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Old Dracula



This 1975 comedy, now making its DVD debut via MGM’s Limited Edition Collection, is no classic, yet it sure could show the recent “Vampires Suck” a thing or two or 88.

What’s a well-respected, Oscar-winning British actor like David Niven doing in a silly spoof like this? Lending it class and credibility, my dear, because the script by “Laugh-In” staff writer Jeremy Lloyd is purposely absent of both.

Niven essays the role of Count Dracula, now up there in years. He’s keen to revive his late wife, Countess Vampira, which requires taking the blood from three lovely young women, and mixing it together. But he’s too old to do the biting, so he has minions do his dirty work via special fake fangs. Finding the women is easy as pie — after all, there’s even a Playboy shoot going down at his Transylvania castle — but what Drac didn’t count on is someone including the red stuff from a black woman.

Therefore, when Vampira rises, she looks ... um, different and is played by blaxploitation icon Teresa Graves (“Get Christie Love!”). Says Drac’s right-hand man, it’s “like washing blue socks with white shirts, sir.” Yes, the film is tasteless and un-PC, but if Graves had any objections, she sure doesn’t show it, throwing herself into the role with gusto.

Although not quite packing the comedic bite I’m sure director Clive Donner (“What’s New Pussycat”) intended, “Old Drac” is a retro hoot from the days where you could show plenty of bare breasts and still get a PG rating. —Rod Lott

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