Film Review: Billy the Kid vs. Dracula (1966)


SYNOPSIS:

Dracula travels to the American West, intent on making a beautiful ranch owner his next victim. Her fiance, outlaw Billy the Kid, finds out about it and rushes to save her.

REVIEW:

I actually enjoy watching bad movies. They usually make me laugh or sometimes it can even make me feel like I may have a chance at writing a script better than the one I had just seen turned into a turd. In the case of “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula”, there is nothing that can be done to save this movie. It is just plain horrible and I can honestly say that it was a painful experience to give up an hour and ten minutes of my life to watch it. With that title, so much could have been accomplished, it just wasn’t any fun at all. The movie runs about an hour and thirteen minutes. I watched it in three parts and it still felt like a six hour miniseries.

Where to begin, we assume the villain here is Dracula (played by John Carradine) who has found himself on hitching a ride on a stagecoach with Mary Ann Bentley (Marjorie Bennet) and her brother James Underhill (William Forrest). They engage in some mindless small talk that leads to the relevation that she has a beautiful eighteen year old daughter the send Dracula into the most disturbing stare ever committed to celluloid. The stagecoach stops and there are a group of Indians that are camping out. Dracula uses his jedi mind trick on one of the ladies and sinks his teeth into her neck and has to flee.

The stagecoach leaves and Dracula is once again on his own. The rest of the Indians find the body of the young girl and realize that it was someone on the stagecoach that had caused this. They attack the stagecoach (thinking someone on the coach was the murderer) and leave everyone dead. When the dust clears, Dracula swoops in (he can transform into a bat with strings) and steels Underhill’s wallet, as well as the locket with the picture of the daughter. Betty (the daughter played by Melinda Plowman) is in a relationship with Billy the Kid (Chuck Courtney) and planning on getting married. Her uncle shows up though it really isn’t her uncle, Dracula has assumed his identity. Mysterious things begin to happen and no one knows what it means except for Eva (Virginia Christine) the maid who knows something is up and begins to warn everyone. Dracula’s sole purpose is to control Betty and convert her into his vampire wife using an old abandoned silver mine as his lair.


Well that is “Dracula vs. Billy the Kid” in a nutshell and I really didn’t like it. It could have been a fun bad movie, instead it was dull, ridiculous, poorly shot, and did I mention dull. Nothing really happens and then it is pretty much just over. The story is pretty basic and the acting is a joke. The only thing that makes the film worth viewing is the rubber bat. It reminded me a bit of the spaceships in Ed Wood’s “Plan 9 from Outer Space”. When Dracula would make an escape he would turn into bat form. Just a rubber bat on a string and it made me laugh every time. And John Carradine was seriously hamming it up as Dracula. The man wasn’t joking around when he stares into the eyes of the ladies to hypnotize them. He didn’t even bat an eye when they were shining the bright red light in his eyes.

A cult title like this should have been a bit more fun than it was. We get a couple of very short classic western shoot outs, it’s bloodless, the acting is not good, and the story just goes nowhere and builds up to nothing. Then it’s over. I couldn’t wait for that thing to be over with. The only thing that could have made this stinker entertaining was if something like MST3K had their mits on it. Otherwise, steer clear of this one. It isn’t worth it.

Available at Cheezyflicks.com

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About Corey Danna


Corey has been with HorrorNews since 2009. He's a self-proclaimed geek with an appetite for the bizarre! He's also contributing to the upcoming book, "The Good, The Tough, and The Deadly: Action Stars and Their Movies" to be released by Schiffer Publishing in the fall of 2015. Connect with me on Facebook or Twitter.

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