Monthly Archives: August 2005

Zoltan Hound of Dracula (1978)

Zoltan: Hound of Dracula (1978)

ZOLTAN: HOUND OF DRACULA (1978)

Director: Albert Band
Starring: Michael Pataki, Reggie Nalder, Jos¿ Ferrer

AKA: Dracula’s Dog

Who couldn’t resist a movie about a satanic dog? Me, and possibly only me I’m beginning to suspect… I bought two such movies in one month. After collecting months worth of dust on the book shelf I decided to (mis)treat myself to “Zoltan: Hound of Dracula”.

I had already seen the first five minutes on a compilation tape a friend made me and it had made me break out in hysterics. When I saw the intro I had no idea the movie was about a vampire-dog at all, in fact I didn’t even know what it was I was watching. Begins like a run of the mill vampire tale: underground tomb is uncovered… there are lots of tombs with the name Dracula on them… “Maybe I should open one”…. “Maybe I should pull the wooden stake out of this body covered in a blanket”… “Maybe I shouldn’t have done that.”… “Oh Shit, I really shouldn’t have done that”… “Oh Fuck, I’m dead”… What surprised me the most was that the creature in the coffin was a dog! I was expecting Dracula and I get a Doberman with vampire fangs!
Wake me I must be dreaming, is this too good to be true? Surely this has got to be the greatest horror movie ever made, I’m going to buy this and watch the whole thing and then I am going to give it a glowing review on my internet site.

How could I be such a fool?

Really this movie is awful. I already knew how awful it was and I still bought it. I already knew how awful it was and I still watched it. I already knew how awful it was and I actually enjoyed it.

Zoltan is awaken from his slumber and accompanied by the Dracula family servant Veidt, they must find a new master to serve. You see, Zoltan and Veidt are destined to serve the Dracula family for eternity but all the Drac Pack are dead. But wait, there is one living ancestor! Where? Where else but America?
Zoltan & Veidt travel to the US in search of the last of the Dracula line. They find him, his name is Michael Drake, but there is one small problem. Michael is not a vampire. That’s okay though because Zoltan is and he can make other vampires. But that’s not all he can do, no way! Zoltan can make his eyes glow scarily in the dark, he can hypnotise other dogs and make his own army of vampire-dogs. And he does it all in this flick, yesiree…

Michael and his family are on a camping trip, unbeknownst to them they have been followed by Zoltan and Veidt. Veidt drives a hearse and Zoltan sleeps in a small coffin in the back. At night Zoltan is set loose to snag himself a new master. But Michael and his family have a couple of German Shepherds to protect them. That is until they surrender to hypnotic appeal of the Zoltan vampire-dog army. With both dogs AWOL the family decides to pack up their holiday and head home. They are about to leave when Michael is approached by Inspector Branco. Branco has travelled all the way from Transylvannia to warn Michael of the danger to him and his family. Michael and Branco decide to stay in the camping area and deal with the blood-sucking dogs whilst the rest of the family return home safely. The two men hire a cabin and prepare for battle, which comes in the form of a bunch of blood thirsty dogs trying to tear their way into the cabin to get a little taste of old Mikey.

I like the concept of vampire dogs, though I found it a little hard to suspend my disbelief. The flick is almost devoid of humour altogether which is surprising for a film with such a ludicrous concept. A few more laughs would have lightened this one up a little, instead it is played very straight and very seriously. The acting is very average and the movie isn’t terribly frightening or gorey. This one really doesn’t have much going for it other than dog’s with glowing eyes, but that may be just enough to warrant a second viewing.

Terror of Mechagodzilla

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Directed by Ishiro Honda

Starring Katsuhiko Sasaki, Tomoko Ai, Akihiko Hirata

Also known as
Mekagojira no gyakushu
Revenge of Mechagodzilla
The Escape of Mechagodzilla
Mechagodzilla vs. Godzilla
Monsters from an Unknown Planet
The Terror of Godzilla

There is something strangely appealing about the Japanese monster movies of the Toho Studios. I especially enjoy the seventies flicks in the series. Of course the original Godzilla film from 1954 (well at least the original Japanese cut) is a classic of Japanese cinema, a haunting and moving metaphor for the true horrors of atomic weaponry and devastation. But with the dozens of sequels you can relax and switch your brain off, there is no real beauty just industrial destruction, rubbery monsters, crude special effects and alien beings in silver jump suits. What more could you really ask for? Bad dubbing? Bizarre plots? Giant robots? Toy tanks shooting firecrackers? It’s all here, and if you don’t find this even mildly entertaining you would have to be the biggest bore in the entire world.

Terror Of Mechagodzilla opens with scenes from the previous film showing Godzilla (the heroic prehistoric monster and defender of planet Earth) defeating Mechagodzilla, a robotic giant replica of the Big G sent to earth by evil alien forces in order to destroy civilisation. A team of Japanese researchers travel into the depths of the ocean to try and salvage remains of Mechagodzilla. Their submarine (which looks much like a bath toy) is attacked and destroyed by a gigantic amphibious dinosaur named Titanosaurus. A recording of the deceased crew is delivered to Interpol, an international police force who decide to investigate the cause of the disaster. They learn that many years ago a scientist named Professor Mifune was shamed and ostracised by the community due to his crazy experiments attempting to control the minds of sea creatures in order to do humankind’s biddings. Another embarrassing smudge on his record was the incessant belief that a huge dinosaur named Titanosaurus lived in the ocean. A-ha a clue!

When two Interpol Agents try to contact Mifune, his daughter (who we later discover is actually a cyborg) informs them of his passing. But of course the professor is not dead, he has shunned society and is plotting his revenge… the total annihilation of the human race. Mifune is only too happy to join the evil, silver jumpsuit-wearing aliens in resurrecting Mechagodzilla and using his mind control device to subject Earth to the dual onslaught of Titanosaurus and Mechagodzilla. Only one thing stands in the way of their success, Godzilla. Battle erupts between the three monsters and much devastation is caused. You’ll never guess who wins! Actually you will.

This is considered the last in the original Godzilla series and definitely the last directed by Ishiro Honda, the director of the original Godzilla. A little darker than many of the previous Godzilla flicks which may be the reason it was the least successful of the series financially… or perhaps people were getting a little tired of the same old shtick, after all this is the 15th serving of Godzilla mayhem. Apparently this was the first and only Godzilla movie with boobies in it, I didn’t see ‘em though… I must have a cut version. I guess you can’t have it all…