B Movie Challenge: Blood of Dracula

When Bram Stoker sat down at his desk to write his magnum opus Dracula, I am sure one of his first dreams was to have his novel be used as a basis for a “Reform-School-Girls-gone-bad” horror slock-fest (you know, a movie you can sink your teeth into)! This is surely the intentions of Sam Arkoff and James H. Nicholson at American International Pictures when they developed a follow-up to their massive box office beast I Was a Teenage Werewolf, and since another title they already presold was Teenage Frankenstein, it only made sense to introduce the prince of darkness to the fold, only this time, it would be a princess of darkness (or more like a royal pain in the neck). 

One day, while screening some movies at his home, Sam Arkoff let his children’s friends join in and what he discovered was an untapped market – the teenager. As the economy of the post-war era allowed teenagers to do whatever they wanted, the drive-ins and matinees welcomed them, with open arms (hopefully not while wearing a cape). Arkoff and Nicholson realized the major studios were ignoring the kids and they decided to make movies with characters like the audience they screened them for. Hence the teenage monster movie craze began. From zombies to aliens to gorillas (1959’s Teenage Zombies; don’t ask) the youth of America were not safe from themselves nor children of the night (what sweet rock ‘n’ roll they make)!

In a remote private school for young women, something is lurking in the shadows, thirsty for the necks of young men. You might think it is Count Dracula himself, but it is just a lusty teenage woman on the prowl (way more dangerous). However, for newly enrolled Nancy, the head science teacher (played well by veteran actress Louis Lewis) has an idea to test her new experimentation with Carpathian medallions and hypnotize the young student. The hypothesis: Create a vampire! As several students begin showing up with all their blood drained, it is left to the police to look beyond their reality that Dracula is not just a book and take the curse seriously. Slurp in a way-to-overexplained lie detector scene, add some dumbo dudes who misunderstand the dangers of hickeys and show a vampire that looks like a shark-toothed dog, and you have one teenage monster movie that flies high!

Sucking your way at a sharp sixty-nine minutes, and directed by Herbert L. Strock (who lens such classes as AIP’s How to Make a Monster and G.O.G.), The film was rated ‘Adult’s only” by the United Conferences of Catholic Bishops for “stylized violence, hokey menace, and sexual innuendo” (I guess the hickey thing was taken way too seriously). You can find this film (in vein) on streamers like Amazon and Tubi, but be sure to get BD with special features from Scream Factory. So the next time you are walking alone at night to your dormitory, make sure you have some fresh garlic-sprinkled pizza with anchovies and avoid any creepy professors who want to hypnotize you with ancient crappy movies like this!

About Ian Klink

As a filmmaker, writer, and artist, Ian Klink’s work includes the feature film Anybody’s Blues, his thesis film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands, the novel Lucky for Newfangle Press, and he has written short stories for Weren't Another Way to Be: Outlaw Fiction Inspired by Waylon Jennings, The Creeps, Vampiress Carmilla, The Siren’s Call, and Chilling Tales For Dark Nights audio cast. Klink shares his talents as a teacher of multimedia studies in Pennsylvania.

View all posts by Ian Klink

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