Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood

Sequel to The Erotic Rites of Countess Dracula

Reviews

MICROCINEMASCENE

 

Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood is a sequel to Don Glut's 2001 vampire opus, Erotic Rites of Countess Dracula. It begins with a flashback to the year 1897 in the Old West where Roxanne Dumas (played by Kennedy Johnston) is being stalked by the vampire Diana Ruthven (Glori-Anne Gilbert). Roxanne is bitten by the sexy vampire and then spirited away. Roxanne's brother enlists the aid of a priest, Padre Jacinto (Paul Naschy), in his search for the girls. Diana and her brother, Lord Ruthven, are holding Roxanne nearby in the dungeon of an old abbey. The vampire hunters find them and slay the Ruthvens while rescuing Roxanne.

The story then flashes forward to modern times where Count Dracula (Tony Clay) has learned that the remains of his vampire kin rest in the abbey in southern California. He sends his daughter Martine (Eyana Barsky) and her servant Renfield to resurrect Lord Ruthven and Diana.

Without giving away too much more of the story, Diana and her brother are brought back to life and both have a yearning to find Roxanne's spiritual descendant to satisfy their unholy lust. The search gets them involved with prostitutes, strippers and a legion of other colorful characters.

Don Glut has endowed this vampire film with plenty of sex and blood. The ever-gorgeous Glori-Anne Gilbert as Diana is one of the main attractions and she takes on her role with enthusiasm. There is a cast of other beautiful women who also disrobe at a moment's notice, which seems to be a requirement for low-budget vampire films. However, the actors as a whole perform quite well, with the exception of Del Howison as Renfield, who did not fit well in the role of Martine's servant.

The budget of slightly under $100,000 puts Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood in a category above micro-budget cinema, so everyone involved probably got paid for their work instead of volunteering for free as would be the case in a $2000 feature. Also, since it was filmed in Los Angeles, there were certainly plenty of expenses including permits, location fees, equipment rentals, and for all we know, union rates for cast and crew. The film was shot in less than five days which was a major limiting factor as it is hard to get good coverage on every scene in such a short time, but director Glut is an accomplished filmmaker so the production has a professional look.

Horror film legend Paul Naschy from Spain appears here in his first American film (though he speaks no English whatsoever) and there is a cameo by TV horror host, Count Gore de Vol.

The film is full of gratuitous nudity; female vampires seem to be compelled to drop their tops every time they decide to bite a victim. This will please a certain audience, especially Glori-Anne's fan club. Give it an extra half-star rating if this appeals to you.

There is a 5.1 surround sound mix on the DVD and the extra audio commentary track is excellent. It is hosted by Don Glut, Glori-Anne Gilbert and editor Dean McKendrick, and they give a wealth of insight into the work that went into the film as well as some interesting behind-the-scenes stories, such as the scene that was filmed while the police were outside the house trying to evict them from the property.

Blood-sucking vampires and sexy young women... a sure-fire recipe for success in the low budget horror genre!

Three and a half stars.

By Jack Orman


DVD/AUTHORITY 

Lord Ruthven (Arthur Roberts) is an insatiable vampire, no amount of blood seems to quench his undead thirst. So with the help of his gorgeous sister Diana (Glori Anne Gilbert), Ruthven leads a constant line of new victims to their doom. The bloodsucking is vicious and seductive, as Diana seduces young women and then plunges in her sharp teeth, to satisfy her vampiric lust, once her human lusts have been satisfied. But the horrific actions of the siblings does not go unnoticed, as Padre Jacinto (Paul Naschy) has been hunting down the vampires. With the help of a vampire hunter, he storms the home of the two, where a new victim has just been devoured. Soon enough, both brother and sister have been staked, Lord Ruthven with a silver blade. As time passes, Count Dracula (Tony Clay) learns that Lord Ruthven was once in California, which sparks a resurrection of the undead siblings. The two soon return to their undead existence, though Lord Ruthven faces a problem, thanks to his silver staked past. He is unable to drink the blood of mortals, instead he must drink blood that has been purified through the veins of a fellow vampire. This leads to a series of complications, though none as intense as a brush with the past. Will the two fare better this time around, or are more stakes en route?

