A quick show of hands, which of you fine ladies out there would like to be the virgin bride of a sickly, semi-vegetarian aristocrat from the wilds of Romania? Interesting. To tell you the truth, I'm not surprised by the lack of raised hands after I asked that particular question, as the word "sickly" doesn't exactly inspire globs of matrimonial, Oprah-approved confidence. And what's this virgin nonsense? I mean, what does the word even mean? I know this guy who only gives handjobs to transsexuals, does that mean he's a virgin? Really? You mean to tell me that just because he hasn't penetrated anything living with his cock, he's still a virgin? Weird. Oh, and stop using the word "mean." What if I told you that the finicky eater from Transylvania who wanted to marry your virginal ass looked like Udo Kier, would that change your mind? Even though you haven't answered yet, I'll take the sound of your cotton panties becoming engorged with stagnant pussy water as a sign that it would. While the ladies are busy changing out of their wet panties, I'd like to the remind all the fellas out there, especially those of you fumbling with their sexually identity, that just because you're attracted to Udo Kier does not necessarily make you gay. Of course, if you're a man and you find yourself getting aroused by, oh, let's say, the sight of Joe Dellasandro chopping wood with his shirt off, well, congratulations, my friend, you are a homosexual man. A man repeatedly touching themselves in their special area to Udo Kier in Paul Morrissey's Blood for Dracula (a.k.a. Andy Warhol's Dracula), on the other hand, is a phenomenon that crosses over into that decidedly foggy realm where the line between gay and straight are a tad more blurry.
Growing weaker with each passing day, a vain vampire named Count Dracula (Udo Kier)–"Count" is a term used to describe nobleman in some European countries and "Dracula" is a slightly altered version of a common Romanian surname that was made famous in a gothic novel by Bram Stoker–is told by Anton (Arno Juerging), his trusty man servant, that he should think about leaving the country. You see, there are no more virgins left in 1920's Romania, and since Count Dracula needs to drink the blood of virgins (pronounced "wirgins") to survive, it makes sense that they seek virgins elsewhere.
Heading for Italy, which, according to Anton, is practically crawling with soft, virginal lady flesh, the ashen duo hit the road. Staying at a rundown inn, Anton, who's just as creepy as the Count (Arno Juerging's performance, by the way, is way more assertive than his sycophantic turn in Flesh for Frankenstein), asks around as to where the virgins might be at in this sleepy trash dump of a town. After playing some sort of mimicry game with a tavern patron (Roman Polanski), Anton gets word that the Di Fiore family has four unmarried daughters who might be virgins.
Luckily for the Count, Anton was able to soak a loaf of bread with the blood of a virginal traffic victim (apparently a teenage girl got hit by a car outside the tavern), because it looked like it was touch and go for the Count there. Not only was his thirst for virginal blood driving him insane, the subpar quality of the local vegetables ("too much oil!") and the abundance of impure meat was causing him to regret his decision to come to Italy. Anyway, he'd better enjoy the bloody bread, because that's probably gonna be the last virgin blood he's gonna taste on his sensual lips for quite some time.
Arriving at the Di Fiore residence, a large estate that has seen better days, the Count and Anton are greeted warmly by La Marchesa Di Fior (Maxime McKendry), the mother of Esmeralda (Milena Vukotic), Saphiria (Dominique Darel), Rubinia (Stefania Casini), and Perla (Silvia Dionisio). Since Esmeralda is considered too old, and Perla is a tad on the young side, mother Di Fior campaigns hard to promote the cunt-stained riches owned by Saphiria and Rubinia. Oh, and their father (Vittorio De Sica) is there to greet them as well, but he seems more interested in the grammatical structure of the name "Dra-cu-la."
A communist sympathizer with a streetwise Brooklyn accent named Mario Balato (Joe Dallesandro), who does odd jobs for the Di Fior family (even though he thinks their days of living in an aristocratic paradise are numbered), has definitely defiled at least two of the Di Fior daughters. In other words, the audience has a general idea which daughter's a virgin and which one is not a virgin. But the Count doesn't know that. Severely testing his ability to sniff out virgins, the Count must choose wisely before biting into their supple necks.
