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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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Cast

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

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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5 May 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vampir  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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 »

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Featured in Llámale Jess (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
franco as Dracula
1 April 2011 | by See all my reviews

Director Portabello takes silent footage from the filming of Jess Franco's fourth-rate Dracula film and makes a multi-leveled masterpiece. The striking sound track consists of drills, scrapes, and finally, Christopher Lee reading the end of the Stoker novel. The electric buzzing is occasionally interrupted by snatches of pop songs and long periods of silence, which adds to mystery as tech and cameramen slide into view behind the stony, mute actors. Is this the imposed silence of awful Franco years? Portabello is Catalan, and the Catalan tongue was forbidden under the fascist regime. No speaking of Guernica, of the war, no criticism or free press. The master narrative of the appalling Franco dictatorship is interrupted by the disjointed tale of Portabello's paste-board castle and sleepwalking horror tropes. To re-edit the banal film (Franco's) and the evil, banal regime (Franco's) so that all its artifice may be displayed in the clear light (under the visible lights of the set). Fashionable girls laugh over a coffin holding a dead man, men walk through forests arranging cobwebs, Lee's imposing angular figure stares ahead, all granite. Deaf, too: they can't hear the flies. Lee and Portabello also made the equally sublime Umbracle, a similar tale of horror haunted by taxidermy, secret police, and Lee singing a song in French. This film shows that the continuum of the Gothic is still a potent vessel for art and politics. Portabello is a genius.


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