Not so much a magazine but rather a newspaper which made it’s debut in January of 1972 and if my research is correct came to an end in July of 1976. I’ve rarely come across these newspapers since my early years of collecting monster magazines and other bits of movie memorabilia. But after digging around the vault here at Mike’s Take I’ve come up with this 1976 edition for March as we look back to movie mags of the past.

Best of all it’s the “All Vampire Issue!” which suits me fine as a self proclaimed fan (and expert if I say so myself) of both the man on the cover and the vampire film in general. Feel free to look back at my Dracula in the Movies : From A to Z feature.

For a mere 75 cents, lets have a look inside the thirty-two yellowed pages of this month’s throwback.

First up on page 3 is “The Many Deaths of Dracula” by writer Tom Rogers. The article serves as a solid essay on the history of Dracula’s many film appearances up to 1976. He touches upon a lost Hungarian film of 1921 and launches into the history with Murnau’s unlicensed 1922 silent classic Nosferatu. Lugosi follows with the beginning of the Universal cycle and he mentions the existence of the Spanish version filmed simultaneously but offers up no information on the film. I’m not surprised because if I recall that version which is now available on blu ray was thought to be a lost film. Now it serves as a great argument as to which version of 1931 was better. Lugosi’s or Carlos Villarias.

Personally I think Lugosi is far better as the Count in Todd Browning’s version yet there is much to be said about the production values and overall delivery of the Spanish edition that was directed by George Melford.

Recounted are the subsequent films of the Universal series and from there things go dry for a few years with a stop for Dracula in Istanbul. Once Hammer Films cast Christopher Lee as the Count in 1958 things took off and the essay goes into detail on Lee’s many sequels as the Count and even refers to the Lee/Jess Franco adaptation of 1970 as one of the only films to come close to Stoker’s original story. Low budget titles are covered like A Taste of Blood (1967) and Blood of Dracula’s Castle (1967) on into the 1970’s when the Count made appearances opposite Santo the Masked Mexican Wrestler and the bizarre Andy Warhol’s Dracula. Plenty of foreign titles are tossed into the conversation like the Japanese flick Lake of Dracula (1971) before moving onto cameo appearances and undead characters that are very Dracula like etc.

Solid essay for readers of the day offering up plenty of information and name dropping many hard to find titles worth seeking out like Spain’s The Saga of the Draculas (1972) aka The Dracula Saga for it’s DVD release.

Next up is a history of Dracula in comic book form. Notably marvel’s The Tomb of Dracula. Never received these as a kid but sure wish I had. Gold Key’s Dark Shadows are referenced as well.

I’ve always been under the impression that the legend of Dracula was going into overdrive during the mid 70’s with Raymond T. McNally’s book In Search of Dracula (1972) on the market and he’s mentioned in a brief article of his desire to create an east coast Dracula Association and if you’d like more details his mailing address is included at Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

A short yet scathing review of the David Niven flick Old Dracula and a rather lengthy one of the ultimate John Carradine schlocker of 1966, Billy The Kid Vs. Dracula are also here in print.

A full two page interview with the cover boy, Chris Lee, is included and after reading it I can only say he’s echoed his many statements made here in the many years that followed up till his death in 2015. As for the Count, he ends the interview with ” I will never play that part again.” Well Chris, you kind of did in 1976’s satire Dracula and Son but I don’t hold that against you and as you don’t mention it in the interview I’ll only assume it was filmed afterwards. Taking it’s inspiration from the film poster, Taste the Blood of Dracula, is the centerpiece pull out for this edition …

There’s a guide included to touring Transylvania and a full three pages devoted to Vlad The Impaler, the historical figure long thought to be Stoker’s inspiration for his Count Dracula.

Next up is a full page review of the excellent Jack Palance/Dan Curtis telefilm of 1973 simply titled Dracula. Excellent in my opinion but less so by the reviewer, Tom Rogers. He did point out one interesting fact. In the lead up to the film’s debut on Network TV he points out that fans and their fangs were salivating at the film’s arrival only to be crushed and put off for a full a full four months. The original set date was postponed according to the article because “Nixon bumped Palance’s rendition of the Blood Count clear out of the box!” Here’s a cut and paste from the trivia section of the IMDB…. Was initially scheduled to premiere on American network CBS on October 12, 1973, but was pre-empted by the resignation of disgraced Vice President Spiro Agnew. As such, the film’s broadcast was delayed 4 months and went relatively unnoticed.

There’s some interesting tidbits about productions and what’s playing at the time. A Jaws reworking titled Grizzly is out (loved it). Hammer is wrapping up shooting on To The Devil a Daughter (loved it). Donald Pleasence is filming The Devil’s People in Greece. That film would be released as both The Devil’s Men and Land of The Minotaur. It warns us to be on the alert for The Great Spider Invasion (a laugher). The Swarm is in production. Burnt Offerings from Dan Curtis is on its way with Oliver Reed and Karen Black (loved it).

It goes on to make mention of Cornel Wilde directing a 12 million production called Return of the Mekon. I’ve no idea but the clipping tells me it was to be the first of 6 planned features based on a British comic strip. Anyone have any info on this supposed production feel free to leave me a note. Lastly this news feature talks of the supposed Superman film flying into production from a script by Mario Puzo to be directed by Guy Hamilton (not in the end) and with a $2,000,000 offer on the table for Robert Redford to star. (makes you wonder doesn’t it?)

I love reading through these old clippings to see what was supposedly in production knowning now that many were never made and those that were didn’t quite come out as the articles implied. Redford? Really?

Assuming you spotted William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy in the top right of the cover, there is indeed a brief piece on Gene Roddenberry’s troubles getting a script off the ground with Paramount for the eventual big screen film that came to be known as Star Trek : The Motion Picture in 1979. Also serves as a reminder of just how the rabid fans of the original series demanded to have their wish come true with the return of the Enterprise and it’s crew.

Now how about a steady diet of those money order ads I love and the many products and pieces of memorabilia I thirst for 47 years after this newspaper’s publication.

I guess there’s no love for Dudley Moore here. It’s strictly Raquel’s fans being marketed. Dudley doesn’t even rate a brief mention. Can anyone lend me the 5 bucks?

No doubt I’d pick up this novelization of the Price/Phibes flick if I ever come across it and gauranteed it’s gonna cost me more than the original one dollar price tag.

Here’s a pocket book I do have and plenty of other Pyramid editions which were must haves for film fans before the internet changed everything.

Put me down for that Exploration Set.

Now if you enjoyed In Search of Dracula then you’ll naturally want the sequel.

The last item I’ll feature is a MUST HAVE if I ever come across it. A Creature Features board game! If you’re a seller, I’m a buyer.

That’s all folks. See you with next months movie magazine throwback selection.