Count Dracula's Great Love
|Count Dracula's Great Love|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Javier Aguirre|
|Produced by||Francisco Lara Polop (producer)|
|Written by||Javier Aguirre|
Alberto S. Insúa
Paul Naschy (story and screenplay)
|Music by||Carmelo A. Bernaola|
|Cinematography||Raúl Pérez Cubero|
|Edited by||Petra de Nieva|
|85 minutes (US)|
72 minutes (US cut version)
Count Dracula's Great Love (originally El gran amor del conde Drácula) is a 1974 Spanish film directed by Javier Aguirre.
The film is also known as Cemetery Girls (American reissue title), Dracula's Great Love (American promotional title), Dracula's Virgin Lovers (UK and Canadian theatrical title) and The Great Love of Count Dracula (international English title). Contrary to some sources, this film was never released under the title Vampire Playgirls.
Count Dracula's Great Love opens outside a creepy old sanitorium in the Carpathian Mountains as two delivery men arrive with a large, heavy man-shaped crate. The owner, Doctor Wendell Marlow (Paul Naschy), has just purchased the sanitorium but has not yet moved in. Realizing that these rich castle-owning types have money and jewels just lying around, they decide to wander about and see if there is anything they can steal. One is struck in the head with an axe and the other gets his throat ripped out by a man in a black cape with velvet lining.
The opening scene is repeated over and over again as the opening credits roll.
Meanwhile, a stagecoach loaded with four young women - Karen (Haydee Politoff), Senta (Rosanna Yanni), Marlene (Ingrid Garbo), and Elke (Mirta Miller) and Imre Polvi (Vic Winner), a strapping young male who is really nothing more than an extended cameo - loses a carriage wheel in the infamous Borgo Pass. When the stagecoach driver is killed in a freak accident, the five passengers seek shelter from an oncoming storm in the nearby sanitorium, where they are welcomed by Doctor Marlowe. Their host invites them into his home as long as they need, willingly providing shelter and food.
Of course, Marlowe is really Count Dracula. It is not before long that the new guests are bitten one by one, rounding out Dracula's new army of the undead - save for the virginal Karen. Dracula seeks the rebirth of his daughter Radna and in order to bring about that resurrection, Dracula must complete a blood ritual and convince Karen to voluntarily join him as his immortal bride forever in eternal darkness.
He seduces all of the girls but Karen and then chains them in his dungeon. Afterwards, he kills them with exposure to sunlight. When he seduces Karen, he knows he has found love. He tells Karen that he loves her and he cannot let her be what he is. So he thrusts a wooden stake into his heart and before he dies utters: "Karen...".
- Paul Naschy as Count Dracula / Dr. Wendell Marlow
- Rosanna Yanni as Senta
- Haydée Politoff as Karen
- Mirta Miller as Elke
- Ingrid Garbo as Marlene
- Víctor Alcázar as Imre Polvi
- José Manuel Martín
- Julia Peña as peasant woman
- Álvaro de Luna as porteador
- Susana Latour as victim in Karen's dream - image in negative
- Benito Pavón
- Leandro San José
- El búnker de El Capricho, refugio militar de la Guerra Civil, abre al público, Irene Sanz Duva, La información, 14 June 2014,. Mentions Count Dracula's Great Love as one of the films shot in the bunker.