doing an internship in hopes of being made a full vampire someday. No promises and only the smallest per diem. I think that's why Renfield wound up eating bugs -- even going to the dirty water hot dog cart, there's no way you can eat lunch within 10 blocks of the Conde Nast building for less than $4 a day. The Countess insists that burning Dracula has freed her, but Sandor isn't so sure. So, while she sits in her backless evening gown pumping away at the piano and murmuring cheery platitudes (well, cheery for her anyway), he's sitting in the corner getting all negative...
"Twilight... long shadows on the hillsides," tinkle keys, tinkle keys.
"No, no, peaceful shadows. The flutter of wings in the treetops."
"The wings of bats...." gloats the heavily eyelinered loyal retainer.
"No! No, the wings of birds," tinkle keys, tinkle keys. "From far off, the barking of a dog."
"Barking because there are wolves about..."
You know, Sandor is pretty defiant for a henchman. What happened to "Yes, master"? And so the Countess finally gives up, puts on her velvet cloak and her hypno-ring and goes out looking for trade... i mean victims. Although one gets the distinct sense that the Countess gets more than a cup o' hemoglobin off of those she selects for drainage. She seems to prefer blondes. But more on that later....
crosses the line from spunky and sassy to just plain fucking snotty very quickly. And keeps going.
elegant Countess Dracula normally would not give these losers the time of day... well, time of night. But she's a good dinner guest and listens bemusedly to Jeffrey's stories about Van Helsing -- he's been engaged by the defense -- and the joshing about vampires from people with too much upper teeth and not enough chin. ("It seems this fellow Van Helsing shoved a stake through this Dracula fellow's heart.")
She puts up with the idiots and their bragging and sips her tea -- because you know the Countess would "never drink... wine." I feel like this at parties a lot: Sit in the most comfortable chair, half-listen to people babble about bullshit they know little-to-nothing about. Except i'm usually drinking... wine. She comments disdainfully, "Possibly there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your... psychiatry." (The Countess is big on the pause. Her delivery is very Dietrich and, honestly, who would make a better vampire than Marlene Dietrich?) But when Jeffrey begins claiming that "sympathetic therapy can release the mind from any obsession," she begins to think that maybe there's some sort of Freudian/Jungian equivalent of a stake through the psyche that could free her from a life of blood-drinking and signs up for some appointments with the shrink.
Guess which one's the bitch you want to stab? Hint: It's not the vampire.
Of course, she can only meet at night, which means she receives him in another gorgeous, glittering evening gown and annoying Janet throws tantrums makes repeated prank phone calls. Yeah... spunky and adorable. Interestingly, the Countess grasps the idea that vampirism could all be some kind of obsession, some kind of self-mindfuck. Psychiatrist Jeffrey gives her some bullshit advice, thinking she's talking about quitting smoking rather than killing people, and runs off to do something else. As the Countess wonders what to do now, Sandor appears with an ingratiating smile on his face. The Countess announces, "We are going to the studio. Tonight I... paint."
And so begins the most famous bit of Dracula's Daughter, the lesbian seduction scene. Sandor picks up a "model" on the street and brings her to the "studio." Jesus, don't we all know by now that anyone who wants you to go with them to "model" is a serial killer. He takes the world's prettiest and best-groomed homeless girl to the Countess, who gives her a sandwich and makes her move. It's about as subtle as "take your top off and have some wine" can be.
The vampire metaphor usually leans sex -- and, really, it's rather pre-code Hollywood clear in this film that there's more, ahem, activity, than merely bloodless lips pressed to punctured jugular. But in Dracula's Daughter, it feels more like our symbolism is more narcotic-oriented. The Countess tries to feel happy, Sandor reminds her everything is shit, she gets high. The Countess seeks help, it does not happen immediately, she gets high.
Her victim winds up in the hospital with "anemia and amnesia" under the care of Dr. Jeffrey -- wotta coincidence! The Countess simultaneously arrives at his office in yet another sensational ensemble, begging him to "go to the Continent" with her to somehow cure her vampirism. "The Continent." How fucking classy is that? She's like some supervillain cross between Gloria Swanson and Jackie O. that galavants around Europe, wearing couture and drinking the blood of attractive bisexual blondes.