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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Billy the Kid Vs Dracula")

 

Directed by William Beaudine
USA 1966

 

Billy the Kid vs. Dracula is an outrageous low-budget horror-western directed by cult filmmaker William Beaudine (The Ape Man, Voodoo Man). Traveling by stagecoach, Dracula (the great John Carradine) plots to convert Billy the Kid’s (famed stuntman Chuck Courtney) fiancée, Betty Bentley (Melinda Casey), into his vampire bride. When the sinister bloodsucker kidnaps Betty and takes her to an abandoned silver mine, Billy must confront the Count, but soon realizes his six-shooters’ bullets are no match for the undead—and an all-out battle of good vs. evil ensues. Filmmaker Carl K. Hittleman (36 Hours) wrote the screenplay for this wild cult classic, beautifully shot by Lothrop B. Worth (Gog) and featuring Marjorie Bennett (What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?) and Harry Carey Jr. (Cherry 2000).

***

The venerable John Carradine gets his first chance to play the fanged count in 20 years (the last time was House of Dracula), albeit in one of the weirdest scenarios ever committed to film. Arriving in the Wild West via stagecoach, Drac installs himself in the home of a pretty rancher (Melinda Plowman) by convincing her (through hypnosis) that he is her long-lost uncle. Unfortunately for the Count, one of her hired hands is none other than legendary outlaw Billy the Kid (Chuck Courtney), who has been trying to put his wicked ways behind him. Billy takes a shine to his boss but starts to have his suspicions about her creepy "uncle." Eventually, the reformed desperado straps on his six-guns again to do battle with the Count, ably assisted by the local sawbones who must be an acquaintance of Dr. Van Helsing, since he obviously knows such helpful arcane knowledge such as (gasp) "The Vampire Test!" A camp anti-classic from William "One-Shot" Beaudine", who shot it back-to-back with yet another Wild-West-Horror mutation, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 10th, 1966

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:14:22.458        
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,641,534,902 bytes

Feature: 20,443,797,504 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.19 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1554 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1554 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,641,534,902 bytes

Feature: 20,443,797,504 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.19 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Audio Commentary by Film Historians Lee Gambin and John Harrison
Trailers for other films


Blu-ray Release Date:
August 20th, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 8

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (August 2019): Kino have transferred the so-bad-its-good western/horror crossover Billy the Kid Versus Dracula to Blu-ray. It may be inexplicable to some but this film carries immense nostalgia for many young boys who saw it on a Saturday afternoon matinee. Aside from some light surface scratches and frame-specific marks the image quality is very strong with bright colors and reasonable detail in the film's many close-ups. There is a high bitrate and I'd have to say the 1080P image quality is surprising in its strength.

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. It sounds decent with some depth in the gunshots. We get versatile journeyman Raoul Kraushaar's (often credited as Ralph Stanley) dramatic and western themed music - who is credited with scores for 1953's Invaders from Mars, September Storm - 3D, and Fritz lang's The Blue Gardenia. It adds some hokey flavor to the proceedings. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

Kino add a new audio commentary by film historians Lee Gambin and John Harrison who extol and enjoy the film with references to similar 'cross-over' western genre films like The Valley of the Gwangi. I know this isn't Mystery Science Theatre but listing the flagrant continuity errors, visible wires and obvious Carradine doubles would have furthered the amusement, imo. It's quite good though with plenty to discuss in the film's short 1 1/4 hour running time. BTW, 'Dracula's name is not mentioned once in the film. They both like the film and there is nothing wrong with that. Strangely, I do too. There are also some trailers for other films.

What can be said. I think Billy the Kid Versus Dracula holds some nostalgic entertainment value for many as this was a staple on Saturday afternoon TV for many years. Something about its over-the-top Carradine stares and simplicity gives it a weird charismatic vibe. The Blu-ray commentary is another bona-fide selling point along with the very pleasing image. Sure - you will get a kick out of this if you have not seen it.

Requesting Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter as a Blu-ray double feature might be too selfish.

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


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Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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