FANGS AND FOREPLAY: THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF DRACULA: THE TRANSYLVANIA YEARS. BOOK 4- PART 34. AN EROTIC HORROR SERIAL BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

drac taste

INTRODUCTION.

It is the year 1890 and Dracula and his sex-crazed entourage, having made the English village of Birney too hot to hold them, have decamped for safety to Dracula’s ancestral castle in Transylvania, home to the Draculas since time immemorial.

Accompanying him are his beautiful pregnant wife Anna, their baby daughter Lucrezia and Anna’s faithful maidservant Valeria, all the nude handmaidens and chief amongst their number, the gorgeous Glamara. Igor, the Count’s loyal Gate-keeper, and Dracula’s wickedly bewitching Cousin Carmilla, who is now the Count’s captive, are also present.

Given that the crumbling castle in darkest Transylvania is already occupied by the Count’s mother, his siblings and all of their servants, as you can imagine it looks certain to be quite the crush. Buckle your seatbelts, dear readers and fellow vampire enthusiasts. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride…

This book, as all the ‘ANNA’ books are, is dedicated to the late Sir Christopher Lee, whose performances in the HAMMER ‘Dracula’ films inspired every word of it. May he rest in peace… until he rises once more from the crypt in which he lieth…

FANGS AND FOREPLAY: THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF DRACULA: THE TRANSYLVANIA YEARS. BOOK 4- PART 34.

AN EROTIC HORROR NOVEL BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

A tap on his bedchamber door roused Nikolai from his half-slumber. He’d been restless earlier and had sent Zena away so that he could be alone with his thoughts (thoughts as always of revenge against Dracula for keeping him down), but instead he’d drifted into a sort of uneasy half-sleep. He scratched his head and armpits and, yawning hugely, went to open the door. His eyes widened as he beheld his visitor.

‘What do you want?’ he said ungraciously.

‘A private word,’ purred Carmilla silkily, as she entered the room and shut the door firmly behind her.

‘What do we have to talk about?’

Nikolai crossed the room and sprawled in an armchair, deliberately not offering his guest a seat. Carmilla was not shy, however, and seated herself on the chair opposite him, taking her time arranging the folds of her midnight-blue gown around her to her satisfaction. When she was finally comfortable, she said, with an air of mystery: ‘Your brother, Vladimir.’

Nikolai visibly started. ‘He’s dead,’ he said uncertainly. ‘Isn’t he?’

‘How did he die, dear Nikolai?’ Her voice was as slinky as he imagined a cat’s would be, if cats could talk.

‘He was murdered by brigands, robbers and villains on the road, on his way to meet with one of our tenants about the rent. Dracula told us so. He was the first to hear the bad news.’

‘And why on earth, Nikolai, would he be making such a journey himself when he employed agents to collect any monies for him?’

‘It’s what Dracula said he was doing,’ insisted Nikolai.

‘What would you say, Nikolai, if I told you that Vladimir was not dead but alive, very much alive, in fact, and being kept a prisoner in the dungeons of this very castle…?’

She stared at him triumphantly, waiting for his reaction. Nikolai’s face was thoughtful. A year or two earlier, Nikolai had enjoyed a sojourn in London during the so-called ‘Autumn of Terror’ of 1888, when a vicious murderer known as ‘Jack the Ripper’ had stalked the streets of Whitechapel.

This Jack the Ripper fellow (a monster, the press had hysterically dubbed him) had killed random prostitutes and left them on the blood-soaked streets with their insides out and their entrails tossed casually over their shoulders. He was a fearsome being, almost a mythical creature in the minds of the badly frightened general public who held him in such awe.

Nikolai had been greatly excited by these murders and had used them as an excuse to get in on the act himself. He had taken to the darkened, piss-soaked streets by night and murdered a goodly number of street-walkers himself in their dingy little rooms, only, after he’d strangled them, he’d bitten their necks and drained their poor, used-up bodies of every drop of their blood.

The police had been greatly confused when these strangled, bloodless corpses began turning up almost in tandem with Saucy Jack’s handiwork. Nikolai had never been happier in all his five hundred years of being a vampire.

He was utterly in his element. London was like his own personal giant sweet-shop or playground to him, and he the cheeky young rapscallion riding the carousel for as long as he liked with his cheeks bulging with bulls’ eyes and aniseed balls.

