Evil of Dracula (1974)
The devil calls! The spirit calls! (悪魔が呼ぶ！霊魂が呼ぶ！)
Searching for flesh and blood, (血を 肉体を求めて)
tonight they are risen again: (今夜もまた蘇る)
the cursed tomb―! (呪いの檻―！)
Evil of Dracula (血を吸う薔薇 is a Chi o Sū Bara, lit. The Bloodsucking Roses)1974 tokusatsu horror film directed by Michio Yamamoto and written by Ei Ogawa and Masaru Takesue, with special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano. Produced by Toho, it is the third entry in Yamamoto's Bloodthirsty Trilogy. It stars Toshio Kurosawa, Mariko Mochizuki, Kunie Tanaka, Shin Kishida, Mika Katsuragi, and Katsuhiko Sasaki. The film was released to Japanese theaters by Toho on July 20, 1974, and was screened in the United States at the Toho La Brea Theater in Los Angeles in April 1975. UPA released a shortened, English-dubbed version of the film to television syndication in the U.S. beginning in 1980.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Professor Shiraki, a psychology teacher from Tokyo, arrives at a train station in Nagano to begin his new job at the Seimei School for Girls. He enters the station and asks the worker there how to find the school, but the worker only says there are no buses leading there and turns away. Shiraki walks outside where a car pulls up. The driver, after determining that the man is Shiraki, instructs him to get in and drives him to the school. As they drive to the school, Shiraki sees a car crashed on the side of the road and asks the driver about it. The driver responds that it was driven by a drunk driver, who was killed instantly. He had a passenger with him, the wife of the school's principal, who was also killed in the crash. The car finally arrives at the school, and Shiraki enters the principal's home. Shiraki calls out and asks if anyone is there, and sees a portrait of the principal and what appears to be his wife above a mantle, upon which sits a white rose. The principal then walks down the stairs and greets Shiraki. Shiraki offers his condolences to the principal and asks if he could visit his wife's grave, but the principal explains that, per a local custom, his wife's body must remain in a coffin for seven days before being buried, during which prayers will be offered for her resurrection. Shiraki says that he will see himself to his quarters, but the principal insists that he stay at his home for the night. He tells Shiraki to sit down and pours him a glass of aged brandy. He informs Shiraki that he has chosen him to succeed him as the principal of Seimei School. Shiraki can hardly believe it, saying he does not believe himself worthy of the job. The principal replies that he has become ill and cannot remain in charge of the school for much longer, and that he is sure Shiraki will make a fine successor. That night, Shiraki sleeps in a guest bedroom in the principal's home. He overhears what sounds like a woman singing and follows the voice to another bedroom. There, he sees a young woman in a blue nightgown looking through a balcony window. He asks the woman if she was the one singing, and she turns toward him, revealing that she has deathly pale white skin and is bleeding from her breast. Shiraki approaches the woman and points out that she is bleeding, but she opens her mouth, revealing sharp fangs and tries to grab him. Shiraki runs into the hallway, where he runs into the principal's wife, whose complexion is also ashen. As both women converge toward him, he is hit from behind and knocked unconscious. Shiraki awakens the next morning in the same bed where he was sleeping, with his neck still sore from where he was hit. He walks into the bedroom where he went the night before, unsure if what he experienced was a nightmare or not. He sees the room empty, and walks back downstairs. He notices that the cellar door is open, and walks down to the basement. There, he sees a white coffin with a white rose set on top of it. With his curiosity getting the better of him, Shiraki opens the coffin and finds the principal's wife inside. Feeling her hands, he determines that she is dead after all. The principal then enters the basement and angrily shouts at Shiraki that this is a sepulcher and that he is violating the sanctity of his wife's coffin. He instructs Shiraki to never come back down here, and Shiraki complies and leaves.
