Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood (2004)
Diana: Do I look hot or cool?
Lord Ruthven: More like some cheap Whitechapel whore.- Glori-Anne Gilbert, Arthur Roberts
Stars: Glori-Anne Gilbert, Arthur Roberts, Kennedy Johnston
Other Stars: Paul Naschy, Eyana Barsky, Jana Thompson, Del Howison, Tony Clay, Lolana, Mark Bedell, Count Gore De Vol
Director: Donald F. Glut
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for nudity, sexual situations
Run Time: 01h:25m:06s
Release Date: 2004-06-08
DVD ReviewWith Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood, writer/director Donald F. Glut, who spent his formative years as a comic book writer, continues to prove he has the proper frame of mind to put together a kind of well-heeled, jiggly erotic/horror genre film that is a step above the typical entry in the field. After a few moderately successful films (most notably Dinosaur Valley Girls and The Erotic Rites of Countess Dracula), Glut really stepped things up with the stylish and classy eroticism of The Mummy's Kiss, released on DVD by Seduction Cinema in 2003.
This latest entry, released by B-movie auteur Fred Olen Ray's Retromedia, is a sequel of sorts to Glut's The Erotic Rites of Countess Dracula, and features all of the recommended daily requirements: frequent nudity, girl-on-girl softcore pairings, and corny dialogue. As a sequel, this is pretty much a standalone story, with the only real link between the two being the character of Renfield, here played once again by Del Howison, in a laughable white hippie wig.
The busty splendor of Glori-Anne Gilbert is the centerpiece this time, as she stars as Diana Ruthven, a sexy vampire who, during the opening sequence, gets staked and skeletonized in 1897 California, only to be resurrected a few scenes later in modern-day Los Angeles. It seems that Diana and her equally resurrected vampire brother Lord Ruthven (Arthur Roberts) both lust after the same woman, the naïve, yet frequently nude Roxanne (Kennedy Johnston), and the two are at odds over who should ultimately get her. I should point out that Diana and Lord Ruthven have been resurrected for some reason or another by Count Dracula (Tony Clay), here played with a much appreciated degree of low-key campiness.
A convenient plot point, which states the only way Lord Ruthven can drink blood is if it is first filtered through Diana, is a well-placed excuse for what a film like this absolutely lives for, which is comely nude women fondling and caressing each other, all in the name of a vampire selecting victims. And there is plenty of that here, as well as the obligatory strip club sequence, a sexy dance number by newcomer Jana Thompson (putting a wooden stake to new use as a prop) and a general all-around dose of beautiful women tethered loosely to a kitschy vampire tale that dabbles in such important issues as reincarnation, eternal lust, and how to put a small wading pool to good use.
Sure, there are oodles of gorgeous women, but Glut also gives some props to Spanish horror film legend Paul Naschy, who starred in countless werewolf films throughout the 1960s and 1970s, by tossing a supporting role his way as a spectral priest; if you're at all familiar with his work you might get a kick out of seeing him here. His wild-eyed performance, which is all in Spanish, consists largely of harassing Lord Ruthven from the great beyond, and while not the zenith of his acting career, is at the very least a nice homage from Glut.
Don't confuse this with art, but it is certainly at the top of the heap in its particular genre pile. It's all about the sexy, and Glut delivers what he promises, with more than a little help from Glori-Anne Gilbert.
Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B
|Aspect Ratio||1.85:1 - Widescreen|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: Presented in nonanamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen, the transfer of Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood is probably the best that any of Glut's films have ever looked on DVD. No major grain issues to beef about, and the image is noticeably sharp and detailed. Colors look solid, and the abundant acres of jiggling fleshtones remain consistent, though some of the interiors (especially Dracula's 'castle' ) come across slightly soft.
Still, a mighty fine effort from Retromedia, one that more than does justice to Glut's film.
Image Transfer Grade: B
Audio Transfer Review: Here's the shocker of all shockers—this title sports a 5.1 surround stereo track. For a lusty, low-budget genre disc like this, that is truly groundbreaking stuff if you ask me, and has certainly raised the bar a notch or two (are you listening, Seduction Cinema?)
This is hardly a reference disc, but the rear channels get sprinkled with things like dogs barking or crowd noise, and it helps to elevate the overall presentation quite a bit. Dialogue (maybe not the most memorable part of this film) is clear at all times, and the Peter Damien original music sounds rich and groovy.
Audio Transfer Grade: B+
Disc ExtrasStatic menu with music
Scene Access with 6 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Donald F. Glut, Glori-Anne Gilbert, Dean McKendrick
Extras Review: Writer/director Donald F. Glut, editor Dean McKendrick, and actress Glori-Anne Gilbert contribute a full-length, scene-specific commentary track to kick off the supplement section. As with Glut's equally informative track on The Mummy's Kiss, this one is nicely layered in terms of legitimate production info about the hassles and challenges of putting together a film for less than $100,000. Glut and McKendrick touch on all sorts of film-related factoids, and go into detail about his selection of Spanish horror legend Paul Naschy to play the spectral Padre (and why he never speaks English) to the trouble with fangs to where various sequences where shot. Gilbert chimes in periodically, acting more as a color commentator, at least when compared to the in-depth input of Glut and McKendrick.
Count Gore De Vol's Creature Featurette (13m:24s) is an interview with Glut, as part of the Creature Feature, the Web Program series. De Vol (the hammy vampire TV host alter ego of Richard Dyszel) gives the writer/director the chance to talk up his film a bit, offer up a brief synopsis and further explain to the uninitiated just who Paul Naschy is, and why Glut wanted to cast him.
A Bloopers/Outtakes reel (08m:27s), introduced by good ol' Count Gore De Vol, is your typical set of flubbed lines and troublesome effects, enhanced slightly by some additional nudity. Jana Thompson, who does a steamy dance sequence, seems uncharacteristically shy, and Tony Clay's constantly loose fangs are good for a quick laugh. A lengthy theatrical trailer, featuring plenty of Glori-Anne Gilbert nekkid, is also included.
The disc is cut into a skimpy six chapters, with no subtitle options.
Extras Grade: B
Final CommentsAttention, all you purveyors and aficionados of campy, sexy B-movie hokum!
Donald F. Glut continues what I consider to be his rapid, unchallenged ascent to master of the genre with Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood, an enjoyably goofy and lusty bit of bare boob fun featuring a steady parade of gorgeous women, led by bosomy cult favorite Glori-Anne Gilbert.
To add some credibility, Glut features a supporting role for Spanish horror icon Paul Naschy, without skimping on the frequent bouts of erotic girl-on-girl softcore couplings.
Not for everyone, but this is a hearty recommendation for any fan of the genre.
Rich Rosell 2004-06-08