Of course, he’d come to London against the express instructions of his older brother Dracula, who was a mean-minded cur who wanted to keep the attractions of London and England all to himself.

He’d have been happy for Nikolai to stay buried in boring, stagnant old Transylvania for all eternity. But Nikolai had craved the bright lights, the crowds, the fresh meat (and blood) and the rich pickings to be found thronging virtually every street in the huge metropolis.

Dracula, then based in London but with an English country property somewhere where he spent much of his time, had bawled Nikolai out good and proper for his indiscreet and dangerous murder spree and ordered him peremptorily back to Transylvania. No second chances, no fair hearing, nothing but Nikolai’s marching orders in no uncertain terms and a flea in his ear to boot.

Nikolai, furious at being despatched back home to Mummy like a naughty schoolboy, had sought Dracula out and fiercely challenged him. There had been a violent showdown, with some three or four of Dracula’s nude handmaidens present, whores he’d been in the middle of servicing when Nikolai had disturbed him.

The two brothers had fought long and loud, and at the end of it all, Dracula had asked his brother- in a menacingly soft voice that contrasted with the shouting and lent a terrible weight to his words- if he wanted to end up like their eldest brother Vladimir, chained to a wall in the dungeon of Castle Dracula in Transylvania for two hundred years, the equivalent of twenty long, horrible earth years.

‘But… but Vlad’s dead,’ Nikolai had stammered, ashen-faced.

‘Is he indeed…?’ Dracula had sneered, then he’d clammed up and said not another word on the subject.

Nikolai had returned to Transylvania after that, there being no help for it as Dracula’s word was law and, besides, Nikolai was more than a little afraid of what Dracula had said about Vladimir’s real fate.

Nikolai had searched the castle dungeons himself when he arrived home and had been more than a little relieved to find no trace of his brother. He’d thought about it the odd time over the months that had followed, however, and now here was that sultry, purple-eyed witch Carmilla suggesting to him the exact same thing.

‘How do you know?’ he said, glowering with suspicion all over his face.

‘I’ve seen him,’ Carmilla said smugly, helping herself to one of Nikolai’s expensive French cigarettes from a side-table beside her.

‘You’ve seen him?’ Nikolai whispered. ‘Is he… is he… alive?’

Carmilla nodded, then coolly blew three perfect smoke rings in the shape of tiny coffins into the air. She was the only person Nikolai had ever known who could do that, besides Count Dracula himself. He’d tried it himself a hundred times and failed dismally every time.

‘Why are you telling me all this?’ he said harshly, his voice raspy with emotion.

‘Because I need your help,’ she purred, her cat-like eyes glowing in the half-light of the chamber, taking in every inch of his face and body. ‘A great wrong has been done to your eldest brother. We’re going to get Vladimir out of those dreadful dungeons and back where he rightfully belongs… at the head of the Dracula family. With me by his side as his wife, naturally.’

‘O-ho, so that’s your game, is it, you poisonous wench? Why should I help you to advance yourself, tell me that?’

‘Because you hate Dracula even more than I do.’

Her words hung in the air between them like an unexploded bomb. Eventually, Nikolai said in a hoarse whisper: ‘What do you want me to do then, you insufferable wench?’

Carmilla smiled and lifted her hands to the back of her neck, undoing the clasp of her gown. Then she lowered the front of the midnight-blue dress to her waist, exposing to Nikolai’s hungry gaze two of the most magnificent breasts he’d ever seen in all his five hundred years.

Full, round and white with big, pinky-brown nipples, they had the luscious, over-ripe quality to be found in the older woman rather than the pert perkiness of youth, but Nikolai, who loved all breasts on all women, was utterly enchanted with them. He looked at her questioningly.

‘First, you will fuck me,’ she said softly.

‘And afterwards?’ he breathed, his heart beating like a jackhammer.

‘Afterwards, my dear Nikolai, we talk business…’

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

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:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

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FANGS AND FOREPLAY: THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF DRACULA: THE TRANSYLVANIA YEARS. BOOK 4- PART 33. AN EROTIC HORROR SERIAL BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

DracPrince

INTRODUCTION.