Shiraki heads to the tennis court on the school's grounds, where he meets three students: Kumi Saijo, Yukiko Mitamura, and Kyoko Hayashi, all of whom are roommates at the school's dormitory. Shiraki learns from them that a student, Keiko Nonomiya, recently went missing, an occurrence which they say is not at all uncommon at the school. They notice Professor Yoshii, a teacher of French literature and the principal's assistant who had driven Shiraki to the school the day before, watching them from afar, and remark that he is spying on them again. They jokingly say that Yoshii must have been the reason Keiko went missing. Shiraki tells them they should not say such things about Yoshii, and parts ways with them. Shiraki approaches Yoshii, who quotes a passage from French literature before walking away. Shiraki goes inside the dormitory and meets the school's doctor, Shimomura. Shimomura talks about how mischievous the students can be sometimes, and enthusiastically talks about how he has studied the folklore of the area. He says some of the stories include demons and vampires, and suggests to Shiraki that he could tell him some of them sometime before going on his way. Shiraki takes the key to Keiko's room and investigates it. He finds her student I.D. and opens it; seeing her picture, he is shocked to realize that she looks exactly like the young woman he saw in his nightmare. He then overhears the same singing he had heard in the dream and goes out into the hallway, where he meets Kumi. He asks Kumi if she knows what that singing was, but Kumi responds that it was a song Keiko enjoyed. He asks Kumi to come with him to the dormitory dean's office, where he tells her that he thinks he saw Keiko in his dream despite never meeting her before. He mentions that she was wearing a blue nightgown, and Kumi confirms that Keiko often wore a blue nightgown. Meanwhile, Kyoko ventures out of her room to look for Kumi, and steps on a white rose, the thorn cutting her ankle. She sees the door to Keiko's room open, and wanders inside. There she sees the principal, clad in a black cape with his skin a deathly pale white. He stares into her eyes, paralyzing her, then tears open her nightgown before biting down on her breast with his large fangs. When Kumi returns to her room, she finds Kyoko lying still in her bed, with a white rose in a vase on her nightstand. Akiko says that Kyoko went out to look for Kumi, but has not said anything since returning.
The next day, Shiraki gives a lecture to his students in his psychology class. He shows them several Rorschach inkblots and asks the students to write down what they see in each of them. Kyoko, now appearing sickly and pale, hallucinates one of the inkblots becoming covered in blood before screaming and fainting. Dr. Shimomura examines her and can find no visible signs of illness, though he notices that she has two puncture wounds on her breast. Even though the school is about to go on break, Kumi and Akiko decide to stay with Kyoko in the dormitory until she feels better. Shiraki, meanwhile, visits Dr. Shimomura at his office and expresses his suspicions that something unusual is happening at the school. Shimomura brings Shiraki to a graveyard and shows him an unearthed coffin. He then tells him a story about how, 200 years ago, a foreigner was shipwrecked and washed ashore in Japan. His name and nationality were unknown, and all that was known about him was that he was a devout Christian. Because Christianity was forbidden at the time, the man was tortured and persecuted until he finally renounced his faith and spit on the cross. But not only did the man lose his God, he also lost his mind. The man wandered aimlessly through the wilderness in search of salvation, but found nothing and was forced to drink his own blood. The man developed an insatiable bloodlust and attacked and killed a local 15-year-old farmgirl, then drank her blood. Horrified at what he had become, the man took the girl's body with him into the wilderness and began to weep for her. Miraculously, the girl came back to life, and when the nearby townspeople learned of this, they panicked and killed them both, burying their bodies inside a large coffin. Shiraki looks inside the coffin and finds it empty, with no sign of a body at all. He says that Shimomura must be telling him this because he does not believe it to be just a story. Shimomura tells him that he is right, and believes it may be connected with the events at the school. The two men then go to a bar, where Shiraki explains how the principal had selected him as his successor as soon as he arrived. Shimomura remarks that the same thing happened 10 years ago, when the principal told another teacher that he would be succeeding him. However, the teacher subsequently lost his mind, and is currently incarcerated in a nearby mental hospital. Shimomura and Shiraki head to the dormitory that night with the school's security guard to keep watch. Shimomura shows Shiraki the former teacher's journal, saying that he had been entrusted with it, but was too afraid to read it. The journal details how the current principal and his wife had both changed dramatically after he had become the principal, and that the same thing had happened to their predecessors. Most distressing is the journal's cryptic final entry, which states that if the devil walks among humanity, he must not appear as the devil. Rather, he must take the form of a man, hiding in plain sight. As the three men stand guard in the dean's office downstairs, the principal appears in the girls' room and attacks Yukiko, slashing her breast with his sharp claws and drawing blood. Before he can feed on her blood, the three men burst into the room, prompting the principal to flee through the window. As Shiraki and Kumi tend to Akiko, Kyoko grabs a pair of scissors and attempts to stab Shiraki. Kumi warns him and he is able to narrowly avoid being stabbed, but Kyoko soon flees the room. Shiraki and Kumi chase her, but she throws herself over the stairwell and breaks her neck. When Shiraki and Kumi bring Kyoko's body back upstairs, they find that Akiko has disappeared. Dr. Shimomura searches through the woods and finds Akiko meeting with the principal, with the principal embracing and feeding on her. Shimomura takes several photographs of them, but is discovered by the principal who attacks him and strangles him to death.
