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Film / Blood for Dracula

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Also known as Andy Warhol's Dracula.

Blood For Dracula is a 1974 horror movie that was filmed alongside its companion piece Flesh for Frankenstein, which was released a year earlier. Both films were written and directed by Paul Morrissey, a frequent collaborator of Andy Warhol; Warhol allowed his name to be attached to their alternate titles but otherwise had nothing to do with them. The films also starred Joe Dallesandro, another Warhol collaborator, and Udo Kier. Both films dealt with themes of sexuality, classism, and immortality in a tongue-in-cheek manner, using classic horror figures of the 19th century. In this case, Dracula.

Dracula, played by Kier, is dying. He clings to life and needs blood in order to survive. The only problem is, in this version, vampires must feed on the blood of virgins in order to live. His assistant suggests that the Count move to Italy where, due to the strict religious culture, there should be plenty of virgins to choose from. They pack up their belongings and move in next door to a family with four daughters, three of them ready for marriage and claiming to be virgins. The Count befriends their parents and promises to marry one of the girls but soon finds out that not all the girls are as pure as they say they are. It seems that Mario the Socialist farmhand has been sleeping with two of them in secret. With the fourth daughter having been previously married and (presumably?) not a virgin, Dracula sets his sights on the youngest of the girls with Mario quickly unraveling the mystery.

Famous film director Vittorio De Sica stars as Il Marchese Di Fiore.