This is how a low rent softcore porn horror movie should be made, with a gorgeous lead, a genre legend in a cameo, and tons of sex and blood. We'll discuss the elements in that order, so let's start with the movie's sex symbol, the beautiful Glori Anne Gilbert. This is one hot woman and in this movie, she cuts loose with an unabashed performance. She takes on the sex like a trooper, never hesitates to showcase her ample bosom, and doesn't seem uncomfortable when the blood flies, all signs of a potential scream queen. Gilbert is not the best actress out there, but she takes on the material with enthusiasm and is quite fun to watch. The genre legend is werewolf master Paul Naschy, who makes his American debut here. His time on screen is limited, but it is a nice tribute to an often overlooked genre star, one who deserves more attention. Now we move into the realm of sex and blood, both of which are in no short supply here. You'll see numerous naked women, often in graphic lesbian love scenes, a nice touch. The gore is tame by most standards, but the special effects look good, given the film's low rent roots. Once again, Donald F. Glut has given one of his movies more polish than the budget allowed, so fans will be pleased. Retromedia's disc is solid in all respects too, so this one is more than recommended.

Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen, which is not enhanced for widescreen televisions. On the whole, this is a cut above the usual modern B movie transfer, but I'm not sure if this is due to the transfer process or if better cameras were used in production. The image seems sharper and looks more like a digital picture, as opposed to the video look of some of the other releases. I found the colors to be rich and full of life here, while black levels seem razor sharp and accurate, so detail is always high and shadows never murky in the least. All in all, a much better treatment than I expected.

A Dolby Digital 5.1 option is found here, but the mix isn't that dynamic, more like juiced up stereo at best. I found no real volume errors of any kind, as the materials were well recorded and ported, not a bad treatment at all. The dialogue is sharp and never gets drowned out by moans or the like, which is good news, of course. Speaking of moans and other assorted pleasure noises, they all come through in fine form and the music also sounds good, so no serious problems to report in this department. I do think a little more time and effort could have yielded more depth here, but the audio sounds more than passable as it stands.

An audio commentary is provided by director Donald F. Glut and star Glori Anne Gilbert, who are joined by Dean McKendrick. The session is brisk, but has a lot of good behind the scenes chatter, so the time is not wasted. You can tell Glut has a passion for movies, a trait which doesn't seem to be lost in the realm of B movies. This disc also includes an interview with Glut, some outtakes, and the film's promotional trailer.

Copyright © 2004 DVD/Authority


“COUNTESS DRACULA’SÔ ORGY OF BLOOD” 

CINESCAPE

This release marks Frontline Films’ first venture with Retromedia, and to the discerning eye, the difference is readily apparent. Writer/director Don Glut never seemed quite comfortable with his previous label E.I. Cinema. Though as adept at procuring naked women to writhe around for the camera as ever, Glut’s foremost interest is in making fun monster movies. COUNTESS DRACULA’S ORGY OF BLOOD gets to the T&A A.S.A.P. – the first shot has a daughter of Dracula (Eyana Barsky) popping out of a coffin and her blouse simultaneously – and there’s plenty more throughout the movie, but it’s almost an unwelcome distraction from dramatics of the plot. Another difference comes in the contributions of producer Kimberly Ray, who wrings more production value out of fewer dollars than Glut’s previous few budgets.

Though technically a sequel to Glut’s EROTIC RITES OF COUNTESS DRACULA, ORGY contains few repeat characters, and is more of stand-alone story centered around Dracula’s rival (and literary predecessor) Lord Ruthven (veteran Arthur Roberts, who brings a fine vein of pathos to his role). As seen in a prologue, Ruthven and his undead sister Diana (pin-up star Glori-Anne Gilbert) vie for the affections of young beauty Roxanne (Kennedy Johnson), following her from Europe to California in the late 1890s, only to be slain by courageous friar Padre Jacinto. The padre is played by Spanish horror star Paul Naschy (WEREWOLF’S SHADOW and many others), who makes not only his American movie debut here, but this is perhaps the first time his own voice can be heard on a soundtrack.

Segueing to modern times, we find Count Dracula (Glut regular Tony Clay, looking a bit like John Carradine) now inhabiting a luxury Los Angeles castle. To repay an old debt, he sends his daughter Martine and slave Renfield (Del Howison) to re-animate Ruthven – but Ruthven soon finds this gift is a curse. Because Jacinto dispatched him with blessed silver, Ruthven is now unable to consume blood unless it has been "filtered" through the veins of another vampire. Unfortunately, the only vampire handy is the insidious, lecherous Diana. Though seemingly willing to keep her brother around for the time being, Diana has her own sinister agenda once she’s un-staked, especially once she discovers Roxanne’s reincarnation living in LA.

