Did you get excited by this title? I know I did. What followed was a 90-minute disappointment from the 60’s. I’ll just go ahead and set the plot for you. Billy the Kid has settled down and is going to marry a woman. A vampire has Indians murder her mother and uncle (whom she’s never seen), so that he can steal the identity of the uncle. Wanting to claim the woman as his own bride, Billy the Kid and the vampire must throw down in a fight to the death. Sounds great, right? Here’s the poster, which looks supercool.
This film was originally shown with Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter as a drive-in double feature. To date, I have not been able to find a copy of the Jesse James film. I’ll begin by telling you of my problems with the movie.
- Billy the Kid is referenced as having killed men, and everyone knows who he is, but it isn’t until he kills a man in self-defense that he’s arrested. What? The sheriff knows about the other deaths, but doesn’t do anything until our “hero” makes a justifiable killing. *scratches head in confusion*
- Dracula is never stated or referenced at any point in the movie. Vampire is the term used to describe John Carradine’s role. At no point is a name given to him, other than the identity that he steals. John Carradine had played Dracula at least twice, years before this film was made. Most likely the filmmakers were trying to capitalize off of his previous roles and the name of everyone’s favorite vampire.
- Billy the Kid literally shoots one guy, who the vampire sends to dispose of him, and then unloads his gun into the vampire. “The West’s Deadliest Gun-Fighter” as the poster teases only gets into one gunfight and that’s while hiding behind a table. I want Billy the Kid to actually get into a gunfight.
- Finally, Billy the Kid shoots the vampire six times and is knocked out by his opponent. The sheriff and town doctor arrive, and the sheriff fires his six rounds into John Carradine with no effect. Billy the Kid comes to, grabs the sheriff’s pistol, and hurls it at the vampire, striking him in the face. This was enough to knock the vampire unconscious, so that Billy can drive a metal scalpel into the fiend’s heart. Yup, not a tried and true wooden stake, but the doctor read where you have to “drive a spear” through its heart. My biggest problem is that he rendered the vampire unconscious by THROWING a pistol at its face. Twelve bullets did nothing, NOTHING! But hurling a pistol puts it down for the count? I will admit, it was hilarious to watch, because I couldn’t stop laughing at this point.
So, this movie wasn’t terrible for the camp value. As a movie about either Billy the Kid, Dracula, or vampires, it was just awful. Even as a weird western if falls flat on its face. Again, now that you know, if you just enjoy campy, terrible movies (like I do) then this might be the perfect watch for you.
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you all about the Howling 2: Your Sister is a Werewolf. Enjoy!