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LiamCasey

"Count Dracula's Great Love" (aka "El gran amor del conde Drácula") (1973)

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Count Dracula's Great Love (aka El gran amor del conde Drácula) (1973)

w/ Paul Naschy, Rossana Yanni, Haydée Politoff, Mirta Miller, Ingrid Garbo and Vic Winner. Directed by Javier Aguirre. And written by Paul Naschy (as Jacinto Molina), Alberto S. Insúa and Javier Aguirre.

This movie opens with two men delivering a crate to an old abandoned sanatorium near (where else) the Borgo Pass in Transylvania and, once there, their avarice leads them to opening that crate which contains a coffin which, in turn, contains a skeleton with long hair. And, with their greed unsated, they then start to search the sanatorium. Which gets one of them attacked by a vampire whose face is unseen but with a very familiar looking back of the head. And the other one gets a more permanent end by having an ax stuck in his head (and whom we then get to see falling down a flight of steps over and over again during the opening credits).

Obviously this one is not wasting any time cutting to the chase!

Some time later, a stagecoach with five passengers (four women (all beautiful of course) and one man) conveniently loses a wheel near the sanatorium. And then the stagecoach driver is conveniently killed off by one of the horses. And then the sound of a wolf conveniently makes two of the horses run off. So our quintet is stranded and needs to take shelter in the conveniently located sanatorium. Whose new owner, an Austrian doctor named Wendell Marlow, is (supposedly) the only one there. Who may also have been the original builder of the sanatorium, Jorgo Kargos, whom mysteriously disappeared years ago. But who is, either way, Count Dracula (I know, big surprise!). Who informs them that it will be a week before they will be able to leave. Which is convenient since it appears that Dracula needs to seduce a virgin in a conventional (non-vampiric) manner in order to regain his potency and revive his daughter (the skeleton mentioned above). And, conveniently, one of the four women is a virgin (although (being a Paul Naschy movie) only one of the four women is a virgin). Which leads to a daisy chain of sexual escapades and vampire attacks (and not necessarily at different times) which leaves the virgin as the last non-undead standing. Whom (not exactly a spoiler here considering the title of this movie) Dracula falls in love somewhere along the line with which causes him to change his entire plans. Which leads to an interesting and surprising ending.

But the path to that ending left a bit to be desired.

Why? I get the impression that Paul Naschy was attempting to treat his Count Dracula as a tragic figure similar to his Waldemar Daninsky. But what worked for a werewolf did not work (at least for me) for a vampire because you are starting with an definitively evil character. And there was nothing in this movie to really sell me on the concept that this character was reformed. Especially since his great love felt more like a mild infatuation. And, although the ending was out of the ordinary, I could not accept the fact that this particular character would choose that ending.

Additionally, Naschy does not fit my mental image of what a vampire should be. I have the same problem with Lon Chaney in Son of Dracula (1943). They both seem to be too well fed to be vampires. Which may be why they both portrayed werewolves way more than they portrayed vampires.

Also, I mentioned in a previous posting that Naschy reminds me of John Belushi. Well, that fact is so apparent in this movie that, once this movie decides that we should know that his character is Dracula, his face (but not the rest of him) becomes pale and his hair gets combed straight back and he gains a cape and fangs and he becomes such a stereotypical image that I started to expect an old Saturday Night Live skit to kick in.

Random comments:

1.) Just in case anyone jumps to the wrong conclusion, Count Dracula's Great Love is not part of The Paul Naschy Collection II Blu-Ray set. But I was placing an order for The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974) and decided to pick up this Blu-Ray too while I was at it. And decided to watch it first.

2.) Of the Naschy movies that I've watched (or rewatched) during this go around, I would rate this one fourth below Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll (1974), Horror Rises from the Tomb (1973) and Night of the Werewolf (1981) and above Human Beasts (1980) and Vengeance of the Zombies (1973). And, I'll be honest, I suspect it is the four women in it that got it that high on the list!

3.) Oddly, this movie makes reference to both Dr. Van Helsing and Jonathan Harker as legends which would imply that this movie was set much later than the 1890s. But it was definitely set in a Gothic era and not the 20th Century. But, then again, the classic Universal horror movies always had a bit of a loosey goosey feel for whenever they were set too. So whom am I to judge?

4.) The director of this movie, Javier Aguirre, is also the director of Hunchback of the Morgue (1973) which is part of The Paul Naschy Collection II Blu-Ray set. I have not previously seen Hunchback of the Morgue and, after this one, my expectations for that one when I do will be fairly low.

5.) The second billed Rossana Yanni appeared in three other movies with Naschy; two of which were horror movies: Frankenstein's Bloody Terror (1968) and the aforementioned Hunchback of the Morgue. Which, on the other hand, increases my expectations for that one. Call me fickle.

6.) The fourth billed Mirta Miller appeared in four other movies with Nachy; two of which were also horror movies: Dr. Jekyll vs The Werewolf (1972) and the aforementioned Vengeance of the Zombies.

7.) And then there was Vic Winner who appeared in three other movies with Naschy; like this all horror movies from 1973: Horror Rises from the Tomb, Hunchback of the Morgue and Vengeance of the Zombies.

8.) As for Haydée Politoff and Ingrid Garbo, this appears to be their only movie with Naschy. And doesn't the name for that latter actress just scream classic Hollywood mash-up?

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The voice over guy an barely control himself and watch out for flying cats!

