula display up and running at his Hollywood waxwork museum the extra box was the last thing on his mind until Dracula’s widow Vanessa (Sylvia Kristel) emerges and starts putting the bite on LA. Fortunately hard-boiled cop Hap Lannon (Josef Summer) is on the case and with a little direction from antique shop owner Helsing (Stefan Schnabel) is out on the beat with his gaberdene mac’s pockets full of stakes.

Despite her shoulder padded 80s power suit Vanessa is surprised to discover that Dracula got staked back in the 1890s, I know Romania under Ceausescu had tight control of the media, but even a crackpot dictator like him couldn’t keep a lid on that surely?. Kristel’s performance is interesting, that is aside from the speaking parts. For most of the film she seems to have modelled herself on Max Schreck’s Graf Orlock from Nosferatu complete with those fully extended talons. This is complimented by the film’s only saving grace, the imaginative use of light and shadow, which when she is climbing the stairs for example, is very reminiscent of Murnau’s 1922 classic. Then she drops into a Hammer glamour Barbara Shelley for some seductive neck munching and defensive hissing before going the full gonzo feeding frenzy complete with the compulsory angry head vamp mask only Kristel’s looks rather too much like a Spitting Image Mick Jagger.

This is a pretty bad movie, the story is daft, dialogue excruciating, makeup and prosthetics rubbish and the acting on the whole is dire. Is it bad enough to be good?, er no, its too boring for that, the characters are so underdeveloped that you just don’t care about them and there just isn’t enough story to maintain interest throughout the film’s run time. I give it a 222/666.

You should be able to pick Dracula’s Widow up for around £3.00

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