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Christopher Lee in COUNT DRACULA (1970)

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Published on Nov 4, 2010

Jess Franco, the Spanish director known for soft-core films featuring vixens in various precarious situations, successfully incorporates Bram Stoker's Dracula into his repertoire with Count Dracula. Starring Hammer's Dracula Christopher Lee, this film is unrelated to the Hammer films, to its credit. This film may be the most accurate telling of Stoker's classic vampire story, so faithful is it to the novel, even to include many of the book's lines in the script. With an array of truly Gothic, medieval sets, and a cast well-versed in horror, including Klaus Kinski (Werner Herzog's Nosferatu) as Renfield, and Soledad Miranda (Vampyros Lesbos) as Lucy, Count Dracula authentically captures Stoker's careful blend of physical monstrosity and sexual fetish to portray the Count's quest for eternal life. For example, few vampire films besides Franco's take time to feature Lucy and her lover Quincy's blood transfusions that reinforce blood's metaphoric connection to sexual desire. Moreover, Maria Rohm plays Mina Harker with the proper innocence to serve as a foil character to her promiscuous friend, Lucy. Dr. Van Helsing, in this film, gets ample opportunity to sleuth vampirism. Franco relays the story of this Transylvanian count who leaves his castle in the Carpathian mountains for a house in England by accentuating the sexual aspects of the plot, which is what any Franco fan would hope for.

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