For once, Glut gets a cast that doesn’t suffer from the uneven quality levels that usually plague his films. Though acting in his native Spanish, and in a too-small role, Naschy comes off as natural and confident. The vampire kings are played in stately manner, and even the inexperienced bit players deliver the goods. As for Gilbert, though her line readings don’t always convey the essence of an ancient English vampire queen, she has a natural charisma that’s hypnotic. The cast is helped along by the sure hand of Gary Graver on the camera – Graver’s been shooting films since the mid-1960s, for everyone from Al Adamson to Orson Welles. Peter Damian contributes fine incidental music to Glut’s first Surround soundtrack in between Goth numbers by various bands. And John Carl Buechler (TROLL) contributes creature f/x.

Okay, so it may be just a silly low budget naked lesbian vampire horror comedy, but at least it’s an entertaining one made with a lot of care. It has that hard to define "let’s put on a show" quality that fans of independent cinema hold dear.

Glut, Gilbert, and editor Dean McKendrick sit in for a commentrak that reflects an easygoing shoot in which all major problems came from outside interference, not the troupers in the cast and crew. Other extras include an interview with Glut conducted by famed horror host Count Gore de Vol for his TV show. The Count also has a small role in the film, and introduces a reel of outtakes.

Copyright © 2004 Brian Thomas, author of the massive book VideoHound's DRAGON: ASIAN ACTION & CULT FLICKS.


DIGITALLY OBSESSED! 

With Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood, writer/director Donald F. Glut, who spent his formative years as a comic book writer, continues to prove he has the proper frame of mind to put together a kind of well-heeled, jiggly erotic/horror genre film that is a step above the typical entry in the field. After a few moderately successful films (most notably Dinosaur Valley Girls and The Erotic Rites of Countess Dracula), Glut really stepped things up with the stylish and classy eroticism of The Mummy's Kiss, released on DVD by Seduction Cinema in 2003.

This latest entry, released by B-movie auteur Fred Olen Ray's Retromedia, is a sequel of sorts to Glut's The Erotic Rites of Countess Dracula, and features all of the recommended daily requirements: frequent nudity, girl-on-girl softcore pairings, and corny dialogue. As a sequel, this is pretty much a standalone story, with the only real link between the two being the character of Renfield, here played once again by Del Howison, in a laughable white hippie wig.

The busty splendor of Glori-Anne Gilbert is the centerpiece this time, as she stars as Diana Ruthven, a sexy vampire who, during the opening sequence, gets staked and skeletonized in 1897 California, only to be resurrected a few scenes later in modern-day Los Angeles. It seems that Diana and her equally resurrected vampire brother Lord Ruthven (Arthur Roberts) both lust after the same woman, the naïve, yet frequently nude Roxanne (Kennedy Johnston), and the two are at odds over who should ultimately get her. I should point out that Diana and Lord Ruthven have been resurrected for some reason or another by Count Dracula (Tony Clay), here played with a much appreciated degree of low-key campiness.

A convenient plot point, which states the only way Lord Ruthven can drink blood is if it is first filtered through Diana, is a well-placed excuse for what a film like this absolutely lives for, which is comely nude women fondling and caressing each other, all in the name of a vampire selecting victims. And there is plenty of that here, as well as the obligatory strip club sequence, a sexy dance number by newcomer Jana Thompson (putting a wooden stake to new use as a prop) and a general all-around dose of beautiful women tethered loosely to a kitschy vampire tale that dabbles in such important issues as reincarnation, eternal lust, and how to put a small wading pool to good use.

Sure, there are oodles of gorgeous women, but Glut also gives some props to Spanish horror film legend Paul Naschy, who starred in countless werewolf films throughout the 1960s and 1970s, by tossing a supporting role his way as a spectral priest; if you're at all familiar with his work you might get a kick out of seeing him here. His wild-eyed performance, which is all in Spanish, consists largely of harassing Lord Ruthven from the great beyond, and while not the zenith of his acting career, is at the very least a nice homage from Glut.

Don't confuse this with art, but it is certainly at the top of the heap in its particular genre pile. It's all about the sexy, and Glut delivers what he promises, with more than a little help from Glori-Anne Gilbert.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance:

Image Transfer Review: Presented in nonanamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen, the transfer of Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood is probably the best that any of Glut's films have ever looked on DVD. No major grain issues to beef about, and the image is noticeably sharp and detailed. Colors look solid, and the abundant acres of jiggling fleshtones remain consistent, though some of the interiors (especially Dracula's 'castle' ) come across slightly soft.

