I’ve had quite the love-hate relationship with this film. The first time I saw it, I hated it, much to the disgust of the friend and massive Gary Oldman fan with whom I was watching it. (‘But he’s Sirius Black!” she kept saying. ‘Sirius Blaaack…!’) Sirius Black from HARRY POTTER or not, it made no odds to me. I just didn’t get his whole deal.

The thing about me is that I like a nice sexy Dracula. Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi, even Klaus Kinski as Nosferatu in Werner Herzog’s beautiful, dreamy film; these are all my boys.

I’ll also accept a terrifyingly scary head vampire in lieu of a sexy one. For example, Max Schreck as Nosferatu in Murnau’s ground-breaking 1922 masterpiece, or the wonderful Reggie Nalder as Kurt Barlow in the 1979 TV miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s SALEM’S LOT.

I guess I just don’t like Gary Oldman as Dracula, and I didn’t dig him either as Old Dracula, with his ridiculous ‘two loaves of bread’ hairstyle; as Young Dracula with those dreadful dark blue eye-glasses he sports; or even as ‘Bye-dear-I’m-off-to-war-Dracula, in which persona his suit of armour and long unkempt hair/facial hair makes him look like a cross between an armadillo and the Cowardly Lion from THE WIZARD OF OZ.  

The second time I saw the film, about a year later, I totally got it and had a whale of a time. I still don’t like Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Dracula, a fictional character very close to my heart, but I guess sometimes you have to give something a little distance before you realise that you love it…

So, what is the actual deal here? Well, this is a rather superior re-telling of Bram Stoker’s supernatural- and super!- literary classic, DRACULA. Gary Oldman, as if you didn’t know, lol, plays the aristocratic vampire Count from Transylvania who has waited centuries to be reunited with the love of his life, Elisabeta, who took her own life due to the cruel lies of others.

The poor tormented Dracula, who really is a most sympathetic character, finds his Elisabeta again in nineteenth-century England. In a nineteenth-century Englishwoman and prim, proper little schoolmarm, to be precise.

While in his alternate guise of a young(ish) nobleman, he quickly gets under the skin of Winona Ryder’s Mina, the reincarnation of Elisabeta, and wins her unswerving allegiance. Not too surprising, considering Mina’s romantic alternative is lowly estate agent’s clerk Jonathan Harker, woodenly played by the hilariously uncharismatic Keanu Reeves.

Winona Ryder, an actress I don’t normally like, is actually quite acceptable as Wilhelmina Murray, who wants to be faithful to her beloved Jonathan, but just can’t help falling for the lonely charms of Dracula, even while the dopey Jonathan is still trapped in Dracula’s castle in Transylvania, being sexed up nightly by Dracula’s three hot, sex-starved wives. And complaining his scrawny arse off about it too, if you can believe that!

Dracula, of course, is simultaneously leeching the life out of Mina’s bezzie mate, the slutty Lucy Westenra, played by Sadie Frost. The scenes of seduction between Lucy and Dracula in the guise of a hideous wild animal manage to be both sexy and mind-blowingly wild. Red-haired Lucy also has a loyal little band of male followers surrounding her who gladly provide her with their blood when Dracula takes hers.

Cary Elwes plays Lucy’s fiancé, Arthur Holmwood. Richard E. Grant, another actor for whom I’ve never much cared, plays suitor Dr. Jack Seward, whose insane asylum needs to be brought seriously up to code, as it still uses the power-hose as a means of subduing hysterical inmates. Billy Campbell plays the third suitor, the rich American Quincey P. Morris.

Ultimately though, even the clever ministrations of Anthony Hopkins’s wonderfully dramatic and over-the-top Professor Van Helsing (actually, lads, is he drunk?) fail to save Lucy. She succumbs to Dracula’s blood-sucking ways, as we know from reading the book (so don’t be saying I’m dealing out spoilers here, it’s a one-hundred-and-twenty-three-year-old book!), then comes back as a vampire and is put to death appropriately in some brilliant scenes in a gloomy crypt by Van Helsing and Arthur Holmwood.

Good old Gary Oldman as Dracula then swaps haemoglobin with the not unwilling Mina in some surprisingly sexy and even tender scenes. Meanwhile, Van Helsing and Arthur Holmwood and the rest of Mina’s suitors, Jack Seward and Quincy P. Morris, are running around like headless chickens trying to destroy and/or render useless the boxes of earth from his native Transylvania without which Dracula is unable to travel. They eventually burst in on the loved-up couple, but are they in time or is it much, much too late to save Mina from a fate worse than death…?