 

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On 6/21/2019 at 10:10 PM, LiamCasey said:

Count Dracula's Great Love (aka El gran amor del conde Drácula) (1973)

w/ Paul Naschy, Rossana Yanni, Haydée Politoff, Mirta Miller, Ingrid Garbo and Vic Winner. Directed by Javier Aguirre. And written by Paul Naschy (as Jacinto Molina), Alberto S. Insúa and Javier Aguirre.

This movie opens with two men delivering a crate to an old abandoned sanatorium near (where else) the Borgo Pass in Transylvania and, once there, their avarice leads them to opening that crate which contains a coffin which, in turn, contains a skeleton with long hair. And, with their greed unsated, they then start to search the sanatorium. Which gets one of them attacked by a vampire whose face is unseen but with a very familiar looking back of the head. And the other one gets a more permanent end by having an ax stuck in his head (and whom we then get to see falling down a flight of steps over and over again during the opening credits).

Obviously this one is not wasting any time cutting to the chase!

Some time later, a stagecoach with five passengers (four women (all beautiful of course) and one man) conveniently loses a wheel near the sanatorium. And then the stagecoach driver is conveniently killed off by one of the horses. And then the sound of a wolf conveniently makes two of the horses run off. So our quintet is stranded and needs to take shelter in the conveniently located sanatorium. Whose new owner, an Austrian doctor named Wendell Marlow, is (supposedly) the only one there. Who may also have been the original builder of the sanatorium, Jorgo Kargos, whom mysteriously disappeared years ago. But who is, either way, Count Dracula (I know, big surprise!). Who informs them that it will be a week before they will be able to leave. Which is convenient since it appears that Dracula needs to seduce a virgin in a conventional (non-vampiric) manner in order to regain his potency and revive his daughter (the skeleton mentioned above). And, conveniently, one of the four women is a virgin (although (being a Paul Naschy movie) only one of the four women is a virgin). Which leads to a daisy chain of sexual escapades and vampire attacks (and not necessarily at different times) which leaves the virgin as the last non-undead standing. Whom (not exactly a spoiler here considering the title of this movie) Dracula falls in love somewhere along the line with which causes him to change his entire plans. Which leads to an interesting and surprising ending.

But the path to that ending left a bit to be desired.

Why? I get the impression that Paul Naschy was attempting to treat his Count Dracula as a tragic figure similar to his Waldemar Daninsky. But what worked for a werewolf did not work (at least for me) for a vampire because you are starting with an definitively evil character. And there was nothing in this movie to really sell me on the concept that this character was reformed. Especially since his great love felt more like a mild infatuation. And, although the ending was out of the ordinary, I could not accept the fact that this particular character would choose that ending.

Additionally, Naschy does not fit my mental image of what a vampire should be. I have the same problem with Lon Chaney in Son of Dracula (1943). They both seem to be too well fed to be vampires. Which may be why they both portrayed werewolves way more than they portrayed vampires.

Also, I mentioned in a previous posting that Naschy reminds me of John Belushi. Well, that fact is so apparent in this movie that, once this movie decides that we should know that his character is Dracula, his face (but not the rest of him) becomes pale and his hair gets combed straight back and he gains a cape and fangs and he becomes such a stereotypical image that I started to expect an old Saturday Night Live skit to kick in.

Random comments:

1.) Just in case anyone jumps to the wrong conclusion, Count Dracula's Great Love is not part of The Paul Naschy Collection II Blu-Ray set. But I was placing an order for The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974) and decided to pick up this Blu-Ray too while I was at it. And decided to watch it first.

2.) Of the Naschy movies that I've watched (or rewatched) during this go around, I would rate this one fourth below Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll (1974), Horror Rises from the Tomb (1973) and Night of the Werewolf (1981) and above Human Beasts (1980) and Vengeance of the Zombies (1973). And, I'll be honest, I suspect it is the four women in it that got it that high on the list!

3.) Oddly, this movie makes reference to both Dr. Van Helsing and Jonathan Harker as legends which would imply that this movie was set much later than the 1890s. But it was definitely set in a Gothic era and not the 20th Century. But, then again, the classic Universal horror movies always had a bit of a loosey goosey feel for whenever they were set too. So whom am I to judge?

4.) The director of this movie, Javier Aguirre, is also the director of Hunchback of the Morgue (1973) which is part of The Paul Naschy Collection II Blu-Ray set. I have not previously seen Hunchback of the Morgue and, after this one, my expectations for that one when I do will be fairly low.

5.) The second billed Rossana Yanni appeared in three other movies with Naschy; two of which were horror movies: Frankenstein's Bloody Terror (1968) and the aforementioned Hunchback of the Morgue. Which, on the other hand, increases my expectations for that one. Call me fickle.

6.) The fourth billed Mirta Miller appeared in four other movies with Nachy; two of which were also horror movies: Dr. Jekyll vs The Werewolf (1972) and the aforementioned Vengeance of the Zombies.

7.) And then there was Vic Winner who appeared in three other movies with Naschy; like this all horror movies from 1973: Horror Rises from the Tomb, Hunchback of the Morgue and Vengeance of the Zombies.

8.) As for Haydée Politoff and Ingrid Garbo, this appears to be their only movie with Naschy. And doesn't the name for that latter actress just scream classic Hollywood mash-up?

The movie looks great on blu ray-specially the gorgeous women who have plenty of sexy nightgowns- (was there a Victoria Secret in Transylvania? ) The last time I saw this movie was on some late night horror show so I was shocked by all the blood and sex ( but hey I'm not complaining)   I agree that Naschy was trying to create a sympathetic Dracula- which leads to the bizarre ending.  A must see for fans of Euro horror and sexy lady vampires 😍

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