Shiraki calls the police, and two detectives, Takakura and Tsuchiya, arrive to investigate. Takakura determines that Kyoko's death is beyond the police's jurisdiction, as she appears to have committed suicide. Shiraki insists that a man broke into the room and attacked Akiko before Kyoko killed herself, and says he suspects the principal as the perpetrator. Begrudgingly, the detectives accompany Shiraki to the principal's residence and question him. The principal denies any involvement, while Yoshii supports his story by saying he was with the principal in his study the entire night. The principal laughs off Shiraki's claim that the perpetrator looked like the principal from behind, saying that Shiraki also looks like him from behind. After Shiraki and the police leave, Yoshii heads down to the basement, removes the principal's wife from her coffin, and begins passionately kissing her body. She is not dead, however, as she stirs to life and prepares to bite down on Yoshii's neck. Shiraki pulls Kumi aside and brings her to a darkroom to develop the photographs recovered from Shimomura's camera which was found in the woods. He tells Kumi that they have no allies, and that their enemy is not human. When Shiraki develops a photograph, it only shows Akiko. But upon further investigation, he realizes that Akiko is posed like she is in an embrace with someone, and determines that the principal must not be visible in photographs. Shiraki tells Kumi to stay with Akiko while he goes to investigate something. If he does not return, he instructs her to not let anyone enter the room. Shiraki then drives to the mental hospital and enters the cell of the former teacher who went insane. Shiraki tells the man that he does not believe he is insane, but rather that he uncovered something that nobody else believed and was deemed insane instead. The man still does not respond, and Shiraki resorts to reading aloud from the man's journal. As he reads the passage about the devil taking the form of a man, the teacher becomes distressed and turns to Shiraki, showing him a large scar on his neck. Shiraki understands that this means the vampire chooses a successor and proceeds to remove his face and wear it as his own, and quickly heads back to the dormitory. Inside the girls' room, Akiko becomes distressed and says that "the Madam" is calling her. Akiko leaves the dormitory and travels to the basement of the principal's house, where the principal's wife, the "Madam" she was referring to, bites her breast and feasts on her blood. She then places Akiko on a table and cuts off her face with a knife. The Madam's familiar, a raven, then helps her affix Akiko's face onto her own. The Madam, wearing Akiko's face, goes to the dormitory and tries to convince Kumi that she is Akiko, only for Kumi to see through the ruse. The Madam instead decides to attack Kumi, biting her on the chest and feeding on her blood.