The scenery, costumes and special effects are excellent. Lavish and visually stunning, as we might expect from director Francis Ford Coppola. I have no beef with these. This is not a low-budget affair.

The Vampire Chicks are absolute knock-outs, but even they can’t coax a life-like performance out of Keanu Reeves. Is it because they’re un-Dead, or is he just a bit crap…? I’ll leave you guys to make up your own minds.

I guess the reason I sometimes feel less than tender myself towards this film is that its cast is not the cast I would have personally chosen. But don’t worry, folks, the film’s done quite spectacularly well over the years even without my personal seal of approval, lol, and I’m sure it’ll continue to do so. Over and out.  


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books.


reggie nalder face



This is a very strange film; I’m not honestly sure if I’ve ever seen a stranger. I’m reviewing it, though, because of two things. One, it’s referred to on the DVD box as ‘the infamous midnight movie gem, ZOLTAN: HOUND OF DRACULA,’ which harks back to an earlier, possibly much cooler and more exciting era of cinema-going.

And two, because it co-stars Reggie Nalder, who, a year or two later, went on to star as Mr. Kurt Barlow, in other words the vampire, in the television dramatisation of Stephen King’s superb SALEM’S LOT, one of the best vampire books ever written. It’s right up there with DRACULA itself, Anne Rice’s INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE and Whitley Strieber’s THE HUNGER. Mr. Barlow is an extremely sinister character, maybe one of the scariest ever screen vampires.

ZOLTAN: HOUND OF DRACULA starts in modern times, with a bunch of soldiers back in ‘the old country,’ i.e., Romania, blasting open a tomb that contains the coffins of dozens of dead members of the Dracula family. That’d be quite the find for us vampire lovers, wouldn’t it?

The dopey soldier ordered to guard the tombs overnight thinks it might be a good idea to pull the stake out of the body of one Dracula family member. It’s the last bright idea he ever has, poor lad.

The corpse he’s unwittingly re-animated is that of Zoltan, Count Dracula’s faithful big black hound, a Doberman Pinscher, and Zoltan’s first task in his new life is to kill the dopey soldier who unintentionally gave him that life again. That’s gratitude for you, eh?

The clever doggie then pulls the stake out of his beloved master, not Count Dracula himself but a part-vampire called Veidt Schmidt (Reggie Nalder), a servant of the Count’s like himself. Together, Zoltan and Schmidt served the Count faithfully back in the day, but now all the Draculas have expired and there’s no-one left for the pair to work for. Or is there…?

The last of the long line of Draculas was apparently smuggled out of Romania years ago for his own safety. Name of Michael Drake, he now lives in California, America, and apparently has no idea he’s a vampire. Schmidt and Zoltan travel to California to find Michael, pursued hotly by an Inspector Branco from ‘the old country,’ whose job it is to stop them.

In the meantime, Michael, a typically American middle-aged married man with a family, has piled his wife and two kids, their two German Shepherd dogs and a box of adorable newborn puppies into their gigantic Winnebago camper van for a holiday by an isolated lake. How long will it be before Veidt and Zoltan, and then Inspector Branco, catch up with them there?

What I didn’t really get about the movie is this: if Veidt and Zoltan want to find Michael to beg him to be their master again, why are all their overtures towards him murderous? Why are they constantly trying to kill him, then?

Some of the scenes featuring dog attacks are very vicious, especially the one where Zoltan is attacking a lonely hitchhiker, and another one where several dogs are keeping Branco and Michael, now fighting fiercely together to defeat the representatives of the house of Dracula, under siege in a fishermen’s cottage.

The dog attacks look so real, and by this stage Zoltan has recruited some local doggies to his cause as well, including Michael’s big mutts Annie and Ramsey. We even see the adorable missing black puppy being vampirised and turned into a puppy of the Un-dead. It’s too cute and weird, but then I mentioned that it was a strange movie, didn’t I?

It’s a very odd little film indeed, but worth at least one watch for Reggie Nalder’s tremendously creepy made-for-horror face and also for all the doggie action, both cute and spooky. Bow-wow, Zoltan old friend, bow-wow. The Meaty Chunks are under the sink.


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

You can contact Sandra at:


dracula reborn 2015



Wow. Except for a couple of highlights, this movie really sucks. I mean, there are some Dracula films with which Bram Stoker himself would be proud to be associated, namely: Murnau’s 1922 NOSFERATU; Bela Lugosi in the 1931 DRACULA; Werner Herzog’s NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE; and any of the Hammer Dracula films starring horror heart-throb Christopher Lee. And then there are other examples where you’d wonder how the film-makers can justify stealing the name of Dracula and slapping it on their finished oeuvres, lol.