It is the year 1890 and Dracula and his sex-crazed entourage, having made the English village of Birney too hot to hold them, have decamped for safety to Dracula’s ancestral castle in Transylvania, home to the Draculas since time immemorial.

Accompanying him are his beautiful pregnant wife Anna, their baby daughter Lucrezia and Anna’s faithful maidservant Valeria, all the nude handmaidens and chief amongst their number, the gorgeous Glamara. Igor, the Count’s loyal Gate-keeper, and Dracula’s wickedly bewitching Cousin Carmilla, who is now the Count’s captive, are also present.

Given that the crumbling castle in darkest Transylvania is already occupied by the Count’s mother, his siblings and all of their servants, as you can imagine it looks certain to be quite the crush. Buckle your seatbelts, dear readers and fellow vampire enthusiasts. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride…

This book, as all the ‘ANNA’ books are, is dedicated to the late Sir Christopher Lee, whose performances in the HAMMER ‘Dracula’ films inspired every word of it. May he rest in peace… until he rises once more from the crypt in which he lieth…

FANGS AND FOREPLAY: THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF DRACULA: THE TRANSYLVANIA YEARS. BOOK 4- PART 33.

AN EROTIC HORROR NOVEL BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Anna hurried along the damp, mould-shrouded and cobwebbed corridors of Castle Dracula in the dead of night, dishevelled and disorientated, desperately desirous of reaching her own bedchamber without being seen by other members of the family.

Glamara was the Count’s personal little spy; if she’d seen what had just transpired between Anna and Darius in the little graveyard, she’d have waited at the castle gates for the Count’s carriage to return in her haste to be the first to give him the unfavourable news.

Anna was in shock. She was in denial. She was in distress. She was in a state unlike any other she’d ever experienced before, but then she’d never before been unfaithful to her lord and master, Count Dracula, the one real love of her life, the first and best and only lover she’d ever known. She could scarcely comprehend what she had done; the enormity of it was just too overwhelming.

She reached the door of her own bedchamber, the one to which the Count made his frequent nocturnal visitations, though in truth they were never frequent enough, and flung it open with a crash. Valeria was inside the room, tidying away some clothes of Anna’s into a cupboard. She whirled round, startled, at the tumultuous entrance of her mistress.

‘Help me off with this dress!’ urged Anna, tears spilling down her face and blotting her carefully applied dark eye make-up. ‘Get it off me! I want it burned!’

Hurriedly, Valeria began to grapple with the hooks and eyes at the back of the purple gown, then, once it was removed from Anna’s protesting body, she opened the bedroom door and threw it into the corridor outside, simply for lack of anything else to do with it. She turned back to her mistress, to find that Anna had flung herself down on the bed, stark naked underneath the discarded gown, and was sobbing as if her heart would break.

‘Why, Mistress Anna,’ Valeria said, greatly alarmed, ‘I beg of you to tell me what has distressed you so? It cannot be so bad as all that, surely?’

‘Oh, Valeria, my dear, good, loyal Valeria, I can assure you that it is every bit as bad, and worse!’

‘Won’t you confide in me, dear mistress? I will help you all I can, I swear!’

‘I know you would, Valeria, I know you would, but there is no help for this, no help at all! I have done something so dreadful that there can be no redemption for me.’

Anna howled all the harder, so much so that Valeria rushed to her and threw her arms about her mistress’s heaving, sob-wracked body. Valeria had never seen Anna in such a state. Even when the Count had to go away on one of his frequent business trips and Anna was depressed for days or even weeks at a time, she never usually cried as hard as this.

‘There, there, my pet, my darling, my angel, my love,’ cooed Valeria, stroking Anna’s tear-soaked hair back off her face. ‘Tell Valeria everything, if it will make you feel happier. Tell Valeria what it is that you think you’ve done. I am certain it is nothing so bad that we can’t put it right between us.’

‘I have just had sexual relations with Darius Karnstein!’ Anna screamed. ‘Down in the gardens just now. Now, you foolish woman, now do you see why this cannot be put right?’

Valeria recoiled as if she’d been slapped. She looked at Anna with absolute horror in her dark, lustrous eyes, looking as if she couldn’t even begin to comprehend such a monstrous act. Anna didn’t blame her. She could scarcely comprehend it herself.

