Dracula’s Dog (1978)

This movie goes by the titles Dracula’s Dog and Zoltan Hound of Dracula. I’m honestly not sure which one I like more. They’re both ridiculous names. Who names their dog Zoltan?

Soviets doing road construction in Romania accidentally blast open a tomb containing deceased members of the Dracula clan, and one of their peasant soldiers makes a dumb ass decision to pull the stake out of the body of a dog found in one of the coffins. The dog just so happens to be Zoltan, the vampire dog. Yep, the true horror of communism is that it constantly releases vampire dogs. This is what really brought about the end of the Soviet Union. Zoltan bites the man’s neck to convert him and then frees another of Dracula’s servants, Veidt Smith. Smith and Zoltan then flee to America to find the last remaining descendant of Dracula, a guy named Michael Drake. Fortunately Romanian supercop Inspector Branco is on the case. Unfortunately the Drake family is on a camping trip, and they brought their dogs.

Yes, Zoltan is obviously a killer dog movie, only this one involving a small but growing pack of vampire dogs trying to convert a man to become their new master. The whole thing seems ludicrous, and it only gets worse when you add in all of the shots of Veidt Smith staring at the camera. They are CONSTANT. While it serves some purpose to show his telepathy with Zoltan, it’s basically the same shot over and over again. Eventually Drake and supercop Branco end up trapped in a building too, though this is probably the best thing about this movie.

If you like to see well-trained animals in movies, Zoltan does deliver. The dogs they used were absolutely marvelous in how they acted, whether it be clawing through the ceiling of a building, pulling out a coffin, or spying through the windows. Also, this is the only movie I can think of with a vampire puppy climbing out of the grave.

Is Zoltan worth watching? No, probably not. While the premise is ridiculous, the movie appears like it wanted to be taken seriously. That really holds it back, because it’s a delightfully stupid idea. If I told you I wanted to make a movie about Dracula’s vampire dog, would you want it to be serious? Now I have to compare it to other killer dog movies, like Cujo, White Dog, and The Pack. How is a dumb idea about the failure of the true Soviet secret plan to kill us all with lovable vampire dogs going to get any respect alongside the likes of those?

Yes, I love dogs. I also love making fun of the Soviet Union. Thank God Stalin never figured out vampire technology.

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