Let’s rush through the ‘plot.’ What do you mean, I’m bitchy today? I thought I was bitchy every day, haha. A blonde journalist called Hanna from Vancouver, who has definitely had some work done on her face, I’m just saying, travels to Paris and Transylvania in order to pick up information about a deadly cult of modern day Draculas.

They’ve already abducted and murdered some people, all nosey journalists, I think, and Hanna and her little crew of phone-and-computer-obsessed newshounds have stumbled across some rather gruesome Internet footage.

It’s footage of a young woman bleeding to death while being bitten all over and savaged by a bald-headed, elderly gent with a cloak and some brutal-looking gnashers. He’s much more Max Schreck than Christopher Lee, unfortunately for me. I’m a big fan of Mr. Lee’s.

Anyway, Hanna and her gang are, of course, putting themselves in great danger by persisting in their investigation of the vampire cult. One by one, they are bumped off by a cloaked male figure- not our friend Baldy- who charges at them out of nowhere and starts viciously chomping on their necks and wrists, anywhere there’s a nice juicy vein he can tap into. It’s not clear whether Baldy is Dracula or Cloakey is. It’s just one of the many mystifying things about this film.

It’s so funny that, when Hanna is pretty much the last of the intrepid little crew of journalists left alive, her stupid phone gives her away to the vampires. She’s stuck alone in the wilds of Transylvania in the middle of the night, watching through a window as the cult prepare to tuck into some fresh meat and then suddenly… diddle-oo-do, diddle-oo-do, diddle-oo-do-do…!

That’s meant to be the Nokia ringtone, by the way folks, lol. Note to stupid person in film: when you’re just about to catch the cult you’ve pursued across continents in a breath-taking act of murder and bloodthirsty cannibalism, put your bleedin’ phone on silent, will you? I can just imagine Dracula going berserk about the intrusiveness of the ever-present phone. Dracula hate mobile phones, kill everyone on social media…!

I love the scenes shot in Transylvania, especially the night-time snowscapes. These were very atmospheric. However, the best scene in the whole film doesn’t even have anything to do with the main plot. You could lift it right out and it would make no difference to the plot, but the film would be a little poorer for it, in my humble opinion.

I think it’s in Paris where this happens. We’re on a darkened, deserted street late at night. A very good-looking guy, tall, dark and handsome, is taking a woman home to his flat for sex. She’s an attractive brunette who might or might not be a prostitute. Although the film is in English, there were no subtitles and the film could really have used them, as the actors mumbled their way through their lines and the sound was terrible.

Anyway, we cut to the guy’s flat, where the very good-looking guy is now blissfully shirtless and wearing only low-slung jeans. His flat is discreetly lit, he’s put on some make-out music, he’s got a cigarette and a drink in his hand and he’s seated on the couch, one bare foot casually crossed over the other denim-clad leg while he watches the woman stripping.

He’s got a kind of cat-who’s-got-the-cream grin on his handsome face, the grin of a guy who knows he’s going to be having sex in a very few minutes, but for now he’s happy to be enjoying a nice bit of sexy foreplay.

The woman strips off her tight black outfit to reveal that she’s wearing red underwear. A red bra, red thong panties and, best of all, high-heeled red shoes. She strips in time to the sultry music, shaking her long dark hair out, wiggling her hips and butt and showing her soon-to-be lover (nearly) everything she’s got to offer.

Meanwhile, the handsome guy on the couch is ogling this striptease with the biggest grin on his face when… bam! It happens. What happens? Oh, I can’t tell you that, dear reader. That would be a spoiler, lol. You’ll just have to watch DRACULA REBORE- did I type REBORE, I swear to God I thought I was writing REBORN!- for yourselves and find out. Worth watching for this scene alone.


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

You can contact Sandra at:


tania argento




I loved this beautifully lavish re-telling of the Dracula story. Okay, so some of the effects may have been a little cheesy, and nowhere have I ever read that Dracula has the power to transform himself into Grasshopperus, but I still loved every minute of it, especially the first eight minutes.

We’re in a small Transylvanian village. A busty young red-haired lass called Tania is urged by her nervous mother Jarmilla to be sure and put up the shutters as it’s… Yeah, yeah, sure, it’s Walpurgis Night, replies the daughter with the distinct air of someone who thinks that her ma is an old fusspot who flaps about too much.

Tania feels differently later that night, as she makes her way alone, after dark, through the decidedly scary woods to a rendezvous with her married lover on the other side of the village. They make love (in the nip!) in an old barn, and afterwards Tania gets an attack of the heebie-jeebies and begs her lover Milos to walk her home back through the creepy woods.

