Movie Review: Billy the Kid Versus Dracula (1966)

Synopsis: While traveling and causing carnage in the Wild West, Dracula learns of a beautiful ranch owner and, desiring to make her his undead bride, poses as her never-seen uncle. There's just one person standing in his way, the young woman's fiance, Billy the Kid.

Who's in it? The movie stars John Carradine, Chuck Courtney, Melinda Plowman, Olive Carey and Roy Barcroft.

Review: I ended up watching this movie yesterday evening while my wife was finishing up a craft project. At first, I wasn't really sure what to expect from it and, in all honesty, thought I would end up turning it off after a few minutes. However, as it turns out, this movie was surprisingly good.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't watch this film and come away thinking it should have been nominated for an Academy Award. But, in my opinion at least, the best movies are ones that are just fun to watch and this film falls into that category.

I will admit, I wasn't a huge John Carradine fan the first time I saw him play Dracula (in House of Frankenstein). But, when he portrays the character in later movies (like this one) he is actually kind of creepy. And, in this case, he added just the right mix of horror to a movie that otherwise would have made a good western (complete with fist fights and cowboy shootouts).

The plot also proved to be a little more complex than I was expecting, largely because Billy (Courtney) was pretty much on his own throughout. The only people who believed him were a pair of immigrants (Virginia Christine and Walter Janovitz) who proved to be of very little help. Plus, he had to overcome interference from a jealous ranch hand (Bing Russell) and even the local sheriff (Barcroft). While I had little doubt he would find a way to save his future bride, I did wonder just how Billy would pull it off.

My only real complaint about the movie is the ending. This is mostly because the way he beats Dracula is a little lame (bullets don't hurt him but, apparently, lightly thrown objects do). However, I also didn't like how the movie didn't bother trying to clean up some of the loose ends, including the fact Billy was facing a potential murder charge and had broken out of jail. While the film still was fun to watch despite this, I think it deserved a better finish.

Final Opinion: Again, it's not a movie that deserved to win any awards. But, if you're looking for a film that is fun to watch, it's worth giving this one a chance.

My Grade: B


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