Blood Scarab

Reviews

CREATURE FEATURE

Out of a strange sense of full disclosure, I must say that film maker Don Glut is a friend of mine. As a matter of fact, I introduced the extras on his DVD "Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood." That being said I was delighted to watch and review his latest film, "Blood Scarab!"

In his latest and certainly best film to date, Don Glut has skillfully combined the vampire and mummy mythologies to the entertainment benefit of the viewer. We first meet that loving couple, Dracula (Tony Clay) and Countess Elizabeth Bathory (Monique Parent). It seems that after draining and bathing in the blood of about 300 virgins, The Countess decided there must be a better way to maintain her youthful beauty and that was by becoming a vampire at the fangs of Dracula himself. This was, of course, a marriage of convenience, which becomes obvious when Drac bites the dust with little regret from anyone … except for Renfield.

While the lovely Professor Foran (Brinke Stevens) finds that her mummy has disappeared … again, Elizabeth has a scheme to make a deal with an Egyptian goddess, through the missing mummy, to allow her to exist in sunlight! Once the plan is hatched, Elizabeth, Renfield, the Mummy, along with our goddess, frolic across the screen in a totally entertaining and very beautiful romp.

I was particularly impressed with Renfield (Del Howison). Don has dialed back the naked female on female contact, while still providing a host of beautiful bare breasts. In it's place he has provided a lot of humor provided by Renfield. Actually he is the thread that ties the story together as caretaker for both Dracula and Elizabeth. I actually found myself laughing out loud many times and enjoying it!

The production values are very good with photography under the direction of Roberto Correa and the mummy looks wonderful thanks to John Carl Buechler. There's a fine score by Terry Huud and you'll also be thrilled with a slew of great new songs by Lucan Wolf place prominently throughout the film.

The DVD includes a ton of extras such as commentary tracks by Don and several of his stars, a "Making Of..." documentary, the Trailer, Deleted Scenes and a slew of fascinating interviews done by my fellow horror hosts Laslo and Demonica of “Graveyard Theatre”!!!

"Blood Scarab" is a hot, funny, sexy film you'll want to sink your teeth into!

You can purchase the DVD from Amazon.com by clicking on the cover image above, or you can go directly to www.FrontLineFilms.com where it will cost you $20 plus $3 shipping/handling.

Reviewed by “Count Gore DeVol” (AKA Dick Dyszel)

SYNERGY MAGAZINE

Blood Scarab opens with a nice tongue in cheek horror introduction, we get a quick hstorical overview of the life of Countess Elizabeth Bathory and then we are told the rest is speculation. This sets the stage for a rip roaring romp through every possible horror motif from Hammer Horror to scenes reminiscent of the Adam’s Family, from “Vampire Lovers” like lesbian scenes to homage’s to classic Hollywood Egypt and Mummy films. It is funny, witty, superbly made and above all, lots of fun.

It seems that the Countess Bathory, one of the great beauties of She bathed in the blood of virgins to stay young but was having trouble finding the necessary “stock” to keep her bath filled and hence went on search to discover a more economical way to stay young. She found her answer in an alliance with Count Dracula. Together they now live in a castle in Los Angeles and somehow they have settled into a sort of Addams Family/Mnsters type lifestyle. However, things are not all that happy, Mrs.Dracula finds herself rather bored and wants to return to the good old days of the Bathories, of which she has lots of fond memories. These memory sequences are especially impressive with lots of sex, blood and eroticism, they are very nicely done as indeed is the inematography throughout the whole of blood Scarab. Disaster strikes as Dracula has been a little too pre-occupied with young girl flesh and while watching his next intended victims, Tanya and Mina, he loses track of time (Renfield being too occupied with bug catching), and is destroyed in classic style by the rising sun. This time Bathory has had enough, he has been killed once too often! She is now freed from Dracula cramping her style and decides it is time to whoop it up.

There are lots of great scenes of lesbian love, blood drinking and more. Indeed it should be said the lesbian love scenes are highly charged, combined with evocative music, great lighting and superior filming. The soundtrack throughout the film is also superb ranging from classic horror soundtracks to Goth rock and pop.

