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Tender Dracula, or Confessions of a Blood Drinker (1974)

Tendre Dracula (original title)
Not Rated | | Fantasy, Horror | January 1975 (USA)
Two writers and their girlfriends visit the castle of an actor who specializes in playing vampire roles. As the night progresses, they begin to wonder if the man is an actor playing a vampire, or a vampire playing an actor.



(screenplay), (dialogue) | 3 more credits »

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Cast overview:
Bernard Menez ...
Marie (as Miou Miou)
Nathalie Courval ...
Stéphane Shandor ...
Boris (as Stephane Shandor)
Le producteur
Percival Russel ...
Abélard, le serviteur
Brigitte Borghese ...
La secrétaire du producteur (as Brigitte de Borghese)


Two writers and their girlfriends visit the castle of an actor who specializes in playing vampire roles. As the night progresses, they begin to wonder if the man is an actor playing a vampire, or a vampire playing an actor.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Fantasy | Horror


Not Rated




Release Date:

January 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tender Dracula, or Confessions of a Blood Drinker  »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?


For the original French version, Peter Cushing was dubbed by Jean Rochefort. See more »

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User Reviews

Weird French Crap
3 April 2007 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

I'm giving this one a four out of ten just based on sheer obscurity: There is nothing quite so satisfying as engaging in some activity that most others cannot, and for very good reasons "Tender Dracula" is about as obscure as it gets, as in literally "difficult to see". For a few years I have made it a policy to neither confirm nor deny that I have an original VHS of this title after being warned that there were people who would literally do anything to get a copy of it ... Now that I have finally found time to see the movie I can think of a few things I'd like to have, so bring it on.

Peter Cushing manages a little tongue in cheek as the Count of a wonderfully crumbling French castle that along with him are the best things in this film. There is nudity, sex, some graphic dismemberment and lots and lots of jabbering Frenchmen running around waving their arms and acting in that "gonzo Euro comedy" manner that mystifies most American viewers. A pair of French writer doofuses are sent by their producer to his castle to get an exclusive on Cushing's Count, who is a horror film actor or something like that, an idea that would later be used in "Dracula: Father and Son", which also was a French made horror/comedy spoof/satire filled with lots of French actors running around, waving their arms excitedly and jabbering. I sense an idiom trait here of the sub-genre I refer to as "Weird French Crap". See other long lost mega-obscure titles like LA GOULVE/EROTIC WITCHCRAFT or DEVIL STORY for more information, they are priceless.

The story was too perfunctory to be memorable, with the most potent aspect of the film being it's atmosphere and all of the cringe inducing would-be musical numbers being sung by Miou-Miou stark naked whilst wearing an appalling 1970s super curl wig and metallic makeup. Meanwhile Cushing's half mute shuffling Igor type butler is lopping off his toes & administering beatings to the pair of writers, one of whom is portrayed by Bernard Menez, who would later figure prominently into "Dracula: Father and Son" as well. When Hammer went bale in 1974 their best actors went to France to make gonzo Euro comedy spoofs ala YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN with this putz? I know I am just not getting into the spirit of things here and promise to try and find time for another screening between now and when hell freezes over, but aside from looking at the gloriously dank, unkempt and uncomfortable looking castle the proceedings were set in I didn't get much out of this movie. The best way that it can be described of is "some French hack aping Jess Franco aping Juan Lopez Moctezuma aping Mel Brooks" but even that doesn't quite put the sheer vapidness of the production into perspective. It's also curious for a movie with such abundant nudity to not be sleazy: The Euro artiness even smothers the smut factor, unless you find yourself attracted to skinny French B actresses wearing obnoxious looking wigs.

I'll try one more time: This is another one of those confusing European horror comedies like FRANKENSTEIN'S GREAT AUNT TILLIE, DR. TARR'S TORTURE DUNGEON, "Mama Dracula", "Lady Dracula", or THE THRILLING VAMPIRES OF VOGEL with some otherwise respectable genre actor plunked in the middle of Euro arty cacophony. There are a few good laughs and plenty of nude bodies (including the obligatory French orgy conclusion, played for laughs rather than erotica), some good atmosphere and lashings of gore, but in the end you kind of have to wonder what they were thinking when they proposed the film. It's not quite horrifying enough to be an outright horror movie and not quite funny enough to be a recommended comedy, it's more kind of an experiment in surrealism with Peter Cushing trying his darndest as usual. Fans of Jean Rollin's work will no doubt be enamored, anyone else may very well wonder what the point of it all was. Other than coming up with an excuse to film a low budget movie in that amazing castle they found. What a place!


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