Blood of Dracula

01/30/2016 08:58

Film: Blood of Dracula

Year: 1957

Director: Herbert L. Strock

Writer: Aben Kandel

Starring: Sandra Harrison, Louise Lewis and Gail Ganley



This film begins in a car. There is a man driving, played by Thomas Brown Henry. There is a young woman in the backseat and she pulls the wheel, causing them to end up in the ditch. The young woman is played by Sandra Harrison and Henry is her father. Sitting next to him is his new wife, played by Jean Dean. It appears that Harrison’s mother died and he married Dean six weeks later. Harrison has a bad attitude in that her father didn’t wait longer, but he has to relocate for his job. They are taking her to a boarding school.

They arrive and meet with the headmistress, played by Mary Adams. She is actually very nice and informs Harrison that this is not a reform school, but one of the best prep schools in the country. It will be difficult, but she will learn a lot here. She is then taken to her room to unpack and go to bed as it is late.

She then meets the other young women that attend this school. The leader of this group is Gail Ganley. She is accompanied by Heather Ames, Shirley Delancey, Barbara Wilson and Lynn Alden. They go through her stuff and Harrison sits there, not giving in to them. It isn’t until they pull out a picture of her boyfriend, played by Michael Hall, which she springs up and gets in a tussle. The woman that monitors this dorm hears the racket and yells. She is played by Edna Holland. The women flee, leaving Harrison alone. She is scolded and told to go to bed.

The next morning at breakfast, Harrison is told by Ganley that she passed the first test and that she has been allowed to join her group of friends. Harrison doesn’t seem that interested, but she learns that everyone here is part of a clique and she needs to join one, or they will make her life difficult. We also learn that Ganley is the teacher’s assistant in chemistry while Ames is the one in English. Harrison catches on.

Outside we meet the groundskeeper, a young man played by Don Devlin. It appears that Ganley and her group of friends all take turns dating him, because he is the only young man they have access to. Harrison is not having this as she already has a boyfriend. We also learn that Devlin has promised to marry Wilson and she scolds him for that interaction.

We then meet the chemistry teacher, played by Louise Lewis. She wears an old amulet and tells Ganley that she wants to conduct an experiment. Ganley offers herself, but Lewis states that she needs someone with more attitude. Ganely knows exactly who she should use. An experiment is conducted in class when Perkins is burned by Lewis secretly. She takes her into another room and then hypnotizes her. She also explains that the amulet is from the Carpathian Mountains.

Wilson goes into the basement to find something for class and Harrison goes down there as well. She becomes a vampire and attacks her. There is a big uproar the next morning and Adams is upset. She fears that parents may start to pull their students out.

The police officer in charge of investigating this is Malcolm Atterbury. He talks over what is happening with Richard Devon, who is also a detective. There is also a young doctor, played by Paul Maxwell, and another doctor Voltaire Perkins. Maxwell states that he had a roommate in college from the Carpathian Mountains who spoke of vampires, everyone laughs him off.

The ladies are having a party that next night that is crashed by Devlin and his two friends, Jerry Blaine and Jimmy Hayes. The problem is that Harrison changes again killing two more after it is broken up. Can she free herself from Lewis’ spell and break the curse of the vampire? Or is she doomed until her death? How many more will she claim before she is discovered?

I have to say that I came in not knowing a whole lot about this film and learned that it was from the 1950s teenage monster line. I can see at the time this came out, it being widely popular. You have a group of girls, who would be considered a group of mean girls today, at a boarding school. There is a scene with what I’m assuming was a good looking guy from the era singing a song called ‘Puppy Love’. I will give this film credit as I have read it is the first vampire film to have the monster with exposed fangs. I didn’t mind the make-up that was used for the transformation and the look of the vampire.

Now this film has a lot of issues. The first is that the acting isn’t all that good. Everyone is robotic and no one really stood out. The story is non-existent for the most part and a low running time is the result. I am also very confused as to how Lewis hypnotizing Harrison turns her into a vampire. That is never really explained and I think that is part of why I couldn’t connect with the film. I also do not like the title, because this film has zero to do with Dracula, outside of it having a vampire. The name in the title was solely used to get more viewers to the cinema. I can’t fault them for trying to capitalize, but it is misleading. I also was not a fan of the ending as it seemed a little too convenient.

With that said, I wouldn’t recommend this film to most people. The acting is subpar, the story is non-existent and the concept doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I will say though if you’re a fan of the 1950s teenage monster films, I would give this a viewing then, since it falls in that genre and movement. It should be pointed out as well that this film is in black and white. I would say not to expect much from this film, but it really is a case of ‘it is what it is’. There are much better vampire films out there though.


My Rating: 4 out of 10