With a lot of partying and feeding to make up for she is rather annoyed at being only able to feed during the night. She also is a bit wary that Renfield will screw up again, this time on her watch, and that she will end up as “sun dust”. So she sets Renfield on the task of discovering the means to achieve immortality during the day. This leads to a great intersection between vampires, mummies and Egyptian occultism. What a combination!!! It seems the 3000 year-old Mummy of Hor-Shep-Sut has walked out of a local museum and is actually the shell of an ancient lesbian sorceress from Egypt. This leads to a great Egyptian flashback with all the pomp one would expect from an Egyptian Hollywood scene. It ends with a rather nasty embalming for Hor-She-Sut for seducing the Pharoahs daughter. After a rather feisty love scene, she is captured, locked in a funerary mask and her heart pulled out and stuffed in a Canopic Jar, her body is left in an unmarked coffin.

A secret ritual unfolds with Renfield at his doddering best, Hor-She-Sut explains to Bathory how she can become immortal in the sunlight. However, as one might expect, two major Goddesses are going to have some girl problems! As Bathory becomes a daywalker and Blood Goddess, Hathor steps in for a bitch fight. This is a great scene – vampire versus mummy, Goddess vs. undead. The climax is suitably fun as Renfield realizes that since crucifixes don’t work then maybe the sacred Egyptian Scarab will and he despatches his evil mistress back to her grave. Blood Scarab is cracking entertainment.

It combines vampires, lesbians, beauty addicts, mummies and Egyptian Goddesses in a way which is a omage to the old world of Hammer Horror and classic Hollywood cinema. It includes motifs and images from so many films, all mixed together in a new and vital way to keep you chuckling, amused and entertained for every second of the
film.

The cinematography is excellent; the special effects are cheesy but of high quality and the sets are amazing.This may be a moderate budget film but it has been made to look top notch and is a joy to watch. The music, mood and texture of the film is great, the actors are all superb ranging from the cackling Renfield to the various menagerie of barely clothed woman. This is a film you will enjoy again and again, it has everything you need – sex, gore, lesbian love, vampires, mummies, fantasy, Egyptian Gods and more. It is also packed with special features including a commentary track with director Donald F. Glut and stars Monique T. Parent, Del Howison and Natasha Diakova. An original trailer, a comprehensive making of documentary, deleted dancing handmaidens scene, a heatrical
premiere video, interviews, Graveyard Theatre Stars, the Harvey and Bob Show Review, Countess Dracula and Mummy's Kiss Archives and six still galleries.

Reviewed by Bob Black

FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND

Perhaps best known for writing the novel of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, writer, director, screenwriter, musician, special FX man, prop builder, and actor, Donald Glut continues to feed his passion for making amateur movies in his latest project, BLOOD SCARAB. As one of the original "sci-fi boys," Glut lived and breathed horror and science fiction. His efforts gained him much publicity in the original Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines during its time. Today he returns to us in the new era of Famous Monsters.

BLOOD SCARAB, produced by Dan Golden and directed by Donald Glut, is
Frontline Entertainment's sequel to their Countess Dracula and Mummy's Kiss series. Starring Monique T. Parent, Blood Scarab tells the tale of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, the infamous vampire who bathed in the blood of virgins to preserve her youth, in her quest for survival in daylight. Her motivation: her husband Count Dracula (accurately hounded as Vlad) has just fallen victim to the sunlight, and she too nearly suffered a similar encounter. Committed to serving now Countess Elizabeth, Renfield (of the long line of Transylvanian Renfields, not to be confused with Marty Renfield of the Long Island Renfields) discovers a method via the "mummy's kiss" for his mistress to walk in the daylight. Their hunt leads them to steal the mummified body of Hor-Shep-Sut (Hmmm … that’s a mouthful) which will allow her to contact Hathor, the Egyptian blood goddess and sister of Ra, (cousin to Courtney, mother to Bolinda…oh sorry, wrong movie). Consumed by her newfound ability, the Countess attempts to dispose of the loyal Renfield and defies Hathor. The Countess and the Mummy engage in an all out battle of the boobs.

Anyone familiar with the old Hammer horror films will immediately recognize BLOOD SCARAB. Donald Glut pays homage to these old films by revisiting the legend (created in the last 37 years) of the "Blood Countess" from the 1971 Hammer horror COUNTESS DRACULA and in addition, merges her character with another one of our favorite genre monsters, the Mummy with boobs.

Glut takes the film to a new level. You know the level you wanted to see when you were 12 watching Creature Features and the two vampire chicks are almost naked cat calling the other? Get your mind out of the “Glut-ter”. The bloodshed is plentiful throughout the movie (and so are the boobs) to keep the audience in suspense. Glut spares no details
for the Virgins in this film…We’ll that’s some acting aye? Where you gonna find virgins in Hollywood?