This film contains examples of:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Dracula is actually one of the more sympathetic characters in this film. He is just a dying man trying to hang on to life while the human characters are abusive, selfish, and mostly pretty nasty to each other.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Dracula's eventual fate involves getting his arms and legs chopped off.
  • Anything That Moves / Depraved Bisexual: The two middle daughters are not picky when it comes to sleeping with Mario, or even each other.
  • Anti-Hero: Mario is abusive to the daughters to the point where he forces himself on one of them before throwing her naked outside his cabin. Despite this, he shows sympathy for the dying Dracula (until he discovers he's a vampire), and tries to protect the remaining daughters. Of course protecting the youngest daughter means raping her so that she will no longer be a virgin, thus "spoiling" her for Dracula.
  • Anti-Villain: Dracula bears no ill-will toward anyone and even shows a great deal of fondness toward the oldest daughter. Drinking blood is simply the only way he can survive.
  • Author Avatar: Played with - Mario is a proud socialist who has the hammer-and-sickle in his bedroom. He often gives monologues rallying against the upper class. Morrissey had similar leanings, but also hated the sexual nihilism that often came with the territory, hence portraying Mario as a misogynistic brute.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Arguably. Mario defeats and kills Dracula, but this version of Dracula is so sympathetic and Mario is so hateful that it's hard to really see it as a good thing.
  • Bar Brawl: Dracula's assistant Anton gets into one near the beginning, which includes a cameo by Roman Polański of all people.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Incest, insanity, and apathetic materialism run rampant in the family, and that's before Dracula shows up.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: Dracula is the grey, weirdly enough.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Two of the sisters are very mean nymphomaniacs who look down on the lower class and have no problems with stripping in public or engaging in incest with each other and trying to get the older sister to join in. After they are turned into vampires, they try to rape her.
  • Deus Sex Machina: Mario saves the youngest daughter from Dracula by taking her virginity. She's fourteen.
  • Dirty Communist: Played with, in that Mario is the closest thing this movie has to a hero, but he's still an abusive thug and rapist who is arguably less sympathetic than Dracula.
  • Dull Surprise: If Kier is over the top in his hamminess, then Dellesandro offsets this by being nearly catatonic, as evident when he discovers Dracula is a vampire or when he finds newly-created vampires in the house.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The mother mentions walking past Dracula's room in the night and hearing him vomiting - and yet somehow missed the hideous screams of her daughter as her jugular was pierced, leading to the aforementioned vomiting on Dracula's part.
  • Family Theme Naming: The sisters- Esmeralda, Saphiria, Rubinia, and Perla- are all named after precious gemstones.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The typical way to deal with vampires.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: Andy Warhol's name was slapped on the alternate titles of both films, but he actually had little to do with them.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: The two middle daughters - although their 'innocence' is a semantic point. They think nothing of stripping outside in full view of the entire plantation, and while they do have sex with Mario, they believe it doesn't count since he is of a lower class. They seem to have similar opinions while having sex with each other. Therefore, when Dracula asks if they're virgins, they claim that they are, and firmly believe they're telling the truth.
  • Jerkass Victim: The two daughters Dracula initially goes after are selfish, materialistic, and have such contempt for the lower classes that they don't even count having sex with them as real sex, which leads to Dracula mistaking them for virgins. In fact, when Dracula turns them into vampires, they try to rape their younger sister. It is unclear if they did this because they were Brainwashed and Crazy at this point, or if they simply did it For the Evulz.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The father, played by Vittorio DeSica of all people, completely misses this about Dracula's name. He thinks the '-ula' suffix is charming and intriguing. Being one of the few genuine Italians in the cast, he really ought to know better.
  • Large Ham: Kier as usual. His strong German accent makes it all the more whimsical.
    "Ze blood of zees whores is keellink me!"
  • Lesbian Vampire: Well, bisexual. And they were bi before they were vampires. But still.
  • Market-Based Title: In some markets, the previous film was called Andy Warhol's Frankenstein in order to cash in on his fame while Blood For Dracula was given the similar title Andy Warhol's Dracula. Morrissey would later regret this, since many people believed Warhol wrote and directed these films.
  • Nice Girl: The oldest daughter is incredibly sweet and arguably the one purely good character in the film.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The movie takes place in Italy but it's in English, so it's expected that no one would have an accurate accent. And for the most part, they don't. Of particular note are Udo Kier who has a hilariously thick German accent and Joe Dellesandro who has a hilariously thick New York accent.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires need virgin blood in order to survive. Also, they can function in daylight and are not harmed by crucifixes, although Dracula seems uncomfortable with both.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Dracula is hundreds of years old and would normally look like a middle aged man. He dyes his hair and applies make-up to look even younger than that, however.
  • The Renfield: Anton, Dracula's servant, seems to be much more assertive than most versions. He seems to be making all of Dracula's decisions for him and even bosses him around at one point. Then again, Dracula is typically too weak to do much in retaliation since he is so ill.
  • Rich Bitch: The two middle daughters, once again.
  • Secret Relationship: The middle sisters' relationship with Mario is a secret to everyone else. By proxy, so is the relationship they have with each other.
  • Sex Signals Death: An inversion before the trope fully took affect in horror movies. Dracula only feeds on the blood of virgins, placing them in danger. Meanwhile, tasting the blood of women who have had sex is deadly for Dracula, meaning this trope is in effect for the villain. In yet another twist, the daughters would have been safe from the Count if they were more honest about their sexual history instead of claiming to be virgins.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: The oldest sister falls in love with the Count. It's actually kind of sweet.
  • Thematic Series: Along with Flesh For Frankenstein, this film creates a duology that share creators, themes, tone, and similar titles.
  • Trapped in Villainy: We get perhaps the most sympathetic version of the count: a sickly, dying vampire that needs the blood of a virgin in order to avoid a very painful death. He considers this a curse and doesn't seem to enjoy killing.
  • Unequal Pairing: The wealthy sisters and their farmhand. Rather than being romantic, though, the difference of class means that the sisters don't believe the sex they have with Mario has any impact on their virginity. (This comes back to bite them later on.)
  • Vampire Bites Suck
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Highly averted since Dracula is sickly and in no way attractive. The only reason why the girls want to marry him is due to his wealth.
  • Villainous Incest: The two middle daughters aren't the nicest girls around by a long shot, and they are okay with having sex with one another, even inviting their younger sister to join them. She's not into it, to her credit.
  • Villain Protagonist
  • Virgin Power: Their blood is needed for vampires to survive.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: Vampires simply need their blood to live; there is no ritual involved.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Averted. When Dracula tastes the blood of non-virgins, he goes into convulsions and starts vomiting for about a minute. The camera lingers on him the entire time.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The vamped-out daughters are still in the house by the time the credits roll. Since they had previously tried to rape their own sister, it's not a good idea to keep them around.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Dracula is appalled with the idea of killing children despite needing virgin blood. Fortunately for him, near the beginning of the movie, a child is hit by a car and he's able to get by on a little bit of blood.