An hour ago, she’d been quietly seated on the stone bench in the little overgrown graveyard on Count Dracula’s property, mourning the Count’s absence and feeling lonelier than she’d ever felt in her life, dead or Un-dead. Then Darius had come along, with his charm and his sympathy and his flattery and his admiration, and, in the face of all the considerable weapons he had in his arsenal, not least of which were his strikingly handsome face and figure, she had come undone.

He’d been so easy to talk to, and he’d seemed so perfectly to understand her predicament, that of the lonely wife who was made to stay behind and look after the children while her husband travelled gaily here, there and everywhere on his business trips without a care in the world.

‘Why, it’s positively criminal for such a beautiful woman to be left so often alone,’ he’d murmured in his smooth, silky educated tones.

He’d looked at her as if he really appreciated what he saw, and also as if he wanted very much to know what she looked like without her clothes on. Anna had felt the beginnings of a familiar heat low down in her belly, and she’d flushed and lowered her eyes and tried to move away from him on the bench but suddenly his hand was in the front of her low-cut gown, cupping and caressing one soft, white breast while his mouth was seeking out hers and finding it and possessing it…

The sexual congress had not equalled her husband the Count’s superior love-making, but it had been just what she’d needed at that time, nonetheless. He’d positioned her so that she was kneeling with her back to him on the bench, then he’d raised her gown and entered her from behind, the whole time caressing her breasts, which he’d exposed to the night air, and her swollen belly, big now with her husband’s child.

Anna was ashamed now to think how wanton she’d been, pushing her buttocks and pussy back towards him with all her energies, grunting and groaning like a rutting sow being serviced by the boar and not caring that her pendulous teats were bare and swaying wildly back and forth with the movement of their two bodies. She’d been needy and lonely and love-starved and she’d allowed these feelings to rule her, allowed them to make her behave like a whore in her husband’s absence.

Afterwards, Darius had coolly wiped himself on her purple gown and sat down on the bench, lazily smoking a cigarette, while she endeavoured to collect herself after what they’d done, though not without some difficulty. Her whole body was trembling and she’d had to ask him for help with re-fastening her gown at the back. She could not possibly return to the castle with her gown hanging about her waist and her bosoms uncovered in a most unseemly fashion.

‘Goodnight, sweet Anna, goodnight,’ he’d said then, watching in apparent amusement while she fled to the relative safety of the castle.

‘What will I do, Valeria?’ she asked her handmaiden now, her voice still stifled with sobs. ‘Whatever will I do about the Count? He’ll kill me, which I deserve, or he’ll send me away from him forever, and I couldn’t bear that, I couldn’t! He might as well kill me, because I will surely die without him! Oh, my dearest, most faithful handmaiden and loyal friend, Valeria, what on earth shall I do?’

Valeria looked at her blankly, as if she’d never seen her before, then shook her head with tears forming in her eyes.

‘I don’t know, Mistress Anna,’ she whispered, shocked. ‘I honestly don’t know.’

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

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:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

HAMMER’S ‘DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE.’ (1968) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.

drac risen zena

DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE. (1968) BASED ON CHARACTERS CREATED BY BRAM STOKER. DIRECTED BY FREDDIE FRANCIS. PRODUCED BY AIDA YOUNG. SCREENPLAY BY JOHN ELDER.

STARRING CHRISTOPHER LEE, RUPERT DAVIES, MARION MATHIE, GEORGE A. COOPER, MICHAEL RIPPER, BARRY ANDREWS, EWAN HOOPER, NORMAN BACON, BARBARA EWING AND VERONICA CARLSON.

REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This is a stunning addition to the Hammer Dracula canon. It’s the third in the series to feature Christopher Lee as the Count, coming after DRACULA (1958) and DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1965). Christopher Lee is in excellent form as the titular Dracula, or ‘the fanged undead,’ as he’s rather pithily described in the promotional material.

Very fine form indeed, especially considering he’s supposed to have spent the last several years frozen under the icy-cold waters that flow near his castle in the mountains. Still looking very good too, just waiting for a clumsy man of the cloth to lose his footing, crack the ice, under which Dracula slumbers uneasily, with his bonce and bleed his blood on to the sleeping vampire’s lips.

