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Aka: Cemetery Girls
After delivering a heavy crate to the formerly abandoned sanitarium two unsavory types decide to augment their fee by inspecting the contents of their burden. Hoping to find valuables belonging to the new owner Dr. Wendell Marlow(Jacinto Molina as Paul Naschy) an Austrian aristocrat, they are disappointed when a skeleton is all they find and they are soon rewarded for their inquisitiveness by a visit by Count Dracula. He bites one of the deliverymen and cancels the other’s services with an axe through the head.
Later, Imre Polvy (Victor Alcazar as Victor Winner) is escorting 4 lovely women on a sight seeing tour through the Borgo pass. When they lose a wheel and the coachman is killed by the horses they are forced to seek shelter at the sanitarium where they are warmly greeted by Dr. Marlow.
His hospitality is understandable because he needs blood from a virgin
that loves him to restore him to his full bewitching power.
With a low budget and sparse cast (there are less than two dozen total characters) Javier Aguirre infuses an atmosphere of blue lighted fog misted strangeness into a somewhat romantic setting. Naschy’s stoic almost to the point of wooden performance suggests an air of sympathy for the lonely vampire. Much more muscular than Lee and Lugosi, Naschy portrays Dracula as a would be hero who is tormented by his infliction much like a hairless Waldemar Daninsky.
His female companions each represent a distinct archetype: Marlene (Ingrid Garbo) is the wife, Imre; Karen (Haydee Politiff) the Virgin; Senta (Rosanna Yanni) the whore and Elke (Mirta Miller) is the coward or frightened little girl. Naschy would work alongside three of these four actresses in other films. Apparently, he didn’t get along with Haydee Politiff , which is too bad because she was easily the most attractive of the four.
An excellent soundtrack by Carmelo Bernaola who composed the music
for Cut Throats Nine the same year and went on to score two more Naschy
vehicles, Hunchback of the Morgue and Horror Rises From the Tomb (both
1973) rounds out this film’s attributes. Although far from a
classic; the dubbing is below par and a narrator must explain some
of the on screen action, Count Dracula’s Great Love is an entertaining
alternative to the Vampire films of Universal and Hammer for those
with more continental tastes.