JESS FRANCO MONTH: In Search of Dracula (1974)

EDITOR’S NOTE: As we wade through a month of all things Jess, here’s a sideways version of his work, as scenes from Count Dracula were used to complete this documentary on the life of Dracula. This originally ran on our site on March 13, 2021.

When I was a kid, my dad had a paperback shelf filled with paranormal books that I spied in fear. One of those books was Radu Florescu and Raymond McNally’s In Search of Dracula. Between that tome and the ad in Warren comics for a necklace filled with dirt from Dracula’s grave, I lived in mortal fear of vampires, as if I lived in Santa Carla instead of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Now that I’m grown up, I’m obsessed with tracking down the early 70’s pop culture paranormal that often expresses itself in Schick Sunn Classic films and movies like this, directed by Calvin Floyd* (Terror of FrankensteinThe Sleep of Death).

To illustrate the history of Dracula, Christopher Lee shows up as Vlad Tepes, Count Dracula and himself** Plus, Swedish actors Tor Isedal and Solveig Andersson show up. They were both in Dagmar’s Hot Pants, Inc. and The Lustful Vicar together and she also played one of the prostitutes in They Call Her One Eye.

Thanks to the research of Florescu, Vlad Tepes is an accepted part of the Dracula mythos and his further research into Frankenstein’s Monster has led to the alchemist Konrad Dippe being associated with that legend. Yes, before he wrote that book, no one knew that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was influenced by history.

*Floyd is pretty much an auteur, as he also produced this film and composed all of the music. He was also a pianist, author, composer, pianist and president of music-publisher Kalmar, Inc.

**Footage is also taken from the Hammer films and Jess Franco’s version, too.

You can watch this on Daily Motion.

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