Written by: George Pacheco on October 24th, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1978
Director: Philip Marshak
Writer: Darryl Marshak, David Kern, William Margold, Mitch Morrill, T. Bell
Cast: Paul Thomas, Jamie Gillis, Annette Haven, Kay Parker, John Leslie, Serena, Reggie Nalder, William Margold
DVD Release Date: October 7th, 2014
Approximate Running Times: 95 minutes (Director’s Cut), 74 minutes (Lust at First Bite – Alternate Version)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Encoding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $22.98
Dracula Sucks has a long, storied history behind its troubled and confusing production, yet this excellent double DVD release from Vinegar Syndrome provides what is easily the most comprehensive home video presentation of this cult classic from the golden age of adult film.
This 1978 film was released in multiple cuts over the years, including a hardcore free VHS cut on the Media label back in the 80s, as well as an edit titled Lust at First Bite which contained all of the sex, but very little of the plot and special effects death scenes which characterized this triple X take on the tale of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Vinegar Syndrome’s composite edit contains all of the plot and death scenes, and all of the sex-albeit shot mostly softcore- with only a few hard scenes making their way here and there within the film.
It’s a confusing cut, indeed, but one which makes for ultimately satisfying viewing for anyone remotely interested in the most complete version of Dracula Sucks available on the market. Additionally, Vinegar Syndrome’s excellent edit makes this a much easier film to follow-compared to the versions previously available to the public-as Marshak’s film does its best to combine a gothic horror, period piece atmosphere with erotic sex scenes from a veritable “who’s who” of adult cinema stars of the day.
Jamie Gillis (The Opening of Misty Beethoven) brings an air of sophistication, allure and menace to his Dracula, while Annette Haven’s reputation as adult cinema’s unequivocal, ultimate beauty is cemented here for anyone who was remotely doubting her legacy. Haven is absolutely beautiful as Mina, while her costars Kay Parker, Serena and a young Seka are all featured during the prime of their respective careers, alongside fellow adult film leading men Paul Thomas, John Leslie, Mike Ranger and John Holmes.
Elsewhere, an appearance from “straight actor” Reggie Nalder-from such genre film staples as Salem’s Lot and Mark of the Devil-could be said to lend Dracula Sucks an air of legitimacy and class, but to be honest, Marshak and his crew-including screenwriter and second unit director William Margold-do a fine job on their own, making this one of adult cinema’s most enjoyable, “must see” films.
Vinegar Syndrome presents Dracula Sucks in an anamorphic widescreen print which preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. There’s a small bit of print damage present, but nothing major to complain about for what is essentially an extremely rare composite cut of the film. The sound here is of much better quality than the alternate Lust at First Bite cut, which is presented as an extra on the second disc, alongside the original theatrical trailer and an excellent, full length commentary from actor, screenwriter, director and adult film historian William Margold. All in all, Dracula Sucks receives a presentation from Vinegar Syndrome which is second to none.