Son of Dracula (Review)

Son of Dracula

Directed by Saleem Suma

Bollywood horror is filled with ups and downs. Mostly downs. Every once in a while, you run into something so ridiculously stupid, it is awesome. Unfortunately, that was Shaitani Dracula, and we are now watching Son of Dracula, which is absolutely terrible. All of the fun of random dudes strolling around in dime store costumes is gone, instead we have a disco guy seducing random women, one of which gives birth to Son of Dracula, a doll that is waved around like it is the spookiest thing ever, and a statue looking like bigfoot that spends the entire film yelling. The main crime is none of that is any fun. It should be fun. It sounds like fun. But, brother, it ain’t fun! I originally ordered this knowing nothing except what the vcd cover looked like, and it promised a vampire/Yoda thing. He is in here, but he isn’t as fun as he looks. The lesson for today is disappointment, a harsh lesson I am tired of learning over and over again with more and more films. Luckily, the good jewels make up for the duds.

I am guessing the film was edited by caffeinated squirrels with ADD, due to the hap-hazard cuts, random scenes, and nonsensical anything. Nothing in this film makes the slightest bit of sense. Even if there were subtitles, this thing would be a mess, and the subtitles would probably end up having been stolen from a Harry Potter film. Bollywood horror has a complicated history covered by multiple sources, and a quick summary here would not do it justice. So we will just skip it and dive right into the film, because it doesn’t take a detailed history of a country’s movie culture to recognize that this film sucks. And at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles, so we dive in unaided.

Thanks goodness!

What year this was made in is debatable, because it doesn’t seem to be listed anywhere. The other problem is the cast list, I cannot conclusively link most of the actors to parts, largely due to my lack of finding good pictures or even any information at all about most of the cast. The actors list is credited as follows: Joginder, Raza Murad, Alaudeen Ferozm, Poonm Das Gupta, Sapna, Arif, Mahendrea Tiwari. Joginder is probably Joginder Shelly, and he has been called “the Badshaah of 70s B-grade films” as he was a popular over-acting villain. I am sure you know what Badshaah means, so moving on. Raza Murad is another popular villain character actor. Poonm Das Gupta is Poonam Das Gupta, and is probably Mom of Son of Dracula. Imagine that, a misspelling in the name of an actor in a B-movie. Shocking. I got nothing on any of the others. So there. Drop us a line if you have a clue.

UPDATE: in the blog announcement Vinayak has disclosed that Takul is played by Joginder Shelly and the Inspector is played by Raza Murad: “he stated with “A grade movies” and slowly slipped to “C Grade”.” Thanks, Vinayak!

Takul (Joginder Shelly) – Disco Dracula, I guess. There is a constant cat yelping as he talks. He spends most of the film trying to seduce the random girls who sing songs while dancing in the rain or waterfalls that Bollywood films have taught me litter India like beer cans on the highway. He also seems to have a second good identity where he is a family man, I couldn’t tell if he was supposed to be twins (with one evil) or just a secret identity as the evil guy. Even worse, he lives at the end and seems to be accepted by the innocent family. So, yeah…
Inspector (Raza Murad) – This police chief makes Chief Wiggum look like Sherlock Holmes. Many of his men get killed by a doll, and he is defeated by his clothes vanishing. Riggs and Murtaugh wouldn’t put up with that crap, and just shoot Son of Dracula in the head, revoking his Puppet Immunity.
Witch Doctor Jesus (???) – Witch Doctor Jesus comes complete with trident, and fights the forces of Son of Dracula and Angry Bigfoot Statue. He uses retro effects, waving of hands, and being freaking weird as powers. He also has sit-down talks with bad guys, showing the forgiving spirit of Jesus. This is far more accurate of a portrayal of Our Lord than Passion of the Christ.
Mom of Son of Dracula (Poonam Das Gupta) – As the name implies, she is the Mom of the Son of Dracula. She loves striped socks, odd clothes, writhing around, and giving birth to freaky puppet doll monsters by video toaster effects. Basically, your average girl next door!
Son of Dracula (A doll) – A freaking doll with a rubber mask is waved around by an off-camera dude, and that is the Son of Dracula that terrorizes people in this film like crazy. Every once in a while, Son of Dracula is actually played by a real guy wearing the mask, probably a kid. These rare instances stand out like a hobo at a millionaire’s ball. Despite Son of Dracula’s immobile face and body, he is somehow able to kill around a dozen people thanks to his fangs and Son of Dracula magic.
Angry Bigfoot Statue (A statue) – This statue never shuts up. All he does is yell and yell, and occasionally impregnate someone with the Son of Dracula. So I guess he is Dracula, except Dracula is not a statue, so he is more of a monster that the movie uses Dracula as the name for to get investors to pony up more dollars than Son of Angry Bigfoot Statue.

