aka: Zoltan, Hound of Dracula
|Directed by||Albert Band|
|Produced by||Philip Collins|
|Written by||Frank Ray Perilli|
|Based on||Hounds of Dracula
by Ken Johnson
|Music by||Andrew Belling|
|Edited by||Harry Keramidas|
|Distributed by||Crown International Pictures|
Dracula's Dog (also known as Zoltan, Hound of Dracula) is a 1978 American horror film starring Michael Pataki and José Ferrer, released by Crown International Pictures. It revolves around a dog with the spirit of the vampire Dracula within it. The film was based on the novel Hounds of Dracula (1977) by Ken Johnson.
A Russian road crew accidentally blasts open a subterranean crypt, and the captain of the road crew, fearing looters and criminals, stations a guard near the site. Late in the night, an earthquake shakes loose one of the coffins, which slides down and lands at the feet of the confused guard. Curious as to what has fallen before him, the guard opens the coffin and discovers the body of a dog, impaled by a stake. He removes the stake, which revives the vampiric hound Zoltan.
After slaying the guard, Zoltan opens another coffin shaken loose from the crypt, this one holding the body of an innkeeper, Nalder, who once owned the crypt. Zoltan removes the stake from the innkeeper's chest, reanimating the innkeeper. The movie cuts to a flashback of a village in Russia 200 years prior.
The dog of an innkeeper saves a woman from being bitten by a bat, Dracula in disguise. Furious over losing his meal to a dog, Dracula bites the woman's savior, turning the dog into a vampire. Now a vampire, the dog turns on its owner, turning the innkeeper into a vampire as well.
Back in the present, it appears that Dracula has only one surviving descendant, Michael Drake, a mild-mannered psychiatrist, played by Michael Pataki, who decides to take his wife and children (who are, technically, also Dracula's descendants) on a vacation in his Winnebago, hoping to spend some quality time with his family out in the national forest.
Still loyal to the Dracula family, the two vampires travel to the United States, shipping themselves via boat to California. Eventually, Zoltan and company find themselves in the same forest as Michael and his family.
Other campers, vacationing with their dogs, discover that their pets are being killed by a strange beast. The deceased animals soon reanimate into vampiric dogs, the minions of Zoltan. Zoltan is killed in the final scene, but a vampire puppy escapes destruction.
- Michael Pataki as Michael Drake/Dracula
- José Ferrer as Inspector Branco
- Reggie Nalder as Veidt Smith
- Jan Shutan as Marla Drake
- Libby Chase as Linda Drake
- John Levin as Steve Drake
- Cleo Harington as Pat Parks
- Arlene Martel as Maj. Hessel
- Tom Gerrard as Maslow, the Guard
- Al Ferrara as Al, the deputy
- Roger Pancake as Sheriff
- Dimitri Logothetis as Corporal
Rotten Tomatoes reports 0% of five surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 3.2/10. Michael Wilmington of the Los Angeles Times called it the nadir of vampire films. TV Guide rated it 1/5 stars and called the film's premise "ludicrous". Adam Tyner of DVD Talk rated it 2/5 stars and wrote that the film is too inept to be scary, though it is fun to mock. Writing in The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, John Clute and John Grant call it "surprising dull" but complimented the dogs. Welch Everman wrote in Cult Horror Movies that the film "could have been a pretty effective and frightening movie" but failed to live up to its potential.
- "Dracula's Dog (1977)". Baseline. Retrieved 2016-03-19 – via The New York Times.
- Melton, J. Gordon (2011). The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead. Visible Ink Press. p. 20. ISBN 9781578592814.
- Everman, Welch (1993). Cult Horror Films. Citadel Press. pp. 93–95. ISBN 9780806514253.
- Tyner, Adam (2002-08-27). "Zoltan: Hound of Dracula". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
- "Dracula's Dog (1981)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
- Wilmington, Michael (1992-11-15). "A Bloody Batch: Draculas We Have Known". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
- "Dracula's Dog". TV Guide. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
- Clute, John; Grant, John (1999). The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. Macmillan Publishers. p. 293. ISBN 9780312198695.