‘Blood for Dracula,’ Christopher Lee Classics Among Horror Titles Due on Blu-ray From Severin and MVD Jan. 31

Blood for Dracula; two Christopher Lee classics, Crypt of the Vampire and Castle of the Living Dead; and Legacy of Blood are on the slate of horror titles being released on Blu-ray Disc Jan. 31 from Severin Films and MVD Entertainment Group.

Immediately after completing Flesh for Frankenstein, writer/director Paul Morrissey and star Udo Kier created the Euroshocker Blood for Dracula (1974), featuring cunning political allegory. In the film, desperate for virgin blood, Count Dracula (Kier) journeys to an Italian villa only to discover the family’s three young daughters are also coveted by the estate’s Marxist stud (Joe Dallesandro of Morrissey’s Flesh, Trash and Heat). Stefania Casini (Suspiria) and Bicycle Thieves director Vittorio De Sica co-star with an unforgettable cameo by Roman Polanski. The film is scanned uncut in 4K from the original negative for the first time ever. Special features include “Trans-Human Flesh And Blood,” an interview with Morrissey; “Rubinia’s Homecoming,” an interview and location visit with Casini; “Blood for Udo,” an interview Kier; “Little Big Joe,” an interview with Dallesandro; “Conversation With a Vampire,” an audio interview with actress Milena Vukotic; “Bloodthirsty,” an interview with assistant director Paolo Pietrangeli; “Black Cherry,” an interview with art director Gianni Giovagnoni; “The Blood of These Whores…,” an interview with Murderous Passions author Stephen Thrower; “Sad, Romantic Dracula,” an interview with soundtrack composer Claudio Gizzi; “The Roman Connection,” an interview with producer Andrew Braunsberg; and trailers.

Legacy of Blood (1978), a loose remake of writer/director Andy Milligan’s own classic The Ghastly Ones, delivers a twisted family-gathers-in-creepy-mansion-for-inheritance saga filled with hysterical half-wits, inappropriate psychics, 1970s Staten Island standing in for late 1800s New England, and insane explosions of graphic carnage. With all pre-print materials believed to be destroyed, the thought-lost complete theatrical version of the film has been scanned in 2K from the only known 35mm release print. The television version featuring additional footage is presented from a video master. Special features include “Blood or Horror,” an interview with executive producer Ken Lane; “Legacy of Chris,” an interview with actor Chris Broderick; and a TV spot.

In the gothic shocker Crypt of the Vampire (1964), inspired by Sheridan Le Fanu’s novella Carmilla, Christopher Lee delivers a rare hero turn as nobleman Count Karnstein, whose foreboding castle teems with ancestral curses, unnatural desires, philosophical hunchbacks and grisly acts of vengeance. Adriana Ambesi (Fangs of the Living Dead) co-stars in this Spanish-Italian co-production — also known as Terror in the Crypt and Crypt of Horror — directed by Camillo Mastrocinque (An Angel for Satan) from a screenplay by giallo master Ernesto Gastaldi (All the Colors of the Dark) and Sergio Leone protégé Tonino Valerii (My Name Is Nobody). The release features a 2K scan from a fine-grain 35mm master print. The release includes a trailer.

Castle of the Living Dead (1964), presented in the original uncut version scanned in 4K from the Italian negative, is the final film of Christopher Lee’s early 1960s European period. Lee stars as a 19th century Count who invites a theatrical troupe for a weekend of horrors that boasts an enthusiastically creepy performance by Lee, startling locations in Lazio, Italy’s Orsini-Odescalchi Castle and the screen debut of Donald Sutherland as both a doofus gendarme and a hunchbacked hag. Philippe Leroy (The Night Porter) and Jacques Stany (Violence in a Women’s Prison) co-star in this French-Italian co-production from American producer Paul Maslansky — who would go on to produce Death Line and the “Police Academy” movies — and fellow expat writer/director Warren Kiefer, after whom Sutherland would name his son. Special features include audio commentary with Mondo Digital’s Nathaniel Thompson and film writer Troy Howarth; audio commentary with film writer Kat Ellinger; “From the Castle to the Academy,” a career interview with master producer Paul Maslansky; and “The Castle of the Mystery Man,” Mavericks of Italian Cinema author Roberto Curti on writer-director Warren Kiefer.

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