When Shiraki arrives at the dormitory, he finds the Madam waiting for him, posing as Akiko. He asks her where Kumi is, but she only replies that Kumi is not there. She makes Shiraki follow her to the lake, where she asks him to marry her. Shiraki, aware of the vampires' plan, says that he knows that she is actually the principal's wife wearing Akiko's face, and that once he marries her, the principal will take his face as well. Yoshii, completely under the Madam's control, arrives to trap Shiraki. The Madam tells Shiraki that Akiko, Kyoko, Keiko, Dr. Shimomura, and countless other victims of the vampires are all at the bottom of the lake, then departs as Yoshii attacks him. Shiraki fights back against Yoshii and defeats him by knocking him into the lake, where he drowns. Shiraki runs to the principal's house and finds Kumi unconscious inside the Madam's coffin in the basement. As he tries to leave with Kumi, they are both attacked by the Madam and her husband. Shiraki tells Kumi to flee as he fights off the Madam, but the vampire catches Kumi in the living room and feeds on her. Shiraki escapes from the Madam and stops the vampire as he feeds on Kumi, and the two begin to fight. Kumi runs upstairs, pursued by the Madam, and fights with her in a bedroom. As the vampire throws him across the room, Shiraki manages to get his hands on an axe and throws it directly into the vampire's chest. The vampire hisses in agony and is stopped in his tracks, while the Madam collapses. Shiraki seizes the opportunity to run upstairs and reunite with Kumi, but as the two try to escape, the vampire pulls the axe from his chest and throws it at them, with it becoming lodged in a nearby wooden post. The vampire attacks Shiraki again, while the Madam gets back up and follows them downstairs. Shiraki pulls a hot poker from the fireplace and throws it at the vampire, impaling him through the heart. The vampire screams in mortal agony as Shiraki further drives the poker in by hitting it with a stool. As the vampire staggers forward, the Madam collapses to the ground. The vampire drops to his knees and falls face-first onto the ground, pushing the poker completely through his back. Both the vampire and the Madam begin to age rapidly, while the vampire weakly crawls forward and places his hand comfortingly on his wife's. They both continue to age and finally begin to decay until they are reduced to skeletons. Shiraki holds Kumi close as they look at the remains of the vampire and the Madam, both together even in eternal death.
Staff[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Evil of Dracula/Credits.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Michio Yamamoto
- Written by Ei Ogawa, Masaru Takesue
- Produced by Fumio Tanaka
- Music by Riichiro Manabe
- Cinematography by Kazumi Hara
- Edited by Michiko Ikeda
- Production Design by Kazuo Satsuya
- Director of Special Effects Teruyoshi Nakano (uncredited)
Cast[edit | edit source]
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Toshio Kurosawa as Professor Shiraki, psychology teacher at Seimei School
- Mariko Mochizuki as Kumi Saijo, student at Seimei School
- Kunie Tanaka as Dr. Shimomura, Seimei School doctor
- Shin Kishida as Principal of Seimei School, the vampire
- Mika Katsuragi as the Madam, the principal's wife
- Katsuhiko Sasaki as Professor Yoshii, French literature teacher at Seimei School
- Mio Ota as Yukiko Mitamura, student at Seimei School
- Keiko Aramaki as Kyoko Hayashi, student at Seimei School
- Yunosuke Ito as Detective Takakura
- Yasuko Agawa (as Tomoe Mari) as Keiko Nonomiya, missing Seimei School student
- Seiji Yoshida as Detective Tsuchiya
- Kazuya Oguri as Hosoya
- Ko Katayama as Shimazaki
- Haruo Suzuki as Security guard
- Tadao Futami as Train station worker
- Roger Breen as Foreign shipwreck survivor, the vampire
English dub[edit | edit source]
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Barry Haigh as Professor Shiraki / Detective Takakura
- Matthew Oram as Vampire / Dr. Shimomura
- Michael Ross as Professor Yoshii
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Monsters[edit | edit source]
Production[edit | edit source]
While the first two entries of the Bloodthirsty Trilogy, The Vampire Doll and Lake of Dracula, were each released a year apart, three years would pass before production of the third entry. Director Michio Yamamoto was reportedly offered the chance to direct a third film after Lake of Dracula was released, but was reluctant to accept. In addition, the producer of the first two films, Fumio Tanaka, was transferred from Toho Studios to Toho Eizo, and as such could not work on a third film. Tanaka later returned to Toho's film division in 1974, and believed that an occult horror film would be particularly successful due to the influence of The Exorcist the previous year. For this reason, production of a third entry in the Bloodthirsty Trilogy finally began. Yamamoto, who after directing Lake of Dracula had begun directing episodes of Toho's television drama Taiyō ni Hoero!, became bored with his current work and decided to return to direct the final entry in the trilogy.