The first half hour is truly magnificent and super-exciting. A little village in the Hammer-created ‘Mitt-Europe’ that Hammer do so well has had its church horribly desecrated by Dracula. The Prince of Darkness has chosen to ravish and murder a beautiful and busty young woman in its little bell-tower, leading to one of the most spectacular ‘reveals’ of a victim’s blood-drained cadaver in the studio’s history.

A visiting Monsignor, name of Ernest Mueller, responsible for all the churches in the area, is distressed to see that a shadow cast by the vampire’s castle, even though the vampire himself is supposed to be dead, is preventing the superstitious locals from attending church services. Any excuse not to go to Mass, eh?

The Monsignor decides to climb up to the castle himself, reluctantly accompanied by the parish priest who will soon be enslaved by Dracula and forced to work as his lackey, and exorcise the damned place once and for all.

Dracula, however, accidentally revived by the terrified parish priest, is more than pissed off to discover that his home has been befouled by the Monsignor and his shimmering golden cross.

He determines to seek revenge against the poor old Monsignor, for which purpose the action moves to the Monsignor’s sweet little home village of Keinenberg, a picturesque wee place surrounded by the mountains.

The Monsignor lives very comfortably indeed there with his brother’s widow, a fine figure of a woman called Anna who does everything for him except warm his bed, and her beautiful daughter Maria, the Monsignor’s niece.

A less worthy man than the Monsignor might be tempted to take advantage and enjoy a little mother-daughter action, but the Monsignor’s motives are as pure as the driven snow. Even while his buxom sister-in-law is kneeling at his feet putting on his slippers when he arrives home after a hard day’s exorcising, not once, seemingly, does he feel the urge to say: ‘Um, while you’re down there, Anna…!’

Played by Hammer’s latest discovery of the time, the ravishing blonde-haired Veronica Carlson, Maria first bounces charmingly on to the screen dressed in a gorgeous dusky pink dress complete with Little Red Riding Hood cloak.

She’s looking for her boyfriend Paul, a college student, so she can bring him to dinner to meet her mother and uncle, the Monsignor. And where else would she look for him but in Max’s public-house, where he pulls pints and is training to be a pastry chef under the not-so-watchful eye of the endlessly good-humoured Max?

Max is played by Hammer stalwart Michael Ripper, who surely, more than anyone else living or dead, was born to pull pints in a Hammer-created ‘Mitt-European’ alehouse, Gawd bless ‘is little ‘eart.

The getting-to-know-you dinner at the Monsignor’s house goes tits-up, and Paul is ordered out of the house on the grounds that he has the audacity to admit to his girlfriend’s uncle that he’s an atheist, goddammit, but never mind all that for now.

The Monsignor and his family have bigger problems than the curly-headed, happy-go-lucky Paul, who actively encourages his goody-two-shoes girlfriend to visit him at night via the surprisingly dizzy rooftops of Keinenberg, if you can believe that. No true gentleman would ever permit his girlfriend to do such a dangerous thing, especially when she’s lacking in, shall we say, a little blood…? What an ungallant cad he is.

Anyway, Dracula has found the perfect way to get back at the Monsignor, and that’s through his lovely niece Maria. Maria’s seduction by the Count is not as knee-tremblingly sexy as Melissa Stribling’s in the 1958 DRACULA, but it’s a nice little scene nonetheless.

It involves open bedroom windows, pleasant terraces overlooking the mountains and another mesmerised woman walking hesitantly backwards towards her bed, while gazing up the whole time into red bloodshot eyes, like a rabbit fascinated by the snake that’s poised to pounce on it.

Dracula’s other girlfriend here, Max’s busty brunette barmaid Zena, has a bit more chutzpah and oomph, if you get me, than the rather prissy Maria, but Dracula treats poor Zena appallingly. Which only makes women like me fancy him all the more, heh-heh-heh. Women in these Dracula films are here for two reasons only, to be used and abused, and to damn well be the eye candy while they’re doing it, lol. Ah well, it’s nice, at least, to know where you stand.

Poor Maria gets dragged from pillar to post as well by the Count, in her bare feet and white nightie to boot, but at least Dracula doesn’t try to bury her alive like he does Melissa Stribling in the 1958 film.

