“Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” (1966)
There isn’t a great deal of merit in William Beaudine’s “Billy the Kid vs, Dracula”, but the film makes an excellent case for the furtherance of black and white in shooting horror films; the garish, overly bright television lighting emphasizing the cheaply manufactured production values, while making it obvious that there isn’t a hint of mood visually attempted. In fact, the only semblance of atmosphere in the entire film is the score by Raoul Kraushaar, with otherworldly elements introduced with fanfares of frenzied harp runs and theremin stings.
Riding a stagecoach, Dracula (who is never identified as such, though his inappropriate western garb consisting of a lined cape and top hat gives him away in the first scene) is introduced to Mary Ann Bentley (Marjorie Bennett) who shows him a photo of her lovely daughter Betty (Melinda Plowman), with whom the vampire is immediately smitten. The next morning, the occupants of the stagecoach are massacred after Dracula slays an Indian maiden (or Hollywood’s version of a squaw, who wears enough cosmetics to go undercover as a Goldwyn Girl) during a rest stop. He then assumes the identity of Betty’s uncle- whom she has never met but was also on the stagecoach -in an attempt to accost the girl and make her his mate. Fortunately, Betty has a protector in fiancee William Bonney (Chuck Courtney), whose ability with a six-shooter is meaningless against the undead, but who will continue to act rashly despite the fact that his dismissal of knowing advice places Betty in desperate jeopardy.
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