With Halloween just days away, the tricky treat we’ve planned for you tonight on MeTV could be a game show- “The Newly-Dead Game”- as we bring back a singular Hammer horror featuring that fighter of the undead Van Helsing,a fair-haired vampire count, and a bevy of lovely college girls with a unique over-bite designed for fright- meet the “Brides of Dracula”!
In reality, this 1960 chiller – in dazzling color- was Hammer Studios’ sequel to their original version of “Dracula”-which starred Christopher Lee- but , in spite of the title- you won’t see Count Dracula (or Sir Christopher) in this film. We meet a lovely young French woman (played by Yvonne Monlaur, who passed away in April of this year) on her way to a teaching job at a girl’s school- whose trip to the school is derailed by some mysterious and deliberate actions. She is seemingly left on her own at a local inn with no further hope of transportation at such a late hour, when a strange and haughty elderly baroness stops in, and invites her to her castle for the night. Upon her arrival, as she settles in to the room graciously given her by the Baroness, she spots a handsome young man on a balcony across the way- and later finds he is the baroness’ son (whom she was given the impression had passed away). Finding him chained up in his room, for reasons yet to be mentioned, she is convinced to help him escape his shackles- but, when she succeeds in doing so-he reveals what he actually is-and she flees in terror into the night! The next day, she is found, barely conscious, by the good Prof. Van Helsing, and recalls very little of the previous night. Van Helsing continues on to that same inn where Mademoiselle Marianne had been abandoned, where the funeral of a local young lady is being held. Van Helsing finds his suspicions about the reason for her passing confirmed, when she rises from her grave, sporting a sinister pair of fangs! Van Helsing fears that disciples of his old enemy Count Dracula are still at large and on the hunt for human prey. His search for whoever is siring these new vampires leads him to the Baroness’ castle- where he is shocked to find that the now unshackled young Baron must be his prime suspect.
Meanwhile, Marianne arrives to her new teaching job- at a school with a student body (ahem) made up of nubile young women, providing a veritable smorgasbord for the young Baron- and our naive French femme ends up in mortal danger- which could make her IMmortal- and Van Helsing must try to rescue her while battling more blood-thirsty “brides” as well as their master, the undead Baron and his strong supernatural power. The danger of both Marianne and Van Helsing joining the ranks of the undead becomes terrifyingly real!!
We always get requests for Hammer films, and, of the few we are able to show- this one is often asked for- it boasts truly frightening vampires, many alluring young women, and plenty of atmospheric action, all in vivid color. Peter Cushing , again taking the role of Van Helsing, is great, as always, and David Peel, as the young blond Baron is an interesting change from the usual dark-haired vampires of horror films. We’ll tell you about the cast, and explain why Christopher Lee is not among them- provide a commercial for a stylishly hip Sven product the vampire brides would be proud to wear to go out clubbing- and, in honor of Halloween- present the amazing costume contest from this year’s Flashback Weekend horror convention.
“Brides of Dracula” is set for MeTV tonight at 8pm eastern/pacific, 7 central/mountain, or check local listings or www.metv.com for info and channel in your area. remember that MeTV invites you to “live-Tweet” about the movie on Twitter as it unreels- just use the hashtag #svengoolie. Chicago area viewers will get caught one more time in the web of “Tarantula” at 11 am on WCIU.
Meanwhile, area fans have a couple great chances to visit with me- starting at 11 am at the famed Volo Auto Museum in Volo Illinois, where I’ll be signing until 2 pm ( please note- we will be in an outdoor pavilion, so dress accordingly- please get there early enough so you will not be disappointed when they cut off the line- and please understand that, due to the size of the crowd, we have to limit autographs to one per person. The staff will be taking photos for you,with THEIR camera, available for download on the Volo museum website. )
And- we look forward to some late-night partying at the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, IL tonight- at the CUBE’s Monster Bash! I’ll be there for autographs and photos at 11 pm, and will host the costume contest at 12:30! You can dance, drink, and enjoy music from famed Chicago DJ Julian Jumpin’ Perez- as well as trying your luck at the casino. One important note- since this is a casino, they have strict rules regarding no masks, sunglasses, fake facial hair or facepaint- for security reasons. Please follow their guidelines- we don’t want anyone to be turned away! There is a minimal cover charge for the party.
You can find links to all the info for these events under the “appearances” tab here on our site, as well as where you can see and hear me on Halloween!
Join us on MeTV tonight- for brides who’d imbibe- and you may not survive!