Dracula Lives #4
Issue(s): Dracula Lives #4
He almost gets to play hero when he finds the director, McGruder, abusing actress Liza Pyne.
But Belski winds up killing McGruder, and Liza is apparently suffering from codependency and says she was actually ok with McGruder hitting her.
The stress is too much for Belski, and he tries to bite Liza's neck as if he were a real vampire.
The studio is closed down for a week while Belski goes into hiding. In the meantime, Belski is contacted by Dracula, who is not pleased with the way Belski has been depicting him.
Belski is too far gone for even Dracula to intimidate him.
Things come to a head when Liza sneaks into the Mallet studio with her boyfriend Gary Stone. Gary runs at the first sign of trouble. Belski attacks Liza and then Dracula shows up again.
He turns both Liza and Belski into vampires. They wake up in time to attack Gary when he comes to identify Liza at the morgue.
Mallet is obviously a stand in for Hammer Studios, but Dracula actually likes the way Christopher Lee (and Bela Lugosi and John Carradine) has depicted him.
In the Tomb of Dracula series, Marv Wolfman regularly has Dracula curse Bram Stoker for fictionalizing his life, so seeing him confront a Hollywood actor playing Dracula is potentially interesting. But having Dracula only attack one that isn't very good kind of makes him more like a film critic than anything.
Also in this issue, there's a story with Dracula meeting Countess Elizabeth Bathory, the lady who bathed in the blood of virgins to try to retain her youth (Dracula thinks it's a waste of perfectly good blood), and another from his early vampire days where he returns to his castle to drive out the remaining Turks and also fights a vampire masquerading as a priest.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The main story, which takes place over the course of a week takes place concurrently with Werewolf By Night #16-19. Louis Belski going crazy and being hunted by the police is mentioned in the Werewolf issues, and then the scene at the end, with Belski and Liza Pyne waking up to attack Gary Stone, continues directly in Werewolf By Night #19. I have Dracula here after his presumed death in Tomb of Dracula #21. Dracula Lives #5 also takes place shortly after this, with Dracula having gotten on a plane leaving LA, and then Dracula #6 will reference Dracula's fight with Werewolf By Night in Tomb of Dracula #18, which leads directly to the "death" in #21.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Tomb of Dracula vol. 4
Inbound References (5): show 1974 / Box 8 / EiC: Roy Thomas
1974 / Box 8 / EiC: Roy Thomas
Wonder if Dracula had an opinion of Lon Chaney, Jr. playing "Alucard" in "Son of Dracula"?
Posted by: Brian Coffey | January 1, 2018 9:50 PM
It's interesting to see that Dracula had good opinion on Bela Lugosi, while hating on Belski. "Louis Belski" is obviously Bela Lugosi, not only in the name, but also in his broken career...
Posted by: Piotr W | January 2, 2018 8:38 PM
The plot was perhaps distantly inspired by the final section of The House That Dripped Blood (1971).
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | January 2, 2018 11:32 PM
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