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“Make a swell romaine salad.”

This is the kind of weekend movie watching I loved as a kid.  I knew nothing of the tragedies of Bela’s life, I just knew he was Dracula.  I just knew I was getting a treat; something just scary enough to thrill but not too scary.

It almost feels like the girl reporter, Patricia Hunter played by Luana Walters, and Sandy the photographer, played by Vince Barnett, should have been a franchise of some kind.  Patricia as the plucky lead and Sandy as comic relief?  Anyone else see that?

I never noticed the 2nd bride (Alice) removes her orchid right before passing out.

Yes, like Mad Monster, a member of the Fourth Estate removes evidence.

I suppose there was just a general belief ‘back in the day’ if something didn’t happen in your direct line of sight, you couldn’t be aware of it.

Putting the Society pages to work solving crimes.  See, there is the gimmick for the Pat and Sandy movies.  Build me a time machine so I can make this so.

Bela in a coffin.  Stick with what you know.

Similar theme as in Leech Woman or the Wasp Woman.  Aging women using secret chemicals to stay young—and not one of them is a likeable person.  I’d say Wasp Woman does the theme best, with tonight’s movie being just a hair better than Leech Woman.

I suppose the dwarf and hunchback were supposed to make us think of Freaks.  Watching Toby the dwarf (played by Angelo Rossitto) in the backgrounds was something else.  He adds a surreal element I usually don’t notice due to the riffing.

Too many coincidences.  The strange orchid pops up as the original hybridizer just happens into town?  Dr. Forster (Tristram Coffin) just so happens to be driving along just after our plucky girl reporter is thrown off the truck?  Too many coincidences and no one thinks any of it is odd—except for plucky girl reporter of course.

You should never be surprised when the owner of the house shows up in their own house.  Come on Patricia.

It should be noted Luana Walters has another MST3K credit—The She Creature, her final role.  She was also the first person to play Superman’s Kryptonian mother in the Kirk Alyn Serials.

The Bela creeping into the Dr. and Reporter’s room scene are really unneeded.  That’s some padding.  In fact the whole basement creeping scene goes on far too long.  It really does kill the flow of the movie, ruining the whole ‘finding the brides’ reveal.

The 3rd act is too rushed, which makes no sense with all of the padding we just had.  It is nice to know it takes a convoluted plan to counter a convoluted plan.

You kill a person’s kids, and then are amazed when she is no longer loyal?

How did Bela get through all that security?

Watchability: 3 of 5.  A decent example of ‘horror’ movies of the time.  Bela is pretty solid and the whole cast is workmanlike.  Nothing special, but a fun little spin.

Missing the Riffs:  2 of 5.  The basement sequence is too much quiet for too long.  The SOL helps you through the rough spots in this one.

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