Fiancée of Dracula  (1999) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Either Jean Rollin made this film to poke fun at his early films, or he has simply lost all grasp on reality. It doesn't matter because, to tell you the truth, although this film is mind-bendingly bad, it has a lot of entertainment value. After all, a film with a slightly warped script is not inherently amusing, but if the script is utterly demented and nonsensical, well, that can be sweet! Such a film is Fiancée of Dracula. If it is not meant to be funny, it is anyway. That Rollin is as nutty as a Planter's factory.

It seems that the Prince of Darkness believes in very long engagements, because the fiancée in the story was actually a foundling who was raised in a convent by nuns, waiting until her 18th birthday for the big unholy wedding night. This also appears to be a pre-arranged marriage, because I don't believe she has ever actually met Dracula before the ceremony. It must have been some matchmaker deal that Dracula worked out, after having watched "Hello, Dolly".

Our POV is mostly fixed upon a couple of anti-Dracula dudes who are trying to track down the location of the fiancée, possibly because they want to find out where Drac has registered his silver pattern for the big event. Oh, wait, Drac is allergic to silver isn't he? Or is that werewolves? Well, anyway, I don't think they are actually planning a very nice present for the aristocratic bloodsucker. I'm guessing that their plans probably involve sending him to the Caribbean on his honeymoon for plenty of sunbathing.

Now, if you were a fearless vampire hunter, how would you catch one of the suckers? You need a plan. Well, these guys have a plan. Thy sit around a graveyard, peeking out from behind some headstones, and wait for the arrival of an evil dwarf. The first such dwarf to show up is wearing a jingling fool's cap, and is in love with a female vampire who is lying conveniently naked on a nearby makeshift altar.

The vampire hunters capture the little fella and browbeat him for a while about the location of the fiancée, and he mumbles some Dungeons-and-Dragons-meets-Ghostbusters stuff about the eternals and the gatekeeper and the keyholder and the master and margarita and such, until the vampire hunters are satisfied with the quality of the info.

At first they were displeased with the gibberish he was spouting, but apparently he eventually got to the correct gibberish. Vampire hunters are very discriminating in such matters. They then depart, leaving the little guy to resume some rumpy-pumpy with his naked vampiress. I guess you're wondering, as I was, "if these guys are such hot-shit vampire hunters, why did they simply ignore the naked one two or three feet away from them?"

As they kept repeating in Shakespeare in Love - 'tis a mystery.

The evil dwarf's information leads the hunters to a convent in Paris, where the Mother Superior confirms that her order does have the fiancée within their walls, but that they expect her to be lured away this very night. In fact, the Big Nun is quite glad to see the fiancée leave, because such an evil presence within their walls is turning all the nuns insane.

We then see her light a cigarette with a flashing Jesus lighter, and the camera pulls back to reveal her desk, which includes action figures of her favorite saints next to some Smurfs and Malibu Barbie.

Two more nuns come by - Sister Cigar and Sister Pipe - guess what they are smoking. (Remember Dr Jekyll and Dr Heckle in Alphaville? Just think of Rollin as the grade-z Godard.) Various other nuns can-can around the convent, or moon the vampire hunters, or break spontaneously into "Hooray for Captain Spaulding", thus confirming the insanity diagnosis.

The vampire hunters wait outside the convent that night, intending to follow the fiancée to Drac's lair, or maybe to stop her, I don't know exactly. Unfortunately, they fall asleep, and by the time they catch up with things, the fiancée and the evil dwarf are riding an evil motorcycle along Evil Road to the evil graveyard in Evil Canyon, where they are to rendezvous with the Dracmeister. The vampire hunters figure out where they need to go, and as they approach Drac's lair, they encounter more zany and evil characters. There is an ogress who eats babies, and Johnny Cochran ("if there's a stake in your fist, you must desist"), and a woman on horseback who apparently does some undefined evil things for Drac from time to time. The nuns are there, too, leading the fiancée aimlessly through some shipwrecks on the beach.


Cyrille Iste (the fiancee) and Sandrine Thoquet (the vampiress) showed everything. Magalie Aguado (the ogress) showed a breast. The evil dwarf remained clad at all times.

Drac comes within about five seconds of taking his bride with him to an eternal life inside a grandfather clock. Hey, it's quite a nice clock, and elegantly appointed in there. He even has broadband.

Sadly, the vampire hunters foil the Prince of Shadows.

 How? They find an ancient tableau of two now-skeletal bishops playing chess. They make the correct move on the chessboard, and Dracula is defeated, although the vampire hunters are nowhere near him. Obviously they have solved some ancient mystery and Drac's evil nocturnal minions simply must disappear.

But wait.


It ain't over till it's over. The evil dwarf is now on a boat with his lady vampire from the opening scene. She's tied to the mast, and the sun is coming up, so she fries to a crisp, and the evil dwarf, desperately in love with her and inconsolable over her loss, kills himself with his tiny little evil knife. Alas, poor Lumpy. I knew him, Horatio,

If you look closely at the picture to the right, you'll see it is (1) bloodless (2) a butter knife

But what's this? The scene shifts again.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • widescreen anamorphic 1.78:1.

  • in French with English subtitles, or dubbed in English

  • exclusive interview with Jean Rollin

We're on the beach now. The grandfather clock is there as well. Drac and his bride appear in broad daylight. They hold hands, and frolic in the shallows, unafraid of the midday sun. This is a new Drac, a Dracula who's not afraid to wear Dockers. No more stuffy coffins and clocks for this hepcat. No more musty tuxedos. Now he's a soft drink commercial kind of guy. You go, girlfriend. Just Dew it.

The end.

The Critics Vote

  • no meaningful reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 6.1/10. That is based on 15 votes. I think it is fair to say that it will finish much lower.
  • with their dollars: ?? Brief theatrical release in France in August, 2002.


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, I don't know. I guess it's a C-. It has some appeal to Euro-cult cineastes, and it could be hilarious if you were stoned. It is bad, but it is enjoyably bad.

Return to the Movie House home page