Billy the Kid Versus Dracula
Billy the Kid Versus Dracula is a 1966 American horror-Western film directed by William Beaudine. The film is about Billy the Kid (Chuck Courtney) trying to save his fiancée from Dracula (John Carradine). The film was originally released as part of a double feature along with Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter in 1966. Both films were shot in eight days at Corriganville Movie Ranch and at Paramount Studios in mid-1965; both were the final feature films of director William Beaudine. The films were produced by television producer Carroll Case for Joseph E. Levine.
|Billy the Kid Versus Dracula|
|Directed by||William Beaudine|
|Produced by||Carroll Case|
|Screenplay by||Carl K. Hittleman|
|Story by||Carl K. Hittleman|
|Music by||Raoul Kraushaar|
|Edited by||Roy V. Livingston|
|Distributed by||Embassy Pictures|
The film centers on Dracula's plot to convert Billy the Kid's fiancée, Betty Bentley, into his vampire bride. Dracula impersonates Bentley's deceased uncle, calling himself "Mr. Underhill", and schemes to make her his vampire bride. A German immigrant couple come to work for her and warn Bentley that her "uncle" is a vampire. While Bentley does not believe them, their concerns confirm Billy's suspicions that something is not quite right with Betty's uncle.
Eventually, the Count kidnaps Betty and takes her to an abandoned silver mine. Billy confronts the Count but soon finds that bullets are no match for a vampire. The Count subdues the notorious outlaw and sets out to transform Betty into his vampire mate. Just then, the town sheriff and a country doctor arrive. The doctor hands Billy a silver scalpel telling him he must drive it through the vampire's heart. Billy throws his gun at the vampire and knocks him senseless, making him easy pickings for a staking. With the Count destroyed, Betty is saved and Billy takes her away, presumably to live happily ever after.
- Chuck Courtney as William "Billy the Kid" Bonney
- John Carradine as Count Dracula (nameless in the film)
- Melinda Plowman as Elizabeth (Betty) Bentley
- Virginia Christine as Eva Oster
- Walter Janovitz as Franz Oster
- Bing Russell as Dan "Red" Thorpe
- Olive Carey as Dr. Henrietta Hull
- Roy Barcroft as Sheriff Griffin
- Hannie Landman as Lisa Oster
- Richard Reeves as Pete (saloonkeeper)
- Marjorie Bennett as Mary Ann Bentley
- William Forrest as James Underhill
- George Cisar as Joe Flake
- Harry Carey, Jr. as Ben Dooley (wagonmaster)
- Leonard P. Geer as Yancy (as Lennie Geer)
- William Challee as Tim (station agent)
The film was announced for production as early as June 22, 1965 in Daily Variety announcing that both Billy the Kid vs. Dracula and Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter. Principal photography began on June 22, 1965.. Both films were the last features directed by William Beaudine, Sr.. Beaudine spent the rest of his career following these films filming television. The film was completed on July 9, 1965 and was completed with budget surplus of $25,000. Each of the two features were shot in eight days in California's Red Rock Canyon, Corrigan Ranch and Paramount Studios. According to the assistant to the producer Howard W. Koch, Jr. "were made as cheap as movies can be made."
According to the American Film Institute, an official release date of the film is not confirmed. The film was shown as early as March 30, 1966 in New Haven, Connecticut. Box office reports in the September 28, 1966 issue of Variety stated that it was featured on a double bill that month as a reissue in St. Louis Missouri.
Billy the Kid Versus Dracula was released on DVD by the Cheezy Flicks label on October 25, 2005 and again on DVD by Cheezy Flicks in a compilation titled Shockorama: The William Beaudine Collection. The film is set for release on blu-ray and DVD by KL Studio Classics on August 20, 2019.
John Carradine later spoke on the film, "I have worked in a dozen of the greatest, and I have worked in a dozen of the worst. I only regret Billy the Kid Versus Dracula. Otherwise, I regret nothing." and again "My worst film? That's easy, a thing called Billy the Kid Versus Dracula.... It was a bad film. I don't even remember it. I was absolutely numb!" Critic and historian Tom Weaver stated that the film could have earned "the semi-respectability” of Curse of the Undead, another vampire themed Western "if it was truer to vampire lore, if it didn't feature a 'name' outlaw like Billy the Kid, if the vampire in it weren't Dracula, and if Carradine's performance was much better. (That's a lot of ifs.)"
- "Billy the Kid vs. Dracula". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
- pp. 280-281 Marshall, Wendy L.. William Beaudine: From Silents to Television, Scarecrow Press, 1 Jan 2005
- Boggs, Johnny D. (2013). Billy the Kid on Film, 1911-2012. McFarland. p. 180. ISBN 1476603359.
- "Billy the Kid vs. Dracula (1966)". Retrieved July 22, 2019.
- Boggs, Johnny D. (2013). Billy the Kid on Film, 1911-2012. McFarland. p. 181. ISBN 1476603359.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Billy the Kid Versus Dracula|