Lake of Dracula epitomises the substance which resides at the kernel of J-Horror with its evocative imagery and atmospheric style. On face value, the film has very little to offer in plot, but poses some interesting characters and has a psychologically eerie feeling throughout.
In many ways, there are similarities to its namesake in that a vampire arrives on the scene and quickly makes a bride in the supported female character.
Where it does stray in the storyline is through its central figure, Akiko (Midori Fujita), who was scarred from a chance encounter with the vampire (Mori Kishida) 18 years prior. In the same confrontation, Akiko discovers a dead woman and is unable to shake that image from her mind.
So when a white coffin turns up from overseas and the body count begins to rise, along with mysterious bite holes in Akiko’s sister, Natsuko’s neck, the nightmares are about to begin again.
It is down to Akiko and her doctor boyfriend, Takashi Saki (Osahide Takahashi) to confront the evil and put a stop to any further torment that has arisen in their seaside community.
Lake of Dracula buries itself in vampirism folklore and rests on this subject to paint and weave its visuals. There is a decent backstory to the vampire that is revealed towards the end of the movie and the inevitable climax, which admittedly is a little low in its delivery, but there is enough here to whet the appetite of the average horror enthusiast, especially for those interested in the historical vault of Japanese horror.
As part of three vampire films produced by Toho Studios in the 70s, I’m intrigued to watch their other features The Vampire Doll and Evil of Dracula. Another couple for the horror movie bucket list.
- Saul Muerte