It's hard to believe that the hero of Blood for Dracula is a Marxist who says lines like, "I'd like to rape the Hell out of her," but that's what we're given. He rapes, he chops wood, he eats bread in his work shed, he rapes some more, Mario's day is full of wicked and immoral behaviour. Sure, some of the coitus he engages in seems consensual, but his cock is mainly on a rape-based diet. Of course, I like to think that Udo Kier's Count Dracula was the film's hero. Not a hero in the classic sense of the term, but more of a tragic hero, or better yet, a misunderstood hero. Look, it's not his fault that society as a whole has failed to adapt to his peculiar lifestyle. Besides, name a time in human history when wanting to drink the blood of an undefiled woman has ever been frowned upon?
Lounging in white stockings like it were second nature, the gorgeous Stefania Casini (Andy Warhol's Bad) is a snotty delight as Rubina, the most self-centred of the Di Fiore daughters. She may not have been the peckish bloodsucker's first choice when it came to invasive intercourse, but she was definitely first when it came to bourgeois sexiness. Standing in her bathtub, her lithe frame covered in soapsuds, Stefania, puts her hands on her understated hips, as if to say, "Bask in my authentic Italian accent and my ample mound of equally Italian pubic hair, you know you want to," and proceeds to lash out against the ills of modern society. Okay, she doesn't exactly lash out against anything like that. To be honest, I totally forget what she was babbling about. But she does, however, share a scene with a shirtless Udo Kier, and from my wonky perspective, that's a cause for celebration. If you think I'm kidding, you need to take in account that it's her tainted blood that causes Udo to utter the line, "The blood of these whores is killing me!" Which was hands down my favourite Udoism in the entire film.
Viewing the film with a sore throat and runny nose managed put Count Dracula's unique plight in perspective. Feeling like crap, yet totally committed to the ghastly yarn that was spewing in front of me, watching Dracula's intense allergic reaction after he finished consuming the blood of two skanks with zero percent body fat actually made feel much better. Coughing up blood and twitching like a spastic rag doll, Udo took vomiting bodily fluids in a tuxedo to a whole new level of unpleasantness.
Granted, you have to wonder about the Count's strumpet detecting skills after his second attempt to drink the blood of a virgin goes terribly awry. Seriously, what are the odds that a woman of Stefania Casini's stature would own a pristine set of unmolested genitals? Pretty slim, if you ask this park ranger. Of course, I'm not implying that she's some kind of harlot just because she's got an attractive undercarriage. I'm just saying that women, practically ones with non-child bearing hips and legs up the wazoo, who hang around with socialist handymen aren't usually fans of celibacy.
As a guy with exquisite taste in men, I was more than certain that the prospective brides who were lined up for Count Dracula to choose from would jump at the chance to be his wife. However, things didn't turn out that way at all. In fact, the two frontrunners seem downright hostile toward the idea of marrying some pale nancy boy who travels with a coffin and an always clean shaven man servant. It just goes to show that one shouldn't assume that every woman is gonna flip up their petticoats for suave gentlemen in black who just happen to have the wispiest bone structures this side of Düsseldorf, Kansas.
It's their loss, because Udo Kier is debonair as fuck as Count Dracula. Taking the lunacy he displayed in Flesh for Frankenstein and internalizing it, Udo's vampire, like his mad scientist, may have impractical goals, but his commitment to achieving them is unshakable. Which is why you can't help but feel a sense of sadness when the walls of the Di Fiore estate inevitably start to become smeared with his blood. And to think, all he really wanted to do was go to sleep in his coffin.
Oh, and if anyone can remember what late '80s/early '90s industrial song sampled the Udo line, "You can't hurt me you fool, I''m not one of you!" please let me know.
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