Tonight on MeTV- it’s a story that could be the basis for a reality show- a groom with multiple brides on the prowl for additional mates-object: not so much matrimony as -mealtime! It’s a Hammer Studios production that unleashes a vampire to prey on young women-only to run into some strong opposition in the great vampire hunter Van Helsing-who tries to stake out the groom, who’s grooming a new flock of "Brides of Dracula"!
This full color 1960 chiller was actually Hammer’s sequel to their original version of “Dracula”-which starred Christopher Lee. Please note-in spite of the title- you won't see Count Dracula (or Sir Christopher) in this film! The story begins with a lovely young French woman, Marianne (played by Yvonne Monlaur) travelling to a teaching job at a girl’s school. The trip is suddenly derailed by some mysterious and deliberate actions. Stopping at a local inn, she suddenly finds herself left behind by her transportation-with no further hope of completing her journey at such a late hour. Yet, even this late, a strange and haughty elderly baroness stops in, which seemingly disturbs the innkeepers. The baroness invites our stranded traveler to accept accommodations at her castle for the night.
Upon arrival at the castle, Marianne settles in to the room graciously given her by the Baroness, but, looking outside, she spots a handsome young man on a balcony across the way. She is told by the baroness that he is her son (though she has been giving the impression he had passed away)! Later on, finding him chained up in his room, for reasons yet to be mentioned, he convinces Marianne to help him escape his shackles- but, when she succeeds in doing so-he reveals what he actually is (you didn’t get the hint from the movie title?)-and she flees in terror into the night!
The next day, she is found in the woods, barely conscious, by the good Prof. Van Helsing, and she barely recalls what occurred the previous night. Van Helsing makes an appearance at that same inn where Mademoiselle Marianne had been abandoned, and finds that the funeral of a local young lady is being held. Van Helsing has his suspicions about the reason for her passing, which are confirmed when she rises from her grave, sporting a sinister pair of fangs! Van Helsing worries that this can only mean 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 is his prime suspect!
Meanwhile, Marianne finally arrives at her new teaching job- in 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 ( not in a good way) ! Van Helsing must try to rescue her from this fate, 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’ve brought this Hammer film back, since it is often asked for, and has a unique position among the Hammer Dracula films! It boasts truly frightening vampires, many alluring young women, and plenty of atmospheric action, all in vivid color, in the Hammer tradition. Peter Cushing, back as 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 just 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 bring back some fond memories of an amazing costume contest from a past Flashback Weekend. ( Be watching for information about my appearance at this year’s Flashback Weekend at the beginning of August!)
“Brides of Dracula” is set for MeTV tonight at 8pm eastern/pacific, 7 central, or check your local listings or www.metv.com for info and channel in your area. Remember that MeTV invites you to "live-Tweet" about the show during the movie on Twitter- just use the hashtag #svengoolie - and you’ll be among the many Tweeters making us trend in the top subjects every week. Our Chicago area viewers can cry out “Atta boy, Luther!” one more time, as we present the encore of “Ghost and Mr. Chicken” at 11 am on CW26.
We hope you have checked out the new Sven merchandise in our store, including shirts in our “artists” collection, summer tank tops, and more! Also, keep checking the “appearances” tab here on our website- we will have schedules for appearances at both the Flashback Weekend convention and this year’s C2E2 convention soon!
Join us on MeTV tonight for unusual marital bliss and a vampire’s kiss, or, is it… HISS?!