There are a whole mess of films out there dealing with vampires and more specifically Dracula. Each year, while more films on the subject are being made, I am introduced to those of the 70s and 80s that have managed to elude me all this time. I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly that the sub-genre has to offer, but I continue to dig through to see what else the undead bloodsuckers can bring to the table. Where does Jess Franco’s Daughter of Dracula fall within the spectrum?
While a young woman accepts her fate as a direct descendant of the great vampire, Count Dracula, a string of murders breaks out. Not convinced that they should be chasing leads on ghost stories or witchcraft, a journalist and a detective start their own investigations into the grisly killings. It doesn’t take long, however, for both men to discover that perhaps the whispers of ancient curses were true all along.
Based on Sheridan LeFanu’s novella, “Carmilla,” and the highly successful Gothic styling of the UK’s Hammer Films, Jess Franco decided to take on the subject of Dracula himself. While most, if not all, stories of the great vampire are full of seduction and eroticism, Franco had to throw in his own brand of lesbianism and sleaze, a trademark of which became synonymous with all of his work throughout his illustrious career. Even still, Daughter of Dracula is rather tame compared to most Franco fare, leaving more room for actual plot and development.
Daughter of Dracula features a rather small cast of actors, including the likes of Britt Nichols (The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein), Anne Libert (The Demons), and even writer/director, Jesus Franco, himself. The performances were rather underwhelming with nothing really separating anyone else from the pack. All actors were lackluster at best with no noteworthy or memorable traits to speak of, aside from perhaps Nichols’ stunning beauty.
Jess Franco was a writer, composer, cinematographer, actor, and most notably, a director. He worked on a countless number of films, leading to the amassing of a wide fanbase of dedicated followers all over the world. None of the films I’ve seen of Franco have been groundbreaking, but they certainly hold a place in horror cinema history. He had a signature touch to all of his projects and true fans can spot his work from a mile away. Daughter of Dracula, while not a very praise-worthy piece, can still be enjoyed by audiences and should be watched by any diehard fanatic of the maestro’s work.
Void of any real blood or gore, Daughter of Dracula is rather tame, even for a film from the 70s. What it lacks in carnage, it makes up for with Franco’s signature brand of nudity and sex. Still, it is a notable entry in the vampire sub-genre and holds its rightful place in the European horror timeline. Dedicated Franco fans should check this one out, especially now that it has been remastered and released on high-definition Blu-ray by Kino Lorber. Be sure to purchase a copy from their Redemption line, available now.
I give this one 2 incestuous lesbian vamps out of 5.