DAUGHTER OF DRACULA
You know how I roll with Jess Franco movies. Either I love them with all their moments of gratuity and exploitation balanced with Gothic Horror elements playing on old legends to build modern stories of terror, accessible to the arthouse crowd and sleazoids alike. The resurgence of Redemption Films offers their second release Daughter of Dracula. What wants to be a vamp tale inspired by the 60's powerhouse of Hammer Studios comes off as a naughty excuse for a skin flick with fangs. That's not exactly a bad thing mind you, but it's not the way I enjoy Franco best.
The movie looks beautiful. I collect Redemption titles because they have solid transfers of obscure titles. They don't often contain many extras as is the case with Daughter of Dracula, but they preserve traditional cover imagery. Tim Lucas of Video Watchdog fame does the commentary track for this release. Tim is exceptionally knowledgeable and his commentaries are important. If you have any desire to better understand this movie or the cinema of Franco as a whole body, make sure to enjoy this track. The disc also contains the trailer and "safe scenes". Those are scenes that would be used in place of some of the naughty ones to be used in more conservative markets. You typically see this kind of thing on hardcore pornography that could pass for a feature film. I suppose that says as much about Daughter of Dracula as knowing that it was directed by Jess Franco.
It just so happens that I watched Count Dracula's Great Love the same afternoon as I watched Daughter of Dracula. Two Spanish Horror films with famous directors that have erotic elements and vampires. Daughter of Dracula could never match the power of a Paul Naschy fronted feature. In fact Count Dracula's Great Love was an X rated feature packed with naughty bits, more naughty material than Daughter of Dracula. Perhaps my dislike for the Franco title is that it doesn't quite go far enough in terms of violent or sexual content especially when juxtaposed with a Naschy film.
Fans of Redemption titles will not be disappointed with the quality of this disc or the extras. This is a strong Franco release especially if you are more forgiving than I in terms of your acceptance of his entire film catalog. Casual Drac and vamp fans, this may be a hard sell for you.
Available from DiabolikDVD:
Synopsis: In the early 1970s, cult filmmaker Jess Franco—inspired by the Hammer horror films being made in the UK—revisited the iconic monsters of yesteryear, placing them in the castles and crypts of the Spanish countryside, and bracketing the thrills with scenes of frank eroticism. Daughter of Dracula was inspired by Sheridan LeFanu’s “Carmilla” (which was also the source of Hammer’s lesbian vampire trilogy), but as one might expect, Franco’s version was unlike any treatment the story had yet received. When the nude body of a murdered woman washes onto the beach, a police inspector (Alberto Dalbés) and a reporter (Fernando Bilbao) focus their attention on the castle of Count Max Karlstein (composer Daniel White) and his niece (Britt Nichols, The Demons), a beautiful woman who appears to be wrestling with an ancestral curse.
Special Features: English Subtitles, Audio commentary by film historian Tim Lucas, Alternate “safe” footage (less sexually explicit), Original theatrical trailer