Still, a mighty fine effort from Retromedia, one that more than does justice to Glut's film.

Image Transfer Grade: B

Audio Transfer Review: Here's the shocker of all shockers—this title sports a 5.1 surround stereo track. For a lusty, low-budget genre disc like this, that is truly groundbreaking stuff if you ask me, and has certainly raised the bar a notch or two (are you listening, Seduction Cinema?)

This is hardly a reference disc, but the rear channels get sprinkled with things like dogs barking or crowd noise, and it helps to elevate the overall presentation quite a bit. Dialogue (maybe not the most memorable part of this film) is clear at all times, and the Peter Damien original music sounds rich and groovy.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

Extras Review: Writer/director Donald F. Glut, editor Dean McKendrick, and actress Glori-Anne Gilbert contribute a full-length, scene-specific commentary track to kick off the supplement section. As with Glut's equally informative track on The Mummy's Kiss, this one is nicely layered in terms of legitimate production info about the hassles and challenges of putting together a film for less than $100,000. Glut and McKendrick touch on all sorts of film-related factoids, and go into detail about his selection of Spanish horror legend Paul Naschy to play the spectral Padre (and why he never speaks English) to the trouble with fangs to where various sequences where shot. Gilbert chimes in periodically, acting more as a color commentator, at least when compared to the in-depth input of Glut and McKendrick.

Count Gore De Vol's Creature Featurette (13m:24s) is an interview with Glut, as part of the Creature Feature, the Web Program series. De Vol (the hammy vampire TV host alter ego of Richard Dyszel) gives the writer/director the chance to talk up his film a bit, offer up a brief synopsis and further explain to the uninitiated just who Paul Naschy is, and why Glut wanted to cast him.

A Bloopers/Outtakes reel (08m:27s), introduced by good ol' Count Gore De Vol, is your typical set of flubbed lines and troublesome effects, enhanced slightly by some additional nudity. Jana Thompson, who does a steamy dance sequence, seems uncharacteristically shy, and Tony Clay's constantly loose fangs are good for a quick laugh. A lengthy theatrical trailer, featuring plenty of Glori-Anne Gilbert nekkid, is also included.

The disc is cut into a skimpy six chapters, with no subtitle options.

Extras Grade: B

Final Comments: Attention, all you purveyors and aficionados of campy, sexy B-movie hokum!

Donald F. Glut continues what I consider to be his rapid, unchallenged ascent to master of the genre with Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood, an enjoyably goofy and lusty bit of bare boob fun featuring a steady parade of gorgeous women, led by bosomy cult favorite Glori-Anne Gilbert.

To add some credibility, Glut features a supporting role for Spanish horror icon Paul Naschy, without skimping on the frequent bouts of erotic girl-on-girl softcore couplings.

Not for everyone, but this is a hearty recommendation for any fan of the genre.

reviewed by RICHARD ROSELL

PRODUCER/WRITER 

A VAMPIRE FILM WITH HEART – AND BREASTS.

Writer director Donald Glut is currently the last man standing in imaginative and intelligent erotic horror. His unfortunately titled "Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood" brings expertise and reverence to the vampire genre, plus a welcome heterosexuality that has been drained (pun intended) by the likes of Ann Rice, Clive Barker, David DeCoteau, and their imitators. Unlike the horror-ignorant productions from Seduction Cinema, Troma, Playboy Films, and lesser filmmakers that exploit the vampire form for dull, formulaic T&A, Glut's eroticism rises FROM the sub-genre's conventions. He essentially brings out the sexuality which the Universal and even Hammer films could only hint at, making it delightfully profane. To that end he is wonderfully assisted by an amazing Glori Ann-Gilbert, whose unrestrained performance as a sexually insatiable, erotically beautiful vampire hits every fantasy mark. There is also a fleeting turn by iconic Spanish Horror star Paul Naschy as a tortured monk that provides a rewarding link to the past and reflects Glut's appreciation for it. Though the movie is hampered by low-budget realities and some unnecessary intentional campiness, it's the best erotic horror film in years, and a key step in Glut's ascent to major minor filmmaker.

reviewed by Lou Aguilar