An undead Doberman journeys to Los Angeles to put the bite on the last descendant of Dracula in this hairy horror tail!
It all starts in Romania where the Russian military accidentally unearths a crypt. It happens late in the day so they simply assign an expendable guard and opt to deal with their find in the morning. That night there is a tremor or two and one of the coffins pops out of the wall to release a fanged fido who promptly latches onto the lackey’s neck. As the fangs sink in we get a tight close up as the credits roll.
Next the devil dog pulls another coffin free. It contains Dracula’s servant, Veidt Smith. He is a non-blood drinking zombie /butler who was once the dog’s owner. We learn this back-story via a canine flashback sequence that reveals Dracula to be a fidgety fiend who flees when his female victim awakes and screams for help. The servant guy comes running, as well as the dog. Drac turns into a bat and alights on the mutt before taking a bite out of him and converting him into a ghoul’s best friend. He takes the human as his butler and we are all caught up.
The next morning sees Inspector Branco show up and announce that this crypt housed a vampire’s servant. He declares that he must go to America and find the last descendant of Dracula before the servant can get there and order man’s best fiend to convert the last Dracula into a vampire.
Meanwhile we meet this last member of the clan. Turns out he goes by the name Michael Drake and is a happily married Psychologist with a wife and two children (technically this makes his son the last descendant of Dracula but why quibble). He is taking his family away to a secluded lake for a two week camping trip. The idea is to get away from it all but that agenda fails to include vampire dogs.
While Inspector Branco heads to the states Veidt, and the hound from hell, arrive at the lake and begin their reign of terror. First Zoltan takes out the family’s puppy (bad dog) and then goes about vampirizing every hound in the area. Soon he’s got a pack of blood drinkers and they proceed to whittle down the other campers in the area before descending on Drake for a family feud.
This is an okay time waster that manages to provide a few jolts. Sadly there isn’t much verbal repartee since half of the dialogue is barking. In fact the finale has three baying bloodhounds taking on Drake with ear splitting shrieks instead of typical Dracula dialogue. That said the gore effects, by a young Stan Winston, are superb and include a graphic attack on a camper that is bloody enough for any gore hound.
This movie is free on Amazon Prime and marks the first Lagoon brought to you care of streaming. When I started this column in 2000 I relied on VHS but that gave way to DVD, then BluRay and now can actually watch one of these groaners’ on my kindle while logging miles on an exercise bike at Gold’s Gym. Good thing too cause aging is a horror story all its own.
Best Line: ” I wonder who was in that other coffin?”
Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.