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Vampir Cuadecuc

Pere Portabella’s extraordinary experimental documentary reworks footage filmed on the set of Jess Franco’s 1970 shocker Count Dracula starring Christopher Lee.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1970 66 mins Not rated

Director: Pere Portabella


Made in Spain during General Franco’s rule, Pere Portabella’s extraordinary Vampir Cuadecuc was filmed on the set of Jess Franco’s shocker El Conde Dracula (Count Dracula, 1970) starring Christopher Lee, Herbert Lom and the exquisite Soledad Miranda. Filmed in stark, heavily grained black and white, this atmospheric and experimental ‘making of’ documentary transforms the myth of the vampire into a powerful metaphor for bloodthirsty fascism epitomised by Franco and tyrants like him, a witty allegory with Dracula as the dictator who feeds on his people, yet whose demise is certain.

Dispensing almost entirely with dialogue, Portabella relies on an abstract, fabulously idiosyncratic soundscape created by renowned Catalan artist and musician Carles Santos for its unearthly effect. Banned after completion, Vampir Cuadecuc remains a provocative, subversive and surreal experience.