Thursday, July 8, 2010
BLOOD OF DRACULA
Aka Blood of the Demon, Blood of My Heritage, American-International, 1957, Director: Herbert L. Strock
This downbeat, teenage vampire tale not only delivers a female monster, but a female mad scientist/high school teacher who is ultimately responsible for the havoc that takes place within a private preparatory school for girls. Nancy is not only victimized by her parents, who force her from her social life and drop her at the school, but also by her science teacher Miss Branding, who uses an amulet from the Carpathian Mountains to hypnotize her into becoming an ugly bloodsucker. Branding’s experiments are for the greater good, so a few deaths and the devastation of Nancy’s being are of no consequence to her. Nancy’s father has a honeymoon to enjoy with his new wife (just six weeks after his first wife’s death), so leaving his daughter with strangers to assume his parental responsibilities is not his concern. In the end, Nancy is the one who suffers, and there’s no denying that the adults are the real monsters. Even though there is a serious message about parents expecting the schools to raise their children, and teachers and school boards that are involved for all the wrong reasons, it’s hard to take the film too seriously when Jerry Blaine sings his song “Puppy Love” at a party, while all the girls break out in dance. Good stuff.