The Wrongs of Dracula’s Rites
In The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973) D’s plan is to introduce a new strain of the Bubonic plague to wipe humans off the face of the Earth. I don’t think Dracula was thinking ahead on this one. I mean, aren’t humans his grocery stores?
It’s the Eve of the Sabbath – and not the day before Black Sabbath releases a new album. Nope, this is the Sabbath of the Undead, kinda like spring break for those sorta not living. This does not meet eternal foe Van Helsing’s eco concerns, so he confronts Dracula at the very same spot they locked crosses two years earlier in Dracula A.D. 1972. Van Helsing comes prepared with a silver bullet, but AS ALWAYS can’t get the shot off in time before Dracula enunciates and throws a hissing fit.
The place catches on fire, so the fight spills over into the woods filled with Hawthorn bushes – he only other thing besides silver, garlic, pure running water, holy crosses, biblical scripture, altar boys and daylight that can defeat Dracula and make him soil his cape. Getting a sort of “crown of thorns,” Dracula gets tangled up, giving Van Helsing enough time to impale the evil outdoorsman with a fence post. As with every movie starring Dracula, he disintegrates. (Why can’t he explode just once?)
In all, Dracula shows up for a sec in the beginning of the movie and a few minutes at the end. Maybe he had other necks to do in the meantime. Bogged down in long stretches of back-story dialogue, there’s no room left for toothy action. Republican meddling once again. But when you rent a movie with the words “satanic” and “ritual” and “Dracula” in the title, you expect serious evil flavor to go down. Alas, it does not meet your eco concerns.