You came here alone, he counters, so why can’t you go back alone? Ah sure, you’ll be grand, you’ve got the cross I gave you, haven’t you? So Tania gets angry and comes back with: Take your mouldy cross back, you lazy bastard! You’re never getting the ride off me again, so how’d you like them apples? Or words to that effect…

Tania therefore walks home alone through the haunted woods, where she is attacked by Dracula in the form of an owl. She screams and screeches with fear initially, then an expression of the most sublime sexual bliss spreads across her face as Dracula vampirises her. He brings her back to his castle to live with him then as his concubine. Lucky Tania…

The story proper starts then. Jonathan Harker is a dark-haired fop who comes to the village seeking Count Dracula, the village’s patron and richest, most important resident. Jonathan’s wife Mina’s friend Lucy has managed to wangle a job for him as the Count’s librarian. The library is a magnificent room in the castle filled with lovely old books, enough for a lifetime, and the Count himself seems like a charming host.

Jonathan is even more taken by Titty Tania, the busty young one who lives at the castle now. When she tries to bite him, she is savagely thrown aside by Dracula, who fiercely exclaims as he grabs Jonathan and chomps down on his neck: ‘He’s MINE…!’ It’s a great atmospheric scene reminiscent of Valerie Gaunt, John Van Eyssen (who also plays a librarian) and Christopher Lee doing the same scene in the first ever Hammer Dracula film back in 1958.

Jonathan’s wife Mina arrives in the village then. She stays with her cousin Lucy, played by Asia Argenta, the movie director’s daughter. Lucy’s not in the best of health though, as, unbeknownst to Mina, she’s been receiving nocturnal visits from none other than the Prince of Darkness himself.

He’s been depleting her of her lovely blood and drawing it out from a place where it won’t be noticed, ie, the back of her left leg. What are those strange marks? Mina wants to know when she’s giving Lucy a nudie bath. Ah, sure, they’re only insect bites, replies Lucy flippantly. They’re nothing at all.

It’s only when Lucy dies that Mina realises there’s something dreadfully wrong in the little village. Luckily by then, cool guy Rutger Hauer has turned up in the village as Abraham Van Helsing, the vampire hunter, just in time to put the screws on the by then Undead Lucy. Van Helsing is looking to stamp out the reign of terror of the Fanged One.

When Lucy goes to the castle, only to find that Dracula is a handsome, charming and cultivated man (quietly spoken; a bit lacklustre for me personally) who actually thinks that she is the reincarnation of his dead wife, Lucy doesn’t need Van Helsing to tell her that she’s in a whole heap of trouble. The scene in the forest around the dead wife’s crypt is beautiful to look at, as is nearly everything in the film. It certainly all looks Transylvanian, anyway!

I loved the scene where the villagers, ie, the innkeeper, the local sergeant, the local drinkers, etc., all conspire around the table in the inn to wipe out Dracula, even though he’s built them their school and other amenities and he’s pretty much their bread and butter, so to speak. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, you ingrates, lol.

They have a symbiotic sort of relationship with each other. The Count is generous with his wealth, in return for the townspeople turning a blind eye to the occasional busty village maid going missing while making her way through the forest. Just like Titty Tania, yes!

I loved the way that Dracula then turns up at the meeting out of the blue, because he knows when people are talking about him, and he says solemnly: O-ho, gentlemen, so which one-a youse is trying to break our bleedin’ pact then?

He knows full well it was all of them, with the exception of one gigantic villager, a chap called Zoran, who sometimes does the Count’s dirty work for him. The way the  Count handles those sneaky villagers is top-notch entertainment. There’s a Renfield-type character in the film too who is devoted to Tits-Out Tania, and also to the Master for freeing him from prison.

The film has everything you could desire, really, in a Dracula adaptation. Illicit sex in a barn; nice tits (Tania’s and Lucy’s, but not Mina’s, her’s a goody-two shoes! PS, how can Asia Argenta let her actual father film her in the nip…?); plenty of blood and gore and good strong violence, a Dracula pining over his wife who’s been dead for over four hundred years; loads of howling wolves (‘The children of the night; what music they make!’); a swarm of flies; and Mina giving a starkers Asia Argento a bath, in a scene reminiscent of one in Hammer’s THE VAMPIRE LOVERS (1970), in which a nudie Ingrid Pitt cavorts merrily with a half-nudie Madeline Smith after she leisurely uncurls herself from her hip bath. Seriously? Come on, guys. Never mind the critics. This is the stuff. I rest my case.


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

You can contact Sandra at: