aka Dracula’s Dog
90 min., 1977
Written by Frank Ray Perilli
Directed by Albert Band
My rating: ★★★
Zoltan is one hell of a dog!
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We begin with some soldiers setting off explosives and we switch to a man in a crypt. As the explosions continue a coffin falls out. The man goes up and opens it. Inside is a blanket covered body with a stake through it and the man does the best thing he can do, pull out the stake. The body come to and attacks the man, but instead of it being a human vampire, it is a vampire dog named Zoltan. After killing the man we get a doggy flashback of how he was turned. He then frees Veidt Smith (Reggie Nalder), Dracula’s slave from his tomb and removes his stake. They both leave and head to Los Angeles because that is where the last of the Dracula bloodline lives, that being Michael Drake (Michael Pataki). Michael is a family man who just wants to take his wife Marla (Jan Shutan) and two kids Linda (Libby Chase) and Steve (John Levin) on a camping trip. Will Zoltan get his jaws on Michael or will Inspector Branco (José Ferrer), who knows what is going on, stop them in time?
This is probably my main problem with the movie. Most of the time it seems like all the actors are just reading from cue cards and that any real emotion they have has been thrown out the window. The only real exception to this is Reggie Nalder. He brings in a pretty darn creepy performance that sometimes verges on silly, but overall he is really good.
What can I say about the effects? There are times where age hasn’t been so kind and other times they still look great. The use of camera, at least during the Zoltan attack/kill scenes, is where it really shines. Unlike a lot of movie that use far away shots or extremely up close where you know that the dog is attacking a dummy, this movie uses reverse camera on a lot of them so he is actually “biting” a person.
In the end this is a pretty fun movie but it can be really slow at time and the soundtrack is very out of place in certain spots. The story is really great thou, this being an angle on Dracula that I’ve never seen before and that counts for something. But what really makes this movie good is Zoltan himself. That dog is awesome! Fuck Lassie, Benji, Rin Tin Tin and Snoopy (okay maybe not Benji, I love that dog), Zoltan is the dog that I want by my side especially in a fight. The ending is also really great, so stick around till then.Have You Read...?