Here’s something I’m sure we’ve all been waiting for: a DRACULA porno! Actually
this is the soft-core version of this 1979 film (the hard-core cut is entitled
DRACULA’S BRIDE), a relic from the days when porno flicks had things like
stories and characters, were shot on film rather than video and actually played
in legitimate venues. How times have changed!
The mere fact that a soft-core version of this film played in mainstream
movie theaters attests to its quality. No, it’s not particularly good, but, as
with other 70’s porn epics like FLESH GORDON and ALICE IN WONDERLAND (both of
which were released in R-rated versions), it shows that porn once had the
potential to compete with Hollywood. DRACULA SUCKS was released at the tail end
of what might be called the porno renaissance; sadly, that renaissance ended
almost overnight, and is now gone for good. Today’s porn flicks are almost
without exception shot-on-video trash with NOTHING of note outside their
jerk-off value (if any were released in soft-core versions you’d be left with
maybe half a minute of screen time).
Porno legend Jamie Gillis plays a bearded Dracula, while other “adult film”
stars are on hand, like Annette Haven (as Mina), Serena (Lucy) and John Holmes
(playing a character named “John Stoker”). Also worthy—but for the wrong
reasons—is the sidesplitting disco theme song.
If you’re at all familiar with DRACULA--the Bram Stoker novel or countless
movie adaptations--than you know this film’s underlying story. The vampiric
Count Dracula travels from Transylvania for a real estate purchase and becomes
smitten with the beautiful Mina, whose fiancée Jonathan Harker has already
stayed with and been vampirized by the Count. Opposing him is the fearless
vampire killer Dr. Van Helsing, while the psychotic Renfield is on Dracula’s
side and calls him “Master.”
Needless to say, DRACULA SUCKS changes around quite a few of the story’s
elements. For starters, it’s all been compressed Roger Corman style into a
single location: an old dark castle somewhere in Northern California. The
place, it seems, is a sanitarium housing, among others, the nutty Renfield.
Dracula bites his female victims on their breasts, and a male victim gets a bite
on his penis (and at one point even goes down on the Count!). Everyone in this
place is horny and in search of a fuckmate (add in a giant worm and you’d have
Ken Russell’s cult classic LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM, which was incidentally also
based on a novel by Stoker). It ends with the Count deflowering the virginal
Mina in the castle’s basement, interrupted by Van Helsing, who opens and outer
door and floods the area with daylight.
Director Philip Mashak (whose brother Darryl produced and co-write the
film) isn’t particularly adept at coherent storytelling, and the sex scenes
(what survives of them in this version) aren’t much. The lighting and editing,
on the other hand, are slick and professional, the pacing is sprightly and the
actors aren’t half bad, considering their collective pedigree. The film also
has a wealth of gore and is, surprisingly, quite atmospheric. It’s not
particularly scary, though.
MR Productions, Ltd.
Director: Philip Marshak
Producer: Darryl A. Marshak
Screenplay: David J. Kern, Darryl A. Marshak
Editor: Netie Pena
Cast: Jamie Gillis, Annette Haven, John
Holmes, Serena, John Leslie, Reggie Nalder, Kay Parker, Mike Ranger, Patricia