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Tender Dracula, or Confessions of a Blood Drinker (1974)

Tendre Dracula (original title)
Not Rated | | Fantasy, Horror | January 1975 (USA)
Two writers and their girlfriends visit the castle of an actor who specializes in playing vampire roles. As the night progresses, they begin to wonder if the man is an actor playing a vampire, or a vampire playing an actor.

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(screenplay), (dialogue) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Bernard Menez ...
Alfred
...
Marie (as Miou Miou)
Nathalie Courval ...
Madeleine
Stéphane Shandor ...
Boris (as Stephane Shandor)
...
Le producteur
Percival Russel ...
Abélard, le serviteur
Brigitte Borghese ...
La secrétaire du producteur (as Brigitte de Borghese)
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Storyline

Two writers and their girlfriends visit the castle of an actor who specializes in playing vampire roles. As the night progresses, they begin to wonder if the man is an actor playing a vampire, or a vampire playing an actor.

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Genres:

Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated
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January 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tender Dracula, or Confessions of a Blood Drinker  »

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(Eastmancolor)
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For the original French version, Peter Cushing was dubbed by Jean Rochefort. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A deservedly 'lost film' from Peter Cushing
9 May 2014 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

1974's "Tender Dracula" was shot in France under the title "La Grande Trouille" (The Big Scare), purportedly a comedy, which may be the main reason why Peter Cushing chose to star, as 'High Priest of Horror' MacGregor, not a real vampire but an actor known for playing one, ala Christopher Lee. At the 16 minute mark, our introduction to him is a pleasant surprise, suitably attired in cape and fangs, but the relentless, unfocused insanity makes for a very unpleasant viewing experience. Alida Valli is the only other veteran in the cast, while the rest are cardboard ciphers of no interest whatsoever. As a sex farce, there are neither laughs nor thrills, as the two actresses are poorly made up, resembling a pair of bored drag queens. As for Peter Cushing, the role could have been much like Boris Karloff's Byron Orlok in "Targets," an icon who wants to abandon the genre that made him famous, but this lone directorial effort from prolific producer Pierre Grunstein offers no substance to support its star (there are photos from titles like "Tales from the Crypt" and "From Beyond the Grave," setting up a short sequence with Cushing playing his own gravedigger grandfather). It's a rare instance where Cushing can be said to be hammy, forgivable under the arduous circumstances, but his yearnings to free himself from 'horror' to 'romance' come off as very real, the lone 'truth' amid so much that's false ("she's not afraid of growing old, she's in love. Love is ageless, and because she is in love, she is pure. All things from above are peaceful, gentle, and pure"). Christopher Lee would have his chance in 1976's "Dracula and Son," in which he did indeed play a real vampire, just not Dracula.


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