Reviewing The Classics: Old Dracula (Vampira)



Old Dracula might be the most racist movie I've watched this year. Mainly because I didn't watch Ghost in The Shell and generally avoid movies leaning heavily on race. Old Dracula comes from the year 1974 when things were different so it gets a pass on some things. It's the non related sequel to Young Frankenstein and was also released under the title Vampira in some markets.

The plot follows Dracula who is older than he was in the past. He now throws parties to lure guests in where their blood can be collected and saved for later. At one such party he seeks to revive his long dead love Vampira. He invites the Playboy Bunnies for his party because he can only have the most beautiful women. He has his assistants drain their blood while they aren't paying attention and uses it to revive Vampira.

The plot twist comes when she's revived as a black woman. She loves it telling him it's beautiful and she wishes she could look at herself in the mirror. He, however wishes she would go back to being white because it's a small town and people would ask too many questions. She doesn't care, she goes about enjoying her new black life while Dracula plots to turn her white. At one point she even goes to see some old blaxploitation films, most notably Black Gunn.

Eventually he gets enough blood from white women to perform the procedure and attempts to turn her white. It doesn't work and Vampira gets mad. She bites Dracula and turns him into a black man. The assistants flee, fearing a big fight. In reality, they catch a flight to Brazil for Carnival.

I take it back, this wasn't a racist movie at all. There's a lot of jokes about race but they're not hard race jokes. They're jokes making fun of the situation and are lighthearted. There's no racial slurs used or anything like that. In fact, this is pretty tasteful. Vampira embraces being black and they actually got a black actress to play Vampira. Terresa Graves went on to become the first black woman to star in an hour long show for her work on Get Christie Love which was originally a TV movie that became so popular it got a television show.

Despite lacking many black actors the movie goes out of the way to at least give mention to blaxploitation films that were taking off at the time. Black Gunn which is considered a classic by many was purposely name dropped. Some of the jokes are old and dated but the movie is from 1974 and comedy ages faster than people do but it was enjoyable. I'm usually someone who hates classic films but Old Dracula wasn't bad at all.

You should buy Darrell's Book, watch him on the Blerds Online YouTube Channel or The CP Time and Powerbomb Jutsu podcasts. 
Reviewing The Classics: Old Dracula (Vampira) Reviewing The Classics: Old Dracula (Vampira) Reviewed by Darrell S. on Monday, October 09, 2017 Rating: 5

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