Cheaply made horror film from the 70's that is surprisingly better than you might initially expect. The film opens in Romania as soldiers uncover the underground tomb of the Dracula family. A soldier pulls the stake out of a puffy sheet in an opened casket and is soon bit to death by a giant of a hound(A Great Dane I believe). This is Zoltan and he soon pulls the stake out of his master - not Dracula but his servant - and the two begin a trek to the United States to turn the last surviving family member into their undead master. On the heels of these two is Inspector Branco who is well-versed in vampirism and folklore. Anyway, the two follow the Drake family to the woods where they camp and soon all hell breaks out as Zoltan begins to infect all the canines around. The plot sounds ridiculous - and it is, but it strangely works as reasonable entertainment. The actors are all decent with Jose Ferrer lending cachet and clout as Branco. He does a fine job bringing some much needed credibility, though I must confess seeing him drive in a convertible in black slacks, a black turtleneck, and a black beret is something not to be missed. The odd servant is played by none other than Reggie Nalder who just looks evil and up to no good. Throughout the movie he commands Zoltan telepathically. The rest of the cast is serviceable as well. Michael Pataki is believable as the last member of Castle Dracula and even plays the count in a flashback sequence. The dogs do a good job and the director Albert Band, despite a lack of any sizable budget and some real poor lighting, creates just enough suspense and tension to keep this dubious project somewhat afloat. Don't expect any real scares, but there are a few scenes that are well-shot: the dogs attacking the small rented cottage and the dogs attacking the car are just a couple to mention. I saw the denouement coming early in the picture, but is was pretty neat any way. The special effects are nothing really more than the eyes of the vampiric dogs glowing. A fun, bad film from the only decade where something like this could and would have been made.
Russian soldiers accidentally unleash the servant of Dracula, as well as his dog, during excavations of Romania. Together, they set out for America, to find the last descendant of the great Count.
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