While it’s weirdly prolonged for its simplistic story, the vampires are memorable, and it brings eroticism that the other two Bloodthirsty flicks didn’t.
Plot: A teacher (Toshio Kurosawa) suspects the principal (Shin Kishida) is a vampire after some female students start suffering afflictions.
Review: The third in the Bloodthirsty Trilogy, Evil of Dracula is probably the most bloodsucker flick of the lot. While the first one deviated from the standard vampire story with a vampire that attacked with a dagger and the second had a sympathetic narrative for the vampire, this one is more straightforward.
The one aspect of a good vampire story I enjoy is the inherent eroticism. A few filmmakers have connected the biting of the neck with the act of sex, and having read Bram Stoker’s book a few times, I agree with that interpretation. This movie brings that to the screen, with bare-chested young students bearing the bites of the bloodsucker and his victims reacting to him in an almost aroused way when confronted. It’s an intriguing subtext that brings a little more to the proceedings.
The weird thing about this film is the plot, in connection with the runtime. The movie is 87 minutes long, and it feels like the protagonist should have concluded that the principal was a vampire a lot faster. Shin Kishida looks so ominous and creepy in the role, you may as well have a neon sign over his head that blinked “Vampire” on and off. Of course, you also have the problem that no one believes him when he makes such an accusation. It’s all bizarre and makes you wonder about the mental abilities of the people involved. Especially when all the victims are connected to the school. You almost want to yell, “Duh” at the screen.
I did enjoy the performances of the vampires, though, and the movie tried to give us something new with not only a male vampire but his vampiric wife as well. It adds another element to the danger as the unsuspecting good guy has to deal with two bloodsuckers, not one. You also get a very weird but hilarious scene where the female vampire tries to impersonate a victim by ripping the girl’s face off. The end result is unconvincing, but you have to applaud them for the sheer gall of the idea. Kishida’s acting at the end is so exaggerated that you’ll have difficulty keeping a straight face.
As far as the artistry of this film, it’s not as stylish as the other two Bloodthirsty films. The score is just as over-the-top, but I found the sets very ho-hum and generic – there’s no grand house like the other two movies for you to have fun in. There’s an elaborate death scene at the end, though, so I guess the movie budget went into that – it was pretty good and reminded me of Jack Pierce’s transformation effects from the Wolfman movies.
Do I recommend Evil of Dracula? Yes, as I do the other Bloodthirsty movies. I don’t know if I’ve seen three films exploring the vampire myth in such profoundly different ways, but all three are entertaining and worth a peek. While I don’t feel Evil of Dracula is the best of the lot, it’s worthy of inclusion in the trilogy.