The Dracula Saga
Directed By León Klimovsky
Starring: Tina Sáinz, Tony Isbert, Helga Liné, and Narciso Ibáñez Menta
Running Time: 90 minutes
DVD Studio: BCI Eclipse
Pregnant Berta (played by Tina Sáinz) and her husband Hans (Tony Isbert) travel to Castle Dracula to visit her grandfather and family. Unfortunately, her entire family and servants are vampires and Hans quickly succumbs to the vampire ladies’ charms. They leave Berta unharmed because her grandfather, Count Dracula (Narciso Ibáñez Menta), believes the child is the next in line to inherit the Dracula family bloodline. As the birth of her child approaches and she is subjected to horrors beyond imagination, Berta begins to lose her mind. If you guessed that this ain’t gonna end happily or prettily, you’re dead right. Yeah.
Spanish horror badass Klimovsky (The Werewolf Shadow, The Vampires’ Night Orgy) does his best homage to Hammer Studios but instills his vampire film with some really bizarre visuals and unique twists. In addition to Dracula and his vampire women, there are also two monsters that are so outrageous they just work. The first is a bat-headed man seen in a dream sequence and the other is an unsettling little creature that is the product of vampire inbreeding. The film’s plot is very strange and takes some ridiculous detours but it also has some lulls where things start to drag.
The soundtrack sounds like a collection of warbled library music tracks that doesn’t really work all that well. It’s strange but I think the film really deserved a totally unique soundtrack and a more attentive composer. Music aside, the rest of the production is awesome. The cinematography rocks, the lighting is perfect, the castle is beautiful, and the period sets are lush. Acting wise, the cast is perfect for this flick. The painfully blonde Tony Isbert (of Riccardo Freda’s Tragic Ceremony (made the same year)) is perhaps a little too aloof but I like the guy. The rapturously sexy Helga Liné is on hand as Munia, Dracula’s bride. And the gray and bearded actor, Narciso Ibáñez Menta, makes a very stately Dracula.
However, the show is stolen by the versatile Tina Sáinz. Thanks to her awesome performance, the slower parts of the film don’t get too dull. Watching Berta becoming more and more haunted by returning to her family home is really one of the best aspects of the film. When her madness finally leads her to grab an axe and take care of business, I just about stood up and cheered in my living room. I won’t give you the specific details of the climax of The Dracula Saga but let’s just say it’s totally perfect and helps me forgive the meandering of the plot.