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Cuadecuc, vampir (1971)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Horror | 5 May 1972 (USA)
An analysis of the construction mechanism for the magic in dominant narrative cinema though the filming of Count Dracula, a commercial film by Jesús Franco.



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Complete credited cast:
Himself / Count Dracula (as Cristopher Lee)
Himself / Prof. Van Helsing
Herself / Lucy Westenra
Himself / Quincey Morris


Vampir-Cuadecuc is possibly a key film in understanding the transition in the Spanish film world from the period of the "new cinemas" (permitted by the Franco government) towards the illegal, clandestine or openly antagonistic practices against the Franco regime. It consists of shooting the filming of a commercial film Count Dracula by Jesús Franco. Portabella practices two types of violence on the standard narrative: he totally eliminates color and substitutes the soundtrack with a landscape of image-sound collisions by Carles Santos. Filmed provocatively in 16mm and with sound negative, the tensions between black and white favor the strange "fantasmatic materialism" of this revealing analysis of the construction mechanism for the magic in dominant narrative cinema, which at the same time constitutes a radical intervention in the Spanish cinematographic institution. Written by Pere Portabella - Films 59

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Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 May 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vampir  »

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Production Co:

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Did You Know?


"Cuadecuc" is Catalan for "worm tail", so the title translates as "Worm Tail, Vampire". See more »


The opening credits say that Jesús Franco's Count Dracula (during the shooting of which this movie was filmed) was produced by Hammer Films, which was not. See more »


References The Bloody Judge (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

Surreal, unsettling, avant garde
13 August 2013 | by See all my reviews

une production HAMMER FILMS (sic !)

mise en scene par Jesus Franco

A sort of behind the scenes, non-linear look at the making of Jess Franco's Nachts, wenn Dracula erwacht (Count Dracula, 1970) but with a more avant garde twist. At times, this documentary is more eerie than its source film.

Filmed in harsh, high contrast black-and-white film, soft focus, at times even out of focus, some scenes are so blown out in white that they are difficult to watch - but curiously, that seems to help the film's atmosphere. Like a lot of work by Jean Rollin, this has a strangely hypnotic, beautifully abstract, look and feel to it, as lightning flashes in rain and fog, as people stumble about in candlelit buildings. The fact that we only see the flashes of lightning, but do not hear the crack of thunder at all, is only even more disorienting.

The title scene is so blown out that is looks like it is an x-ray.

No proper music score, only lower ambient sounds, sometimes as harsh as the cinematography. The unusual tones keep the footage interesting, if we heard what was being spoken, it would appear as any other "Behind the Scenes/ Making of... " feature. It gives the footage a more surreal, dreamlike, haunting quality.

The purpose of this documentary is to disassemble the scenes and effects of Jess Franco's Dracula, with little editing, no music score, and without its proper audio track, so we see what happened during the filming of the scene, as opposed to what ended up on-screen in the final cut of the film. (Such as Christopher Lee smiling and joking with the crew, as he casually gets into his coffin, preparing to film the next scene; and several times when the actors walk off the edge of the set, upon completion of the scene; and most amusingly, how the effect of the vampire bat fluttering away was achieved)

Occasional light flares in camera are striking, so are the scenes of castles and countryside.

The only spoken words in this film occur beginning at 65 minutes into the film, when Christopher Lee is shown getting out of costume, and commenting on the Bram Stoker novel, Dracula.

Not for everyone, and most certainly bizarre, but rewarding for those with an abstract/ avant garde mindset.

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