He Watched It Sober.

Trust us. We won't let this happen to you.


Billy the Kid

versus Dracula 

      "I haven't met a man yet that a bullet couldn't stop."

-- A Kid named Billy     

      "But I keep telling you -- he isn't a man!"

-- Old Doc Hull     




Gonzoid Cinema




"Got Booze?"

N'ycuk! N'yuck! N'yuck!


Watch it!




The Hell?!

Is it me -- or is that flying rodent sporting a top hat?

Sights &
Billy the Kid
vs. Dracula
 Circle Productions /
 Embassy Pictures Corp.

Newspaper Ads

The Final Films
of William "One-
Shot" Beaudine.

Billy the Kid vs. Dracula


Our story begins somewhere in the untamed west of America in the late 1800’s, where a wagon train of immigrant settlers circle up before bedding down for the night. Bringing up the rear of this caravan is the Oster clan: Poppa Franz (Walter Janovitz), his superstitious wife, Eva (Virginia Christine), and their teenage daughter, Lisa (Hannie Landman). Once settled, when they all finally drift off to sleep, we suddenly spy a large bat fluttering over their camp. Wearing what inexplicably appears to be a tiny top hat, as the flying rodent circles in closer and applies the brakes for a landing, it quickly transforms into Count Dracula (John Carradine). Maybe. More on this later...

Anyways, low on gas after such a long flight from Transylvania -- and boy are his arms tired *groan* -- the vampire attempts the old neck-sucking maneuver on Lisa. But lucky for the girl, the crucifix her mother gave her scares him off before she's sucked dry. Awakened by her screams, her parents discover four small puncture wounds on Lisa's neck. Without hesitation, Eva proclaims it to be the damnable work of a vampire, and the credits roll...

Come with us now to the days of yesteryear ... When from out of the west, in a cloud of dust, on a steed of white, shouting a hearty "I vant to suck your blood! Bleaauugh! rides … Count Dracula?!?

Well, we assume that this is Dracula because aside from the title card, our vampire is never actually referred to as the Transylvanian Count by name during the entire film. Oversight or last second rights clearing, who can say for sure, but it's just one of the many a'head-scratching moments you will have to endure while watching Billy the Kid vs. Dracula.

Back in the 1940s and '50s, writer and producer Carl K. Hittleman and director William "One Shot" Beaudine were a couple of guys who had a hand in a ton of westerns. By the time the '60s rolled around, the western was all but dead, and if it didn’t have John Wayne, Gary Cooper or Randolph Scott in it then nobody went to see them anymore. Needing to try something different, together, these two, along with producer Carroll Case, decided to cash in on the resurgent monster revival resulting in the infamous double-bill of Billy the Kid vs. Dracula and Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter

Alas no Wild Bill Hickock vs. the Wolfman or Buffalo Bill meets the Mummy. Ah well, tip your glass, folks, to what might have been.

While watching -- or enduring, depending on how you look at these things -- these pieces of sinister sagebrush it appears quite obvious that the creators did know a thing or two about how to make a western, but equally as obvious was the fact that none of them knew a whole lot about monsters and horror movies. To me, it seems that their entire grasp of the genre was based entirely on Bobby "Boris" Pickett's "The Monster Mash" -- which had debuted in 1962. They even blow the easiest vampire convention as their Assumed Dracula moves about during the light of day freely with no detrimental side-effects. But aside from these hiccups their film is solid enough. Unfortunately, too solid for it’s own good as the story picks up with a stagecoach as it hastily thunders toward the next weigh station. 

Behind schedule because they stopped and picked up an extra, stranded passenger -- you guessed it, Assumed Dracula -- we’re quickly introduced to the other travelers; and it's here we meet my favorite character, Joe Flake, a whiskey salesman (-- and Curly Howard’s stunt double. Woob-woob-woob-woob-woob!) Also on board are Mary Bentley (Marjorie Bennet), owner and operator of the Bar-B ranch, and her brother, James Underhill (William Forrest), whom she is bringing out for his first visit. Showing Assumed Dracula a picture of her daughter, Betty, the vampire is immediately smitten with her beauty, and as the conversation continues, she also mentions that Betty has never seen her Uncle James before. (Plot point! Plot point! Plot point!)

Arriving at the next station just as the sun sets, while the manager prevents Joe Flake from selling any firewater to the local Indians, the other weary travelers grub up and then bed down for the night. All save one: Assumed Dracula, who spirits his way into the Indian camp with his fangs out and kills a young maiden he had been eyeing earlier. The next morning, after the stage departs, her exsanguinated body is discovered. Seeking revenge, the natives go on the warpath and run the stagecoach down, massacring everyone on board. (Ah, Joe, we hardly knew yah.) Everyone that is except for Assumed Dracula, who conveniently missed the carriage’s departure. Seizing an opportunity, he flies to the massacre sight post-bloodbath, rifles through the corpses, and assumes the identity of Uncle James.

