The Curator of Schlock #161 by Jeff Shuster
Scars of Dracula
I got nothing. Your Curator Schlock is running on empty. I think my pre-1980 rule is finally getting to me, but I just have to make it until the New Year. Turner Classic Movies was showing a ton of horror movies last month and I went a little crazy with the DVR. So I’ll be doing some more horror movies until I see fit to move on to something else. Don’t give me that garbage about it not being seasonal. I don’t care. I can watch horror movies all year round!
Up first is Scars of Dracula, a 1970 Hammer Studios production directed by Roy Ward Baker.
The movie begins with a vampire bat upchucking gallons of blood over some red ashes spread over a coffin. The ashes start to smoke and bubble and lickity split, Count Dracula (Christopher Lee) gets resurrected … again! One of the local yokel villagers finds the body of a young woman with two bite marks on her neck. An angry mob forms and decides they’ve had it with the Count. They’re going to burn his castle to the ground. The town priest warns them that violence will beget more violence–blah, blah, blah. He tells them to at least have the women stay in the Church for protection.
Dracula’s servant, Klove (Patrick Troughton), tells the mob to get lost, but they ignore him, throwing torches all over the place, breaking windows, and smashing railings that might cause future visitors to the castle to fall to their deaths. The mob head back to town only to discover their loved ones butchered by vampire bats in the very church they sought refuge in. It’s fairly grisly scene with eyeballs hanging out of sockets and blood splattered everywhere.
Fast forward a number of years later and we’re introduced to a young lothario named Simon Carlson (Christopher Matthews). He’s been sleeping with the Burgermeister’s daughter and when the Burgermeister catches the two of them, his daughter claims young Simon attempted to rape her. He jumps through the roof of an unmanned stagecoach while evading the authorities, frightening the horses into a mad gallop. I guess he ends up in Transylvania right in the shadow of Count Dracula’s castle. Simon goes to a nearby tavern, tries to woo the barmaid into letting him stay the night, but the owner of the establishment kicks him out. Simon decides to pay a visit to Dracula’s castle instead, hoping for some hospitality.
Dracula’s Castle is a bad place. Forget about whatever horrors lay within, one false step and you’ll fall to your death. It’s a long way down that castle wall. While Simon is poking around, a vampire bat flies over his head. Simon turns around to see beautiful woman is starring right at him. She offers Paul a room for the night, which he gladly accepts. Inside, he meets Count Dracula who offers him some wine while making cryptic statements about how his castle was destroyed. Dracula’s not much of a conversationalist.
Simon is about to go to sleep when this mysterious woman enters his room , crying out “Love me!” Simon is eager to oblige. When they’ve finished, she tries to sink her fangs into his neck, but Dracula enters the room and stabs her in the stomach about a hundred times.
I have to admit that’s some freaky shit. The cock crows and Dracula vanishes from the room. Unfortunately, Simon is locked in. He ties some bed sheets together, hoping to climb down from his room in the castle. As I’ve said, it’s a long way down that castle wall.
Simon climbs his way down to an open window. Inside is a room with no door, just a coffin. Before Simon can react, someone lifts his bed sheet rope out of his reach. Simon opens the coffin to see Count Dracula sleeping, bloody fangs exposed. If you think Simon is making it out of this castle alive, you really haven’t seen too many of these movies.
Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47, episode 102, episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.
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