I’ve spent the past week going through some of the worst Draculas to ever appear in film or on television. For the most part, I’ve limited it to the more well-known performances like Gary Oldman (Bram Stoker’s Dracula) and Richard Roxburgh (Van Helsing). For my #1 worst Dracula, I’m going a little more art house for a truly dreadful chapter in the media unlife of the king of the vampires. I bring you the horror that was Andy Warhol’s Dracula.
#1 Udo Kier in Blood for Dracula
In 1974, Andy Warhol produced the film Blood for Dracula which was directed by Paul Morrissey and starred Udo Kier as Dracula. The premise for the film is simple: Dracula has grown old and frail, and unless he finds a source of virgin blood, he’ll die. Apparently, the population of virgins has gotten so bad in Transylvania, that Dracula has to hit the road for Italy where surely he will find plenty of virgins amid this Catholic country.
Dracula thinks he’s hit the jackpot, finding an estate in desperate need of money and four daughters in need of marriage. Small problem: the first two daughters he goes after aren’t virgins, as advertised. The third try is the charm, but it doesn’t matter, because one of the servants figures out Dracula’s game and hacks him apart with an ax. The entire scene with the ax is funnier than it is gory, because the servant hacks off both of Dracula’s arms and chases him down while Dracula threatens the servant insisting he can’t be killed, even though the servant has already disarmed him (pun intended). The big fight scene reminds me of the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (“It’s just a flesh wound.”).
The entire film is a train wreck from start to finish, and when I use the term “train wreck,” think more along the lines of the train that gets destroyed in a nuclear blast in the film The Peacemaker. If it was a comedy, it might have worked, but it takes itself way too seriously.Udo Kier is one of those actors who’s become well-recognized but his name is relatively unknown. He went on to redeem himself in the world of vampire cinema when he played the part of Dragonetti in the 1998 film Blade. His performance across from the primary villain Deacon Frost (played by Stephen Dorff) added some of the most interesting scenes of the film.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my list. Feel free to share if you agree or disagree with my choices and any other dishonorable mentions worthy of inclusion.