Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Image Entertainment presents
Doctor Dracula (1980)

"Blessed be the seven-horned beast, blessed be all his incarnations of evil."
- Stephanie Elliott (Susan McIver)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: October 31, 2002

Stars: John Carradine, Donald Barry, Larry Hankin
Other Stars: Geoffrey Land, Susan McIver, Regina Carrol, Jane Brunel-Cohen, Norman Pierce
Director: Al Adamson, Paul Aratow

Manufacturer: Ritek Digital Video
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (vampirism, mild gore, language, brief nudity in extras)
Run Time: 01h:30m:23s
Release Date: July 09, 2002
UPC: 014381146424
Genre: horror

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
D- DC-D D+

DVD Review

One of the time-honored traditions of El Cheapo productions in the Roger Corman mold is taking an old film, slapping on some additional footage and a new title, and releasing it to make some more money. Of course, such a process is hardly designed to produce an artistic masterpiece, and that's the case with this picture. Originally released in the exorcism film craze of the mid-1970s as Lucifer's Women, shot by Paul Aratow, director Al Adamson stuck on John Carradine and some additional material that doesn't mesh very well to create one of the most incomprehensible horror flicks on the planet.

Young Stephanie Elliott (Susan McIver) is obsessed with finding out what happened to kill her mother Valerie (Adamson regular Regina Carrol), who was drained of blood. Hadley Radcliff (John Carradine) is running a witches' coven and ranting about the Devils of Loudun. Dr. John Wainwright (Larry Hankin) is performing a stage show claiming to be the reincarnation of Svengali. His publisher, Sir Steven, demands the sacrifice of an innocent soul so that he can transmigrate to another body, and he selects Trilby (Jane Brunel-Cohen). Meanwhile, Dracula, in the guise of psychiatrist Dr. Anatol Gregorio, is drinking the blood of women who happen across his path.

If this description doesn't hold together well, that's because the movie itself doesn't. There are enough subplots here to make three movies, throwing black masses, vampirism, reincarnation, George du Maurier's Svengali and Trilby, clairvoyance, exorcism and demonic possession into a pot. Adamson makes the end product into a complete hash. Trying to make sense out of it is utterly hopeless, since it was never meant to make sense as a coherent whole in the first place.

There are really only two entertaining aspects to this picture: watching the aged Carradine chew the scenery while he collects a paycheck for his top-billing (a total of about 8 minutes of screen time), and trying to pick out what is salvaged from Lucifer's Women. That's not to say that there aren't some interesting moments here, though most of them are lifted from the earlier picture. In particular, the first Black Mass sequence is effective and creepy. Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan, is credited as a technical advisor, so I expect that his hand was involved in this earlier sequence. The final Black Mass is clearly a reshoot that is missing several of the principal characters who just vanish from the story.

Larry Hankin does what he can with the Svengali role, though he's saddled with a ridiculous crepe beard that makes it very hard to take him seriously. He does, however, have the requisite hypnotic eyes for the part. Brunel-Cohen is colorless as Trilby, and Susan McIver is completely single-minded in a part that doesn't call for any range at all. Pierce as the revenant looking for a new body is intense, but he vanishes without his story thread being resolved at all. The whole pile winds up in an abrupt and utterly unsatisfying climax that is absolutely perfunctory. There's virtually no gore present in the film, nor any of the sex that's heavily implied in the trailer for the original film, so any entertainment has to be derived just from the sheer awfulness of the picture.

Rating for Style: D-
Rating for Substance: D


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Rationo

Image Transfer Review: The full frame picture appears to be an open-matte presentation; I didn't observe any notable panning or scanning here. The picture is extremely grainy throughout, but there's decent color. At times, reds are grossly oversaturated and bloom badly. The source seems to be a videotape, since on occasion droupouts are present. The pciture is soft, without much clarity, and at times there is serious aliasing. There's also some scratching and frame damage, but this looks like a drive-in or grindhouse film ought to look, so it's not downgraded too badly.

Image Transfer Grade: C-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: The 2.0 mono track sounds predictably terrible, with tons of prominent hiss and noise throughout. Often it equals the volume of the dialogue, making parts of the film hard to make out. The score, entirely lifted from classical repertoire library recordings of Liszt, Tchaikovsky and others, is tinny and unpleasant sounding, without much range or presence. In essence, don't expect anything better than a 1" speaker mounted on your car window at the drive-in. It was probably never meant to sound any better than that in the first place.

Audio Transfer Grade: D


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 13 cues and remote access
8 Other Trailer(s) featuring Lucifer's Women, live horror show, Mad Doctor of Blood Island, Brides of Blood, Beast of Blood, Brain of Blood, Blood of the Vampires and The Blood Drinkers
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: EastPack
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The only extras present are trailers. There are none for the revised feature, though there is one for Lucifer's Women, which indicates that all of the sex-related thematic material has been chopped out for the Adamson version. It's very happily included, to help distinguish the old material from the new. There's also a generic trailer for a live spook show, as well as six of the recent Image discs of Filipino horrors, including the Blood Island trilogy. Blood of the Vampires appears here under the name Curse of the Vampires. All are presented full frame and in decent but not stellar condition.

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

Al Adamson does his magic, turning two bad pictures into one extremely bad picture. While the transfer is okay, the source materials are marginal at best, and there's nothing beyond trailers for extras.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store