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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This nifty 27 minute retrospective documentary offers some illuminating insights into the making of Jess Franco's "Count Dracula." Franco notes that his film is an extremely faithful adaptation of Bram Stoker's book and reveals that star Christopher Lee was initially worried about how they were going to show Dracula becoming younger and stronger as the story unfolds. Producer Harry Alan Towers claims Klaus Kinski was difficult to work with while Franco states that he had no problems working with Kinski (who according to Franco really did eat flies and insisted on having as little dialogue as possible). Franco originally wanted Vincent Price to portray Van Helsing, but nonetheless was still happy when Herbert Lom was cast in the part (amazingly, the scenes between Lom and Lee were shot separately using body doubles!). Moreover, Franco remembers actress Soledad Miranda as an elegant and photogenic lady who was a complete natural in front of the camera. In addition, Franco admits the movie could have been better if he had only had a bit more money in the budget (Franco had to the finish the picture using his own money). We also learn that the film was mainly shot in Barcelona and that the wild dogs were actually police dogs. Worth watching for fans of the movie.
Beloved Count (2007)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
This 27 minute featurette has director Jess Franco talking every aspect of his film COUNT Dracula. Franco starts off talking about the book and the character as well as commenting on the Coppola version as well as the one with Bela Lugosi and the early Hammer films. From here he starts talking about how he wanted to film the novel as close as possible and then later gets into details about how the lack of money prevented that. If you're a fan of the film or if you hate it, this interview is a lot of fun as Franco tells some highly entertaining stories, which may or may not be true. With such a long running time it allows Franco to go into details about the making of the film as well as various cast members including Lee, Soledad Miranda and of course Klaus Kinski. This is certainly a well-produced piece that delivers everything you'd hope it would.
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