A Taste of Blood
©1967 Creative Film Enterprises


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Genre: Horror

Rating: NR

Also known as: The Secret of Dr. Alucard

Synopsis:
When John Alucard Stone (Bill Rogers) receives a strange package from England, it turns out to be two bottles of plum brandy. A letter explains that John is the last descendent of Baron Vada Khron of Muldavia and has inherited an estate in Pertfleet, England. He is instructed to toast his ancestors and, despite the misgivings of his secretary Hester (Eleanor Valli) and his wife Helene (Elizabeth Wilkinson), he does so. Over the next few weeks, John becomes addicted to the brandy, growing increasingly bitter and short tempered as the days pass. He also begins working all night and sleeping all day. Concerned for her husband, Helene goes to visit family friend and psychiatrist Dr. Hank Tyson (William Kerwin). Unfortunately, John pretends to be his old charming self around Hank, even throwing an impromptu anniversary party. Only when all the guests have left does John show his true colors, expressing his displeasure that Helene went to Hank behind his back and threatening her. Travelling to England, John tracks down and brutally murders Philip Harker, Dr. Wayne Seward and Lord Gold (Ted Schell) by hypnotizing them with a strange ring, transforming into a vampire and driving a wooden stake through their hearts. He then returns to America with a coffin. Helene is still suspicious but John uses his ring to hypnotize her into loving him forever, even beyond death. Later, John reads a letter, explaining that the brandy he drank was laced with the blood of his ancestor, Count Dracula, and charging him with the task of killing the descendants of those who destroyed Dracula. He then calls information to get the address of his fourth target, Sherri Morris (Dolores Carlos). Travelling to Houston to kill Sherri, John stops at a strip joint and picks up a stripper (Gail Janis) but, when she accidentally cuts her finger, John loses control and drinks all her blood. The next day, Helene and Hank receive a visit from Dr. Howard Helsing (Otto Schlessinger), who tells Helene that her life is in danger. Helsing tells Hank that he thinks John is now a vampire who is killing the descendants of the people responsible for destroying Dracula. He also says that John will make Helene into a vampire too. Hank refuses to believe Helsing until he sees a news report about the murder of Sherri Morris. Helsing tells Hank they have to find John's coffin and destroy him while he sleeps. Unfortunately, while they're looking for John's coffin, John is at home with Helene. When Helene tells him about Helsing’s visit, he hypnotizes Helene to believe that Helsing is an enemy, before biting her on the neck. Failing to find John's coffin, Helsing warns Hank that they must prevent John from biting Helene three times and turning her into a vampire. Fortunately, when they go to see Helene they realize she's already been bitten once. That night, John shows up to bite Helene a second time but a police detective (Lawrence Tobin) arrives to arrest John for murdering the stripper in Houston. However, John is able to escape from the detective and succeeds in biting Helene. Hank and Helsing convince the detective that the only way to catch John is to wait for him to summon Helene and follow her. As expected, John summons Helene and they follow her but they lose her. They are able to pick up her trail again but time is running out. Just as John is about to put the final bite on Helene. Hank and Helsing arrive and a brief battle of wills ensues but the tide quickly turns when the sun peeks over the horizon. Helsing drives a wooden stake through John's heart to finish him off.

Type of mind control: Hypnosis/Telepathy

Mind control scenes:
The first mind control scene is when John hypnotizes Lord Gold before killing him. The next scene is when John uses his ring to hypnotize Helene into loving him forever. While Helene is under, he gives her a post-hypnotic suggestion to go back into a trance whenever he sees her turn his ring. He then uses this post-hypnotic suggestion to put Helene back under several times and convince her that he's gone on a business trip, find out what Helsing is planning, etc. Finally, Helene spends most of the last half hour of the movie in a trance-like state, while John tries to make her into a vampire. She walks around with a blank look on her face and eventually obeys John's telepathic command to come to him.

Subjective Rating: 4 out of 5
What this movie lacks in mind control quality, it makes up for in quantity. As stated above, Helene spends a large part of the last half hour of the movie walking around with a glazed look in her eyes. It's just too bad that John's hypnotic induction doesn't consist of more than holding up his ring and saying, "You're asleep".

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