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Blood of Dracula

   

Blood of Dracula (1957) starring Sandra Harrison, Louise Lewis

Blood of Dracula is effectively a gender-swapped version of I Was a Teenage Werewolf. Here, a troubled young lady is turned into a vampire by a mad scientist at her school. For science!

Review

First of all, it should be mentioned that Dracula never appears in Blood of Dracula. A more honest title would have been I was a Teenage Vampire. An unhappy schoolgirl is sent to reform school by her cruel stepmother and uncaring father. Once there, here chemistry teacher uses her as a guinea pig. And, by the power of hypnosis, turns her into a vampire!

In some ways, it’s a remake of I Was a Teenage Werewolf. Troubled teenager, tricked by supposedly helpful scientist. Who turns them into a teenage monster and killer. A few differences, though. Here, our poor monster has no loving father, nor friends that care for her. The other girls at the school are an early version of “mean girls”. The audience really doesn’t feel badly for them a they’re killed. But we do feel for the kindly woman running the school. It’s her life’s work, and it’s being destroyed by the murders.

Thoughts:

  • Isn’t it amazing in these I Was a Teenage … movies how hypnosis can do virtually anything? And always for evil …
  • There’s little to no characterization. The new stepmother is a cruel gold digger, the father remarries six weeks after his first wife’s death. The mad scientist chemistry professor turns the protagonist into a vampire …. For science! And the body count rises … For science!
  • Why do all of the mad scientists think that using hypnosis to turn teenagers into monsters is a huge step forward for science?
  • Why is it titled “Blood of Dracula” when the blood-sucking count makes no appearance? He’s not even mentioned …
  • How is it “science” to use a magical amulet?
  • Does the mad scientist really believe that turning people into monsters will stop atomic research?

Cast

  • Sandra Harrison … Nancy Perkins. Troubled teen, dropped off by her father at a remote school. Where the other girls are a mean clique, and the science teacher uses her a s a guinea pig.
  • Louise Lewis (I Was a Teenage Werewolf) … Miss Branding. The chemistry teacher and mad scientist, who turns Nancy into a vampire. To save the world from nuclear annihilation! Seriously.
  • Gail Ganley … Myra. Leader of the mean girls — “The Birds of Paradise”. Mean, vindictive, controlling, etc. And Branding’s kiss-up assistant.
  • Jerry Blaine … Tab. Composed and sang “Puppy Love”. Later killed by the vampire.
  • Heather Ames (How to Make a Monster) … Nola. One of the mean girls. First murder victim.
  • Malcolm Atterbury (The Birds) … Lt. Dunlap
  • Mary Adams (Executive Suite) … Mrs. Thorndyke. The likable principal of the school.
  • Thomas Browne Henry (Earth vs the Flying Saucers) … Mr. Paul Perkins. Nancy’s father. Recently widowed, remarried before his wife’s body is cold. And sends Nancy away to school, so she won’t get in the way. Not father of the year material.
  • Don Devlin … Eddie. The Birds of Paradise’s rotating boyfriend. Secretly engaged to Myra. Fairly spineless.
  • Jean Dean (Gog, The Pirate) … Mrs. Doris Perkins. Nancy’s new stepmother. Callous, uncaring, etc.
  • Richard Devon (War of the Satellites) … Det. Sgt. Stewart. Investigating the murders.
  • Paul Maxwell (Aliens, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) … Mike. Assistant to the coroner, who tells the legend of the vampires.
  • Michael Hall (The Best Years of Our Lives) … Glenn. Nancy’s boyfriend from back home. He’s concerned, and comes to check on her. She pushes him away …. Out of fear that she’ll murder him.

Secondary characters

  • Shirley Delancey (Bachelor Father) … Terry. Mean girl, murder victim.
  • Edna Holland … Miss Rivers. School disciplinarian. Clueless as to the activities and character of the mean girls.

Editorial review of Blood of Dracula courtesy of Amazon.com

B-movie horror flick directed by Herbert L Strock in which innocent schoolgirl Nancy Perkins (Sandra Harrison) is sent to reform school by her cruel stepmother. There, she falls under the spell of her evil chemistry mistress, Miss Branding (Louise Lewis), and is tranformed into a murdering vampiress. Miss Branding uses hypnosis to convert Nancy to vampirism, leading her to commit gruesome murders of which she has no memory when the hypnosis wears off. However, Miss Branding’s villainous plan backfires on her when Nancy fails to respond to the order to wake up after a hynotic spell, and turns on her treacherous teacher.

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