Mild-mannered Miami businessman, John Stone, receives a parcel from England containing two old bottles of Slivovitz brandy and upon drinking them both, becomes a vampire. Stone uses his newfound vampire powers to keep his wife, Helena, in a trance as he travels to England to kill the desdenents of Van Helsing whom murdered Count Dracula while Hesling's distant relative, Howard Helsing, persues Stone with the intent to put the re-born vampire to rest for good. Written by
A Relatively Goreless Offering From The Wizard Of Gore
"A Taste of Blood" (1970) is a relatively goreless rarity for Herschell Gordon Lewis, aka "The Wizard of Gore." At almost two hours in length and clearly designed by Lewis as some kind of epic vampire saga, it tells the story of John Stone, a smarmy Florida businessman who receives two bottles of brandy in the mail from his British ancestors. He drinks the bottles off, little realizing that they have been Mickey Finned with the blood of Dracula himself, and soon, blue-skinned and with a 100-year-old score to settle, he starts to track down the descendants of the old neck nosher's enemies. That doctored booze, I should add, comes as no real surprise in the film...not after we learn that Stone's middle name is Alucard. (This sets the viewer up to expect appearances by Dr. Nietsneknarf and Mr. Namflow, which mercifully never happen!) Anyway, with only a handful of mildly bloody killings, this film should barely appeal to Lewis' usual rabid fans. Nor should it appeal to anyone looking for a well-put-together film. In truth, the picture is very cheaply made, terribly edited, moves at a glacial pace and is never frightening. Lewis' direction is lackadaisical and his camera positionings are pedestrian; worst of all, the same few snippets of music are repeated endlessly, as if on a tape loop, to the point of distraction, and the day-for-night photography is laughable. So why the three stars? Well, the film is also decently acted (for an H.G. Lewis movie, anyway), is at times atmospheric, and the three leads (Stone, his hotty blond wife and his best friend) are somewhat interesting. The picture should have been a 1/2 hour shorter, but with a lot more polish, this Dracula update could have been something other than the bloodless life-drainer it often is. Oh...I should also mention that those blessed maniacs at Something Weird have done it again, rescuing another cinematic oddball and making another fine-looking DVD out of it. Way to go, guys!
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