It’s up to Paul, the not-very-swotty college student and would-be pastry chef, to save not only Maria from the evil clutches of Dracula, but the village of Keinenberg as well. Is the curly-headed one up to the task…?

In this film, a neat little addition to the folklore surrounding the fanged undead is included, in the form of a caveat that decrees that you can’t just stake Dracula through the heart and he’ll obligingly die. You’ve got to mumble Latin words from the Bible over him as well, or he won’t croak. Now I wonder where on God’s green earth we can find a padre to do the necessary at this hour of the night…?

I love the scene where Zena is being chased through the forest at night, by the mysterious black coach with the four black horses with the black plumes on their heads. Such a fearsome carriage could only belong to one man. The poor horses seem to get whipped a lot by the Count in this film, but I’m fairly certain that it’s only pretend-whipping, lol. I love George A. Cooper as the landlord of the tavern in the village with the cursed church, by the way. He’s a terrific actor.

This is a gorgeous-looking film. The forty-six-year-old Christopher Lee is still very much engaged in the series, and it really shows. (He was at his sexiest in his forties and fifties, and even his sixties, if you ask me.) Some people say that he zoned out a bit towards the end but I don’t know. Down in the murky, leaky basement of Max’s tavern (it’s a good job that Max never seems to go down there!), the centre of operations where his black coffin rests imposingly on blocks of wood, he’s very much the master of all he surveys.

He’s magnificent here as the Count, and his two chosen concubines, Zena and Maria, are très easy on the eye as well. Michael Ripper is behind the bar in the tavern, dispensing homespun wisdom along with the ale and sausage rolls and meat pies. God’s in his heaven, and all’s well with the world of Hammer.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

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:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

THE SPANISH VERSION OF DRACULA. (1931) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.©

spanish dracula carlos 2

THE SPANISH VERSION OF DRACULA. (1931) BASED ON THE BOOK BY BRAM STOKER. DIRECTED BY GEORGE MELFORD. PRODUCED BY CARL LAEMMLE JUNIOR AND PAUL KOHNER. DISTRIBUTED BY UNIVERSAL PICTURES.

STARRING CARLOS VILLARIAS, LUPITA TOVAR, BARRY NORTON AND MANUEL ARBO.

REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

‘He cut open a vein in his arm and forced me to drink from it.’

Sometimes when I watch this film I almost fancy that I prefer it to the Bela Lugosi version, and the Bela Lugosi version is one of my all-time Top Three favourite film versions of the story ever. (It keeps company with Hammer’s 1958 DRACULA starring Christopher Lee, and Werner Herzog’s NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE from 1979. It’s in very good company, I hope you’ll agree.)

This Spanish version was made concurrently with the Bela Lugosi/UNIVERSAL version. It was even made on the same sets, except that the Spanish version was made by night and the English version by day. As one cast and crew trooped out, finished for the day, another cast and crew would troop in, ready for their night-shift using some of the most memorable and iconic sets in cinema.

Carlos Villarias, the Spanish El Conde Dracula, seems at first glance almost too smiley and goofy-looking to play the most evil villain in cinema history, but he soon proves himself more than capable of the level of menace required to play such a deliciously pernicious character.

It’s true that he lacks the handsome sophistication of Bela Lugosi and Bela’s Eastern European air of mystery, but he makes a damned good Dracula just the same. I would even say that his performance is the equal of Bela’s, just slightly different obviously as he’s a different person/actor and hails from a different country, a warmer country where the people are reputedly of a more passionate nature than some other of their European counterparts.

The story moves along the same lines as the English language version, with Renfield the estate agent’s clerk travelling to Dracula’s Castle in the mountains in Transylvania against the advice of the locals, who themselves wouldn’t go near the place if you paid them.

He does manage, however, to get a carriage-driver to get him to the infamous Borgo Pass at midnight, where Dracula’s carriage awaits and conveys Renfield to the castle. He finds Count Dracula- El Conde Dracula- a little eccentric but charming and cordial, even if his castle is ramshackle and creepy and belongs to the Dark Ages.

Renfield has, as requested, brought the Count the deeds to Carfax Abbey, Dracula’s intended new home in England. Dracula informs him that they’ll be leaving for England by ship on the morrow, along with Dracula’s ‘three boxes,’ the only luggage the strange Count intends to carry with him.

