ZOLTAN… HOUND OF DRACULA (1977) Reviews and now free to watch online

  

‘The Blood Lusting Killer…’

Zoltan… Hound of Dracula is a 1977 American horror film co-produced and directed by Albert Band (I Bury the Living; Ghoulies II) from a screenplay by Frank Ray Perilli (Mansion of the Doomed). Also released as Dracula’s Dog 

The movie stars Reggie Nalder (Mark of the DevilSalem’s Lot), Michael Pataki (director of Grave of the Vampire; Mansion of the Doomed) and Jose Ferrer.

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Although generally credited as a 1978 film, the American Film Institute indicates that the EMI financed film was completed in 1977 and US rights were then sold to Crown International Pictures.

On October 22nd, 2019, Kino Lorber Classics issued the film on Blu-ray scanned from a new 4K master. Special features:

Audio Commentary by Film Historians Lee Gambino and John Harrison
Radio Spot
Reversible Dracula’s Dog Art
Theatrical Trailer

Plot synopsis:
A Russian road crew accidentally blasts open a subterranean crypt, and the captain of the road crew, fearing looters and criminals, stations a guard near the site.

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Late in the night, an earthquake shakes loose one of the coffins, which slides down and lands at the feet of the confused guard. Curious as to what has fallen before him, the guard opens the coffin and discovers the body of a dog, impaled by a stake. He removes the stake, which revives the vampiric hound Zoltan.

Zoltan opens another coffin shaken loose from the crypt, this one holding the body of an innkeeper (Reggie Nalder), who once owned the crypt. The heinous hound removes the stake from the innkeeper’s chest, reanimating the innkeeper…

Review:

Okay, so Zoltan… Hound of Dracula is technically a pretty bad film. The budget is very low. Director Albert Band doesn’t really bother much with things like subtext or suspense. With the exception of the genuinely intimidating Reggie Nadler, the actors pretty much just go through the motions. However, with all that in mind — how can you not love a film called Zoltan, the Hound of Dracula?

It’s fun because the film is just so ludicrous. Criticising a film like this for being bad ultimately feels like being way too much of a scold. Add to that, there’s a vampire puppy! And yes, he is just adorable!

Lisa Marie Bowman, guest reviewer via Through the Shattered Lens

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Other reviews:
“There are several scenes— most notably the one in which Drake and Branco are besieged in a tiny cabin by Zoltan and his pack— that come very close to working, only to implode in disgrace when the viewer suddenly remembers that these are vampire dogs we’re dealing with, and vampire dogs who are trying to get themselves adopted by an unwilling descendant of Count Dracula, at that.” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

” … the film is inventive and crudely but effectively staged, with Nalder‘s cadaverously ravaged features promising much menace. But the effort seems to have exhausted both writer and director, who can dream up nothing better than to have Nalder moon about endlessly intoning “Soon!” to an impatient Zoltan…” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror

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” … most of the movie is unconsciously hilarious, from the cheap synthesized score to the obvious and juvenile shots of the dogs’ heads against black backgrounds, their eyes aglow. Note also how the moon is full for an entire week.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers

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“The biggest problem is the rather silly plot, though it’s not appreciably sillier than the title would lead you to believe. There’s a scene of a dog having a flashback, lots of close-ups of Reggie Nalder […] a side character whose only purpose in the movie is to be torn to shreds, lots of glowing dog eyes, and a twist ending that won’t surprise anyone…” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

“Michael Pataki is solid as Michael […] Jose Ferrer does some good stuff as the Inspector and Reggie Nalder is creepy as Zoltan’s owner Veidt … It all moves along at a nice swift pace and the legend Stan Winston himself provided the good quality makeup effects work.” Halloween Love

“For something with as absurd a premise as this, it’s really not too bad. My biggest problem is with the pacing and length; the first hour keeps a decent pace as it builds up to the climax; however, the subsequent half-hour transforms into a Night of the Living Dead-style siege as Michael Drake and Inspector Branco struggle against Zoltan and the other vampirized dogs.” Radiation Scarred Reviews

05

“Enjoyable fun, this picks up steam with the second half. There’s some great ‘dogs on rampage’ sequences, including the nighttime entrapment of Drake in a woodshed as well as the showdown climax with Zoltan. Oh, and just a helpful hint: when a dog’s eyes begin to glow a luminous white, turn and walk slowly away…” The Terror Trap

“The film is simply awful but the vampire dogs are sometimes a tiny bit scary and the film has considerable “accidental humor” in its favor. It’s odd to realize the director didn’t think vampire puppies would be funny but they are, and the abject ridiculousness of much of the goings-on makes it a fun film to watch with fellow bad-movie devotees.” Weird Wild Realm

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters

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Cast and characters:

Michael Pataki … Michael Drake/Count Dracula
José Ferrer … Inspector Branco
Jan Shutan … Marla Drake
Libby Chase … Linda Drake
John Levin … Steve Drake
Reggie Nalder … Veidt Smith
Cleo Harrington … Pat Parks
Tom Gerrard … Maslov, the guard
Bob Miller … Lieutenant
Gordon McGill … Second Officer
Al Ferrara … Al, the deputy
Roger Pancake … Sheriff
Sally Marr … Camper
Merryl Jay … Camper
Jackie Drake … Camper
John Kirby … Traveller
Darlene Craviotto … Traveller
Lou Schumacher … Customs Inspector
Carl Morrison … Customs Inspector
Dimitri Logothetis … Corporal
Chris George … Soldier
Dwight Krizman … Soldier
Roger Schumacher … Hiker
Dominic Ferlan … Villager
Katherine Fitzpatrick … Dracula’s Victim
Joan Leone … Car Rental Agent
Arlene Martel … Major Hessel
Simmy Bow … Fisherman
JoJo D’Amore … Fisherman

Technical details:
1 hour 27 minutes
Audio: Mono
Aspect ratio: 1.66: 1

Trailer:

Full film free to watch online on YouTube

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