Saturday, June 14, 2014

Dracula's Widow

Watched June 5, 2014

Starring: Sylvia Kristel, Lenny von Dohlen, Rachel Jones, Josef Sommer

The Hollywood House of Wax is preparing for a very authentic Dracula exhibit containing artifacts that have been shipped straight from Romania. The proprietor Raymond (Lenny von Dohlen) expected only five crates in the shipment but received six, which is puzzling but he accepts them all anyway. The House of Wax consists mostly of brutal murder scenes so it's no surprise that a graphic vampire exhibit would be a big hit. As you would expect of any wax museum creator and curator, Raymond is pretty strange. After opening all the crates he goes to watch his own 16 mm print of Nosferatu in his sparsely furnished living room. As he is mesmerized by the film, two robbers break into the museum looking for valuable objects to steal. One of the robbers goofs around with a wax figure and begins to burn its face only to turn around to see his co-conspirator being attacked by a woman, so he hightails it out of there. As Raymond watches the film he is approached by Vanessa (Sylvia Kristel) she wants to know where her Dracula is. Raymond is confused by the whole situation, so she bites Raymond and puts him under her control.

The surviving robber goes to the police with his strange story.  Detective Lannon (Josef Sommer) takes the case and begins to investigate. On the same night of the robber's story a man was found bitten and mutilated in a nearby park. Detective Lannon and his partner are on the case.

Vanessa still wants to know where her husband Dracula is, Raymond tells her that he was killed by Van Helsing over a hundred years ago. Obsessed with finding her husband and getting back to Romania she starts searching for clues to where he could be. She has a strange hold on Raymond and she makes him drive her around. They find a building with a pentagram on it and go check it out. It looks like a potential gay orgy, with a bunch of beefy dudes hanging out, but they're are actually satanists about to engage in a ritual. Vanessa in invited to participate and as it gets going, she attacks and kills everyone while Raymond watches. 

Detective Lannon gets around to questioning Raymond, who acts very suspiciously. Lannon doesn't have enough to pin it all on him yet, but Raymond is still his main suspect for these grisly murders.  Raymond isn't completely under Vanessa's control, he has enough free will to give a cross necklace to his girlfriend Jenny (Rachel Jones) so she is protected from Vanessa. This really makes Vanessa mad.

Meanwhile, the descendant of Van Helsing, an old man named Helsing (Stefan Schnabel) gets word that Dracula's widow is going around town murdering and mutilating. He is too old to chase her really, but he explains to Raymond how to really destroy a vampire.

Raymond is arrested as the prime suspect for the murders and taken in for questioning. He tells them about Vanessa but they don't believe him. He gets injured and on the way to the hospital Vanessa attacks them as a bat. Just as Vanessa is about to attack Jenny, Raymond shakes off the spell enough to stab Vanessa in the heart. 

I was surprised by the graphic mutilations since I'm used just a bite on the neck making a kill. Vanessa bit then mutilated all her victims. It starts with a lot of flashy neon signs so if you're prone to seizures watch out for the beginning. When Raymond popped up and I realized it's the same actor who plays the shut-in Harold Smith on Twin Peaks I was on board, since I love Twin Peaks. Every scene where Detective Lannon is back in his office there is no paperwork or anything on his desk, he made me think he wasn't doing anything. There is a crazy use of dramatic red lighting when Vanessa is using her glamour power or about to kill. Overall I enjoyed it, it was a slight variation on the classic vampire story with some gross deaths and weird drama.

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