Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Brides of Dracula on Svengoolie, with Erzebet as Muse

Showing as I type tonight, The Brides of Dracula, on Svengoolie,  You will remember that originally, Bram Stoker wanted to make Dracula a woman, and that woman would have been based on the Erzebet myths.  Baroness Meinster, who purloins an innocent French school teacher to her spooky castle on the hill, is very much an Erzebet figure.  The Baroness wears a red, silk lined black Dracula cape, and 19th century clothing befitting a dowager of her station, in basic black lace, of course.  She has a creepy son, who is, of course, the vampire.

You may want, at this point, to refer to the novel so Deanna Raybourne and some of her characters.

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From Wikipedia comes the following synopsis of this movie, a Hammer film, as is Countess Dracula with Ingrid Pitt:

The Brides of Dracula is a 1960 British Hammer Film Productions Horror film directed by Terence Fisher. It stars Peter Cushing as Van Helsing; David Peel as Baron Meinster, a disciple of Count Dracula; Yvonne Monlaur as Marianne Danielle; Andrée Melly as her roommate, Gina; Marie Devereux as a village girl; and Martita Hunt as the Baroness Meinster.[2]
The film is a sequel to Hammer's original Dracula (USA: Horror of Dracula) (1958), though the vampires possess abilities denied to vampires in the previous film, much like those in the original novel. Alternative working titles were Dracula 2 and Disciple Of Dracula. Dracula does not appear in the film (Christopher Lee would reprise his role in the 1966 Dracula: Prince of Darkness) and is mentioned only twice, once in the prologue, once by Van Helsing.

The motif is the same as the stories of Erzebet with regard to a young girl, headed for girls' academy, who finds herself stranded at an in, and taken away to a sinister castle on a hill above the village.  We,as viewers, surmise she is not the first, nor will she be the last, young girl lured to the castle.  Here, however, the young girls are not there to slake an aging Baroness's search for blood, but they are there to appease the evil, but hansome vampire son, the real Baron, who is the Master of this Rampling Gate. 

There is even an evil servant woman, reminiscent of Anna Darvulia or Ilona Jo.

There is even a hint of Jane Eyre in the movie's plot; the madwoman in the attic is played by the evil son, chained, until the young, naïve French girl lets him go.

This film is a mad, but fun Svengoolie romp.  Here is more from IMDB:

Merry Christmas, and beware The Witching Hour!!

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