I had no idea this existed until I went to a double feature of "Prom Night" & "The Toolbox Murders" one evening years ago. Prior to these old horror movies being shown, the group presenting them would also run vintage trailers. It just so happened this one was shown to a packed audience. Realizing this had to be gold, I looked it up the next day & this is what I found courtesy of IMDB:
"Russian soldiers accidentally unleash the servant of Dracula, as well as his dog, during excavations of Romania. Together, they set out for America, to find the last descendant of the great Count."
Not quite the heartwarming coming of age tale about a boy & his dog, but still worthy of being watched in my mind. If the synopsis hasn't sold you, enjoy this wonderful trailer:
Our story begins in Romania, where Russian soldiers blasting a field wind up unearthing a tomb filled with coffins. In those coffins lie members of the Dracula family. All but two of the coffins have names. An earthquake breaks open one of the coffins to reveal a body with a stake in it. Curiosity gets the best of the soldier guarding it & he foolishly removes the stake, resulting in deadly consequences for the soldier. Emerging from the coffin is Zoltan.
"I couldn't get the Doggy Dentures gig, so I'm starring in this."
Bitten by Igor Dracula himself & turned into a vampire dog, Zoltan heads to the other unmarked coffin. The equivalent of Renfield in Dracula lore, Veidt Smith reunites with Zoltan. Though they have been awakened from their eternal slumber, both man & dog realize they cannot survive without a master from the Dracula bloodline. Hilarity ensues when they discover that the last living descendant of Dracula, Michael Drake (womp womp), is living in Los Angeles with his family. The two embark (no pun intended) on a quest to turn Drake into their new master.
Drake is preparing to take his family on a month long camping trip away from civilization. Joining them will be the family's 4 German Shepherds (2 adults & 2 puppies). See where they're going with this? Smith creepily follows the family into the wilderness in a hearse carrying Zoltan in a coffin.
"I don't drive in a van handing out candy. I have a hearse with a vampire dog!"
On the first night of the trip, one of the Drake family's puppies runs off & winds up being bitten by Zoltan. The vampire hound sneaks into the camp only to be chased away by Samson, the puppy's father. Thinking Zoltan is a wolf, Drake just brushes it off. After discovering the dead puppy the next morning, Drake figures it died from a rattlesnake bite after seeing the fang marks. Michael & his son bury it. Elsewhere, Zoltan bites the dog of 2 fisherman. That night, Zoltan & backup attack the camp only to be thwarted by the crucifix Michael is wearing & his shooting at them. Still not aware of the sinister intentions, Michael dismisses Zoltan & the other vampire dog as being feral.
Back in LA, the film's Van Helsing arrives. Inspector Branco heads to the family's residence only to be informed they are out on a camping trip. As Branco heads to the camp, the mother of the puppy Zoltan bit runs off to go join the growing group of vampire dogs. Linda Drake is attacked when she hears the family's dog howling but is saved by the 2 fisherman who's dog was turned by Zoltan. As the account of what happened is being told, Samson runs off to protect the family.
To make the dogs look like vampires, their fur was turned gray. Possibly rubbed in charcoal? The fights consisted of grown men rolling around with dogs. Roll...roll...roll in the hay! You want to roll in the hay? It's fun!
On the fourth day, Michael Drake decides to end the trip. Inspector Branco arrives as the family is packing up & informs Michael both of his family lineage and the plot to turn him into a master vampire. Sending his family home, Michael teams up with Branco as the two formulate a plan to defeat Smith and the hounds from Hell. That night, they are attacked in the hunting cabin they take refuge in, but are unharmed.
"It's not as cool as being the son of Darth Vader, but still pretty awesome!"
On the fifth day, Drake & Branco head back to the campsite and prepare for the final encounter. Armed with stakes, the duo seek to finally put a stop to the attacks and end the terror brought about by Zoltan. Branco goes after Smith while Drake takes on the dogs. For some reason in the battle, a CONVERTIBLE is thought to be a safe haven. Not like they can chew through the roof or anything. As Drake attempts to drive off, he spots Samson & opens the door to the car...inviting this in.
"Oh Samson...what did Delilah do to you?!?!?"
Branco manages to dispose of Smith while the 2 fisherman take care of the vampire dogs. After staking Samson, Michael Drake squares off against Zoltan one on one. In a rather lackluster climax, he corners the dog on top of a cliff, exposes a crucifix, and Zoltan plummets to his death. Figuring their work is done, Branco proclaims "That was the last of them." Of course, if you've kept a close eye on the story, you know this not to be the case.
"I'M MICHAEL VICK'S WORST NIGHTMARE!!!"
Overall, I really enjoyed this film. Loaded with bad acting & bad fights with dogs, this is a highly entertaining way to kill 90 minutes. If it's ever on Netflix or you can find a copy of it on DVD for cheap, definitely pick it up. I doubt you will be disappointed.
If you enjoyed reading this review, please check out my other WTF Movies at the following links:
http://www.horrorbid.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=255&t=19552&p=90120#p90120 - "The Baby"
http://www.horrorbid.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=255&t=19592&p=90222#p90222 - "Frogs"
http://www.horrorbid.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=255&t=19714&p=90509#p90509 - "The Stuff"