Dracula (The Dirty Old Man) (1969) poster

Dracula (The Dirty Old Man) (1969)

Rating:


USA. 1969.

Crew

Director/Screenplay/Producers – William Edwards, Photography – William Troiano.

Cast

Vince Kelly (Alucard/Dracula), Bill Whitton (Mike Waters/Irving Jackalman), Ann Hollis (Ann), Joan Pickett (Joan), Libby Caculus (Marge), Sue Allen (Carol), Adarainne (Susan), Ron Scott (Narrator/Bob), Rebecca Reynolds (Stranded Girl)


Plot

Reporter Mike Waters is sent out to cover the announced reopening of an old mine. The mine is occupied by Count Alucard, which is Dracula spelt backwards. Dracula places Mike under his control, transforming him into a werewolf and giving him a new name Irving Jackalman. Jackalman is then sent out to procure women for Dracula with the promise that Jackalman can have his way with them after Dracula has drunken his fill.


Dracula (The Dirty Old Man) is an obscure entry in the 1960s vampire movie fad. The film was shot around the Las Vegas area. Apparently, after shooting, the sound quality of the footage was deemed so bad that most of the film had to be redubbed. It is this redubbing (with a comedy emphasis) that had led to the film’s bad movie reputation.

Debates rage as to who is the worst screen Dracula. (See Dracula Films). The popular favourite is usually regarded as Zandor Vorkov in Dracula vs Frankenstein (1971). I would throw Andrew Bryniarski from Bram Stoker’s Dracula’s Guest (2008) into the ring as well. And then there is Vince Kelly from Dracula (The Dirty Old Man). To be scrupulously fair, Kelly’s performance in itself may not actually be bad but with the original soundtrack lost it is impossible to tell.

What kills Kelly’s performance is the fact that someone has dubbed him with a comedy voice – moreover, one that sounds less a European accent than a cliche Jewish accent. All of his dialogue is excruciating one-liners. Upon waking up from his coffin, he is cracking lines like “Boy, I have got to go to the bathroom … I need a new interior decorator (after looking around at the cave) … Here comes Mother – the old bat (as a fake-looking bat flaps into the cave).”

Vince Kelly as Dracula, Bill Whitton as Irving Jackalman in Dracula (The Dirty Old Man) (1969)
(left panel) Vince Kelly as Dracula. (right panel) (l to r) Bill Whitton as Irving Jackalman and Dracula (Vince Kelly) with victim

The awfulness of the production is not limited to its Dracula. There is the opening narration that goes on and on about the mountains and the blue hills – lines with endlessly repeated phrases like “Behind the blue hills behind the blue hills behind the blue hills” – has you screaming “enough” within the first few minutes. What it feels like is Mystery Science Theater 3000 ((1988-99, 2017- ) or films like Hercules Returns (1993) and Corona Zombies (2020) that take old films and dub comedy laugh tracks over them.

Mostly though, Dracula (The Dirty Old Man) has been conceived as a nudie film – the precursor of the porn film. (See Erotica and Pornography in Fantastic Cinema). It consists of lots of scenes where Jackalman lures women, bringing them back to Dracula’s cave where they are stripped and tied up to the wall so that Dracula can feast upon them. The plot of the film is essentially this on rinse and repeat.

Even amidst this, there is still plenty of opportunity for excruciating dubbed witticisms – Dracula joking about having lost his contact lens as he examines a woman’s body in closeup. Or the woman who asks “Are you married or anything?” while in the process of being ravaged by the werewolf. The show is otherwise shabbily made. The werewolf makeup looks pitiful.

Dracula (The Dirty Old Man) was the only film directed by William Edwards. Edwards did however write and produce two other films in a similar vein with Ride a Wild Stud (1969) and The Mummy and the Curse of the Jackals (1969).


Trailer here

Full film available here


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