If he was bringing his three wives, of course, the level of luggage might be an entirely different story. You know women, lol. There’d be hat-boxes and cosmetic boxes and jewellery boxes and boxes of knick-knacks and rails of dresses in plastic safety coverings and the whole shebang. That ship would have sunk like the Titanic.

By the time the ship docks in England, Renfield’s mind is all but destroyed by Dracula’s special ‘kiss’ and he’s clapped straightaway into Dr. Seward’s Sanatarium for the mentally ill. The security there, mind you, is every bit as lax as in the English version of the film and he’s allowed to wander the house and grounds as he pleases, pursued half-heartedly by Martin his minder.

He even ventures into the private quarters of the wealthy Dr. Seward and his family, which consists of just himself and his beautiful daughter Eva. Renfield is now all about the catching and devouring of flies and other small creatures with blood in them- ‘Blood is life!’- and getting excited about the proximity of his ‘Master,’ whom he both adores and fears.

Dracula, meanwhile, has contrived an introduction at the theatre to his neighbours Dr. Seward and Eva, and also Eva’s best friend Lucia Weston and Eva’s fiancé Juan Harker. All four of them are impressed by the Count’s courtesy and good manners.

Before long, Lucia, who’s fascinated by the enigmatic foreign Count and his mysterious remarks on the subject of death, has succumbed utterly to the Count’s blood-sucking ways and become a vampire too, one of Dracula’s terrible ‘cult of the un-Dead…’

Now the ravishing Eva is starting to feel unwell also and eminent physician Dr. Van Helsing is extremely quick to diagnose ‘vampirism.’ His suspicions are confirmed when the suave Count Dracula pays a social visit to the Sewards and Dr. Van Helsing is able to observe that the Count casts no reflection in a mirror. This, of course, is one of the sure signs that someone is a vampire.

That, and a terrible fear of garlic and wolfbane, the two plants guaranteed to keep the vampires away, and also of all or any religious iconography, especially crosses. If you don’t have a cross handy, don’t worry your head about it.

You can always fashion one out of two sticks, or two pokers, or two matches, or even two of your own fingers. It’s only the merest suggestion of the cross that’s needed, according to some Hammer films, lol. Even the shadow of a cross will do at a pinch. (See the finale of BRIDES OF DRACULA…!)

Dracula is pissed off by Van Helsing and tries to bring the doctor’s mind under his control but Van Helsing only just manages to hold his own. It’s down to the good doctor, then, and Juan Harker, Eva’s distraught fiancé, to try to save Eva’s immortal soul from Count Dracula.

Eva is his real object. Lucia was just the starter, the aperitif, the warm-up act. It’s Eva he wants to be his wife, his companion, down through all the long, cold millenia to come. Count Dracula’s intended monstrous act of selfishness will cost Eva her life with her boyfriend and father, and in the end her soul too.

The sets and costumes are gorgeous, and the final scenes, set in the eerie dungeons of Carfax Abbey, are as thrilling as in the English language version. The final scenes are longer here, however, and the ending isn’t as sudden as in the Bela version.

There’s even a nice extra touch in the Spanish film in that Dr. Van Helsing keeps a promise he made to Renfield to free that poor old fella’s soul from Dracula’s rancid grasp from all eternity.

The Spanish film is every bit as atmospheric and fog-wreathed as the Bela Lugosi version and, because it’s a good thirty or so minutes longer, you get a bit extra into the bargain. By the end of it, you don’t even query why everyone in England is speaking such fluent Spanish, lol. And Spanish is such a lovely, musical mellifluous language as well, and some of their words sound very similar to our own, you’ll have great fun figuring out which ones I mean.

Lupita Tovar is wonderful as Eva Seward, and in fact she only died recently, having lived to be well over the hundred-year mark, a remarkable feat in itself. I was delighted to find that she was still alive when I first discovered the existence of ‘The Spanish Version Of Dracula’ a couple of years ago, and then gutted when she died not long after in 2016. Still, fancy living to such a ripe old age! Maybe Dr. Van Helsing didn’t manage to purge all of Dracula’s black magic from her veins after all…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger, poet and book-and-movie reviewer. 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, womens’ 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:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:

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