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Attack of the Beast Creatures (Review)

Attack of the Beast Creatures

Directed by Michael Stanley
Written by Robert A. Hutton

Here we have an oddity from the depths of the VHS era, a film that still hasn’t been released on DVD and might one day sink into the sands of time. A movie that has some of the oddest monsters in cinema. A group of people trapped on an uncharted island are attacked by little red creature dolls moved or tossed at them by off-camera hands (if they even move at all in the scenes!) But before the people get attacked, they have to walk. And walk. And walk. They walk so much as so little happens, the title should have been Stroll on an Island, and Maybe Some Beast Creatures Attack Later. I was expecting an awesome time of people getting attacked by dolls, but instead it was a constant bore even as the bodies started to pile up. The action is not constant but just little spurts of interest. Still, the scenes of the creatures running, attacking, and getting tossed around by the actors is why we are here, and it looks goofy enough that the sequences can be ever so fun! We’ll be including some samples for your viewing pleasure later in the review, as it is impossible to accurately describe the creatures’ movement, you just have to see it.

The Beast Creatures themselves are just a bunch of dolls, as stated earlier. Dozens and dozens of the little buggers infest the island. They are the entire reason to watch the film. You cannot pretend that the characters are interesting, or that people getting killed by acid is exciting or worthy of a movie on itself. The characters are just boring as all get out. Almost no character development and what little is done is awkward and conveyed unconvincingly by performances that wouldn’t cut it in third grade plays. Only John Vichiola as Mr. Morgan has any personality that isn’t outshown by the trees in the background. More extreme personalities would have made the film more interesting, there is a reason reality shows recruit crazy people. The long sequences of boring characters eating berries? Classic cinema. Classic like the Zapruder film! But in this case, an assassin’s bullets (or the second shooter’s!) would save us from a mess, not create one. Someone some day will take this film, edit out half of the first hour, and then release the perfect 50 minute film for the world to enjoy. Until that fateful day, we are stuck here, and must deal with the film as it is. That means we have to deal with the people in addition to the Beast Creatures. So let’s get to dealing with them, and not waste time with padding like the film tries to.

John Trieste (Robert Nolfi) – He’s the highest ranking ship officer on the lifeboat. He’s also the hero. And he’s also utterly, utterly boring. Bore Score 9.5/10
Cathy (Julia Rust) – Absolutely nothing interesting to report about her. Her character is so inconsequential I was shocked she wasn’t killed. Bore Score 10/10
Case Quinn (Robert Lengyel) – Also a crew member of the boat. Falls more often than running women in slasher films. Bore Score 8/10
Diane (Lisa Pak) – At one point John kisses Diane, then later she dies. Hey, I’m being generous with this description of her, there is really nothing there! Bore Score 10/10
Philip (Frank Murgalo) – He’s the fat guy of the island, which makes me wonder why the Beast Creatures aren’t targeting him first. He would last a lot longer in a feeding frenzy. Speared by a tripwire trap. A veterinarian. Bore Score 8/10
Mr. Morgan (John Vichiola) – The meanest old man in this film, Mr. Morgan is a jerk who soon takes an acid bath. The only person who has any character development that was more than half a line of dialogue, and yet you hate him just as much as everyone else. Bore Score 6/10
Mrs. Gordon (Kay Bailey) – Picks berries, wanders off from the group when the group is being actively stalked, then probably wonders why she was horribly killed. Bore Score 9/10
Pat (Frans Kal) – Finds some water on the island…but it wasn’t water, it was acid, and he was dissolved to the bone! That’s all he does, folks. Bore Score 9/10
Mr. Bruin (Robert Firgelewski) – Dying when they hit the shores, becomes a skeleton thanks to the hungry Beast Creatures. Bore Score 9/10
The Beast Creatures (Dolls) – The doll from Trilogy of Terror got hitched to one of those crazy biting dolls from Barbarella and spawned several hundred of these red monstrosities. These dolls are hungry as those Hungry Hungry Hippos, but instead of chomping on marbles the take a bite out of anyone who stumbles across their island. No clue on what they eat when people aren’t bumbling their way through the forests of Beast Creature Island. Bore Score 2/10
The Idol (Cardboard) – This ain’t the kind of Idol you call in to vote for so Simon can make snarky comments, this is one of those idols that natives worship. In this case, it is the Beast Creatures who are doing the worship. Because of the lack of a language, we know nothing about the mythology of this idol and its purpose. And that’s just the kind of stuff super-nerds like me crave! Bore Score 1/10

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