Wednesday, 22 July 2015
Blood of Dracula [aka Blood Is My Heritage] (1957, Herbert L. Strock)
The perils of puberty, eh?
'Oh, those beach parties and rock 'n' roll?!?' sneers her wicked stepmother, proving that we are most definitely in the age of a sarong-bedecked Jon Hall in Aloma of the South Seas.
After her first night of torment and taunting by the five girls with whom she is doomed to dorm, Nancy encounters science teacher Miss Branding (Louise Lewis), who has had an eye out for an emotionally conflicted and angry young girl to take part in her nefarious nosferatal experiments.
Once Nancy has unleashed her nascent nocturnal self and gone on a blood-drinking spree that takes the lives of her teen tormentors, Miss Branding seems proud of her pet monster. 'How pretty you are after the night... the night belongs to you!' she purrs over her unwilling vampiric victim, who bears an almost post-coital glow after her kill. Nancy has 'become a woman' through a ritual of blood.
That's just needlessly Freudian, isn't it?
So after more night-time kills, and more OTT nuclear holocaust metaphors courtesy of the local plod ('One wrong word could have the effect of dropping an A-Bomb on Sherwood!') we come as we must to the trite moralistic ending wherein Miss Branding cannot cage the monster within Nancy that she has unleashed (this genie whom you may have nightmares about won't go back in her bottle) and both doctor and monster wind up dead. 'There are powers greater than science, and some things that man is not meant to know!' Blah blah blah. That aside, though, a nice little example of the teen monster genre with some decent performances (especially Sandra Harrison as our horrific heroine).
I was a teenage viewer of teenage monster films. Confession over.