The mummy suit created by special FX man John Buechler. Although the mummy suit is not up to par with today's The Mummy franchise costume, this had Boobs…are you getting the picture? Well you can on DVD.

Reviewed by Phil Kim

OBSCURE HORROR

Countess Bathory is looking for some new blood and with the death of her husband, Count Dracula, she’s got a taste for something new. Using her servant Renfield to help her, she teams with an Egyptian mummy to gain immortality. But after he gets dumped to the side, Renfield seeks a higher power to fight the countess. It’ll be a super power fight to the death!

Overall: I think Donald Glut definitely has improved the product here from his 2 franchises which created the film: Countess Dracula films and the Mummy’s Kiss series. He’s merged the two franchises such that Monique Parent can shine as the Countess. She looks stunningly beautiful here and easily looks gorgeous in her outfit. The other ladies do an admirable job as we await the battle between the Mummy and the Countess. Very enjoyable film.

Reviewed by Rich Wolf

PULPMOVIES

It can always be a dangerous move for a filmmaker to include familiar characters in their movie. By doing so, you immediately set audience expectations as to how the characters will behave and, if they defy those expectations without sufficient explanation, events will ring less true than they should.

In the case of Blood Scarab, writer/director Donald F. Glut unites Countess Elizabeth Bathory – who was notorious for bathing in the blood of virgins to retain her youth – and Count Dracula. Also in the mix are Dracula’s assistant, Renfield and a 3000 year old Mummy with a habit of reanimating itself and wandering off.

Bathory (Monique Parent) has left Transylvania and arrived at the modern day Los Angeles castle of Count Dracula (Tony Clay), her vampire husband, with the intention of taking control of the property.

Dracula, meanwhile, is about to discover that his lechery will finally be his undoing. While watching a pair of potential victims – Tanya (Cindy Pucci) and Mina (Natasha Diakova) - he loses all track of time and fails to notice the lateness (earliness) of the hour until he realises that the sun is about to rise. Renfield (Del Howison) fails to get his master home in time and Dracula comes to the inevitable fiery end.

The Countess Bathory shares with her former husband an inability to tear herself away from the sight of nubile flesh and, fearing an end similar to that of Dracula, instructs Renfield to find a way for her to survive in the daylight. Although fearful of his life at the hands of a mistress that so obviously despises him, Renfield begins to research the problem. Conveniently enough, his investigations lead him to the local history museum and our wandering Mummy which he and the Countess need to locate in order to put Bathory’s wishes into effect…

I have to admit that I found Blood Scarab to be a bit of a mixed bag. There are certainly some good ideas in here and, if you enjoy seeing your gothic horror wrapped up in plenty of female flesh, there is plenty here to enjoy. The vampires are effectively realised – more so with the Countess than with Dracula – and the effects are never less than competent. Indeed, there were a couple of cases where I was very impressed with the effects achieved – especially when you take the size of the budget into account - and the Mummy itself was superbly brought to life.

It was a bit jarring, however, to hear both Dracula and Bathory talking – and often behaving – like modern day Californians. This probably wouldn’t have been too much of a problem, however, if I’d been able to fully buy into the character of Renfield.

Although Del Howison put in a pretty good performance, his character was undermined by a combination of the plot requirements imposed by the script and my own expectation of how any character called Renfield should behave. In short, I tend to assume that any character with this name is going to treat us to a display of bug-eating insanity and, although the film acknowledges this, the plot also needs him to remain lucid enough to drive the story forward. This left the film with a character that was a little too contradictory for me to really buy into. As a result, I was unable to suspend my disbelief as far as I really needed to.

On a slightly more minor point, you really do need to do more with a character called Mina when you make a film with Dracula in it.

However, to focus on these gripes is to miss the point of the film which is to reveal – both physically and figuratively – the lesbian depravity of the vampire Countess. To this end, Blood Scarab really is Monique Parent’s film and she clearly had a lot of fun bringing the Satanically sexy Elizabeth Bathory to the screen. She is both a stunning and a stunningly beautiful actress who delivers a great performance that brings both energy and eroticism to the events.
Ultimately, Blood Scarab is an homage to the sort of films that Hammer started making in the early 1970s and how you respond to it will depend on how you felt about these films the first time around. If you watched the likes of The Vampire Lovers, Lust for a Vampire and Twins of Evil and desperately wanted to see what was happening just outside of the frame, then this really is the film for you.

Reviewed by Paul Pritchard


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