Count Dracula's Great Love DVD Review
Written by Peter West
DVD released by Eclectic DVD
Directed by Javier Aguirre
Written by Javier Aguirre & Alberto S. Insúa
1972, Region 1 (NTSC), 85 minutes, Rated R
DVD released on November 11th, 2003
Jacinto Molina as Count Dracula/Dr. Wendell Marlow (as Paul Naschy)
Haydée Politoff as Karen
Rosanna Yanni as Senta
Ingrid Garbo as Marlene
Mirta Miller as Elke
Víctor Alcázar as Imre Polvi
Two men deliver a large crate to a abandoned sanitarium. Falling prey to temptation they open the crate only to find a coffin inside with old bones. They are soon attacked by a shadowy figure. The movie shifts to a stagecoach where four lovely ladies are treated to a tale of local folklore concerning the castle they are driving by that was rumored to once be the home of Count Dracula. As they pass a wheel spins off of the stagecoach. While a couple of passengers search for the wheel, more bad luck befalls them as the driver is kicked by a horse and dies.
They decide to try to spend the night at the old castle which most recently was used as a sanitarium. Upon arrival they meet Dr. Marlow who is restoring the castle for research. The first night one of the ladies (Karen) encounters one of the delivery men who is now a vampire. Dr. Marlow comes to her rescue and starts to find himself attracted to her. As the next few days go by, one by one the passengers fall prey to Count Dracula. However Dracula does not take Karen as he does the others. Instead he must make her love him in the normal way before he can use her blood to resurrect his long dead daughter. Once his daughter has been risen Dracula will then gain his strongest power!
What really disappointed my the most is that this is not really a bad movie! I enjoyed the story quite a bit. It followed classic Dracula themes and gave a twist to the story not presented in any other "Dracula" film I have seen. Jacinto Molina (Paul Naschy) is to Spain what Christopher Lee is to Great Britain. Covering most classical themes in the horror genre Naschy has a worldwide following that borders on "Cult" status. Other Nachy films have been restored and released with the transfers they deserve. Most recently in 2002 Anchor Bay released Werewolf Shadow and Curse of the Devil which were not as good storywise but look incredible! However at this time, this is the only copy of the movie you are going to find domestically. With a online price of about $10, you could do worse storywise with a lot of titles presented in better condition. This is why I will rate the overall rating higher than the parts. This movie also gets extra credit for many, many shots of fine boobage!
Video and Audio:
Dracula's Great Love was shot on 35mm film and most likely was released in a 1.66:1 OAR. The beginning of this disc is a cropped full screen transfer that later shifts to full screen. It is quite apparent that it has been modified by scenes where characters are cut off to the sides. The initial cropping that tries to give a widescreen look, butchers the credits as you can see from the screenshot of the title. This transfer is clearly from a VHS source. There are throughout the film images where the tracking is definitely off, which gives the feeling you are watching a worn out VHS tape. The color throughout the film is washed out and very weak. A poor transfer indeed!
For the most part the mono track on the DVD is in good shape. As you get about two thirds of the way through the film there are about 4 spots where there is a audio drop-off. Fortunately it does not drop any important dialog to the movie! Acceptable, that's about it. I do think it would have the sound make a bigger impact with a quality audio track.
Chapter stops, that's it.