Yamamoto chose Toshio Kurosawa, who had previously acted in films that he directed such as Resurrection of the Beast and I Knew the Rain, to star in the film. Kurosawa, who did not enjoy horror films, only accepted the role after persuasion from Yamamoto and with the condition that he did not have to view the finished film.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Evil of Dracula/Gallery.
Alternate titles[edit | edit source]
- The Bloodsucking Roses (literal Japanese title)
- Evil of Dracula: The Bloodthirsty Roses (U.K. DVD title)
Theatrical releases[edit | edit source]
U.S. release[edit | edit source]
Evil of Dracula was first screened in the United States at the Toho La Brea Theater in Los Angeles in April 1975. An English-dubbed version running two minutes shorter than the Japanese version was syndicated through UPA starting in 1980. This 81-minute television version was later released on VHS by Paramount Pictures in 1994. The original Japanese cut of the film would not become available on home video in the U.S. until Arrow Video released all three entries in the Bloodthirsty Trilogy on Blu-ray in 2018.
Video releases[edit | edit source]
Artsmagic DVD (2003)
- Region: 2
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese
- Subtitles: English
- Special features: Shin Kishida biography; portrait gallery; stills gallery; original promotional materials gallery
- Notes: Also released in The Bloodthirsty Trilogy Limited Edition Collector's Box with Legacy of Dracula and Lake of Dracula. Out of print.
Toho DVD (2005)
- Region: 2
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese
- Special features: Audio commentary by Kazumi Hara
- Notes: Re-released on February 7, 2014 and on August 19, 2015 as part of the Toho DVD Masterpiece Selection. Also released in 2005 as part of the Bloodthirsty Box with The Vampire Doll and Lake of Dracula.
Arrow Video Blu-ray (2018) [The Bloodthirsty Trilogy]
- Region: A and B
- Discs: 3
- Audio: Japanese (1.0 Mono), English (1.0 Mono)
- Subtitles: English
- Special features: Kim Newman on The Bloodthirsty Trilogy, a new video appraisal by the critic and writer; stills gallery; original trailers; reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin; collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Japanese film expert Jasper Sharp (first pressing only)
- Notes: Packaged with The Vampire Doll and Lake of Dracula. The English audio tracks for Lake of Dracula and Evil of Dracula are not listed on the packaging or the disc menus.
Toho Blu-ray (February 16, 2022)
- Region: A
- Discs: 2
- Audio: Japanese (DTS-HD Master Audio Mono)
- Subtitles: Japanese
- Special features: Audio commentaries for The Vampire Doll (Yukiko Kobayashi), Lake of Dracula (Fumio Tanaka), and Evil of Dracula (Kazumi Hara); trailers and still galleries for all four films
- Notes: Packaged with The Vampire Doll, Lake of Dracula, and Terror in the Streets.
Videos[edit | edit source]
Trailers[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Like Lake of Dracula, this film does not feature any appearance by Dracula despite the name appearing in its English title. While the previous film alluded to the character twice, Dracula is never mentioned in Evil of Dracula.
- While Shin Kishida reprises his role as the vampire from the previous film, Evil of Dracula does not share continuity with Lake of Dracula.
- Haruo Suzuki, an actor known for playing countless bit parts in Toho productions throughout the Showa era, once again plays a security guard in this film, which he also played in Lake of Dracula.
- Tadao Futami, an actor known for playing unsavory characters primarily in television dramas, portrays the worker at the train station in this film. Futami is the only actor to appear in all three entries of the Bloodthirsty Trilogy, having played the gravedigger in The Vampire Doll and the delivery truck driver in Lake of Dracula.
References[edit | edit source]
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