Meanwhile, at the Bar-B, Billy the Kid (Chuck Courtney) has put his lawless days behind him and diligently serves as the ranch's foreman. And we should also note that Billy is Betty's fiancé. This, of course, doesn’t make Red (Bing Russell -- Kurt Russell's dad), the former foreman and former boyfriend, very happy as he jealously watches Billy help Betty (Melinda Plowman) with her target practice. With the stage due any minute, the lesson ends so Billy can head into town to meet Mrs. Bentley and Uncle James while Betty finishes getting ready for the new arrival.

Meanwhile, when Assumed Dracula arrives at the local saloon, he announces himself as Mr. James Underhill and checks into a room. Outside, Billy runs into the Sheriff (Roy Barcroft -- the bad guy in almost every old serial you can think of), who brings news of the stagecoach massacre. And as Billy offers to break the tragic news to Betty about the loss of he whole family, the bartender overhears them and says that Mr. Underhill is still alive. Assumed Dracula, whose been eavesdropping, then presents himself just as the Osters show up. Recognizing him as the man who attacked her, Lisa screams, raising the Sheriff's interest in the tall stranger up a few notches. But using the pilfered picture of Betty to convince them that he is who he says he is, "Uncle James" also tells the lawman to ignore those superstitious peasants before retiring to his room. With that, Billy glumly heads home to notify Betty about her mother's death.

Later that night, Assumed Dracula breaks into the Oster's room and kills Lisa. The next day, after Assumed Dracula moves out to the Bar-B, a distraught Eva, convinced that he’s the blood-sucking culprit, tracks down Billy and begs him to keep an eye on this "Uncle James." Feeling sorry for the old woman, Billy offers her and her husband a job at the ranch. Eva accepts, and quickly begins hanging wolfsbane all over the place.

Which would be great if there was a werewolf running loose.

Things settle down for awhile -- until Red and Billy finally have it out over Betty. And oddly enough, Red kicks the crap out of our hero. Limping into town, Billy visits Doc Hull (Olive Caray -- picture Dr. Quinn: the old and cranky and declining years) to get patched up. Since her answer for any ailment is a good stiff drink, the two share a bottle. At this point, Billy, whose become suspicious of "Uncle James", tells her all about the vampire stuff. Coincidentally, it just so happens that the Doc has an old book of folklore handy, and together, they brush up on the mythical creatures of the night ... Armed with this new information, Billy tracks Betty and Assumed Dracula down at the old silver mine. Informed that Assumed Dracula is inside exploring, Billy takes the opportunity and confronts Betty with his mounting suspicions. Told he's crazy to even think such a thing, Billy begs her to at least use a mirror on her uncle, to see if he casts a reflection, and then it will be settled. She agrees. However, Red has found out that Billy, Betty and Eva are conspiring against "Uncle James" and rats them out. And as Betty’s legal guardian, Assumed Dracula takes control of the estate, locks his niece in her room until further notice, and fires Billy, forcing him off the ranch at gun point.

Later at the saloon, an extremely intoxicated Red pushes things too far and draws on Billy. After gunning him down, Billy sneaks back to the ranch but arrives too late: Assumed Dracula has already feasted on Betty’s neck. But with Eva's help, Billy manages to sneak the girl out of the house and takes her to Doc Hull. As the Doc examines Betty’s canine-like wounds, the Sheriff shows up to arrest Billy for killing Red. Even though it’s a clear-cut case of self-defense, he still must stand trial. And while Billy sits in jail, Assumed Dracula tracks Betty down and steals her back, but not before Doc Hull manages to hold a mirror up to him -- and sure enough, he casts no reflection. 

That seals it then; he is a vampire, and they finally have proof! After busting Billy out of jail, Doc Hull tries to give him a metal stake to use on the vampire but the gunslinger insists that his pistol will do the trick, and then heads for the old silver mine, the vampire's obvious hang-out. Knowing that bullets won't kill the undead, Doc Hull quickly rounds up the Sheriff, and with the stake still in hand, they head out of town in hot-pursuit!

Carrying the still unconscious Betty into the mine, Assumed Dracula has apparently been busy decorating it up, and as soon as he's finished turning her into a vampire, it will be their new home for all eternity! With fangs bared he closes in for the kill, but before he can finish the dastardly deed, Billy barges in -- guns a-blazing! Emptying his six-shooter with no effect, our hero then proceeds to get his butt kicked. Again. With Billy out of the way, Assumed Dracula turns back to Betty. Fortunately, he’s interrupted again; this time by Doc Hull and the Sheriff, who uselessly empties his six-shooter into the vampire, too. But when Billy wakes up, he grabs the empty gun from the Sheriff and throws it at Dracula! Amazingly enough, for once, this old trick finally works when the gun conks Assumed Dracula in the head and knocks him silly. Taking Doc Hull's stake, Billy is quickly all over the prone body and soundly pounds it into the vampire’s heart. 

As he whacks away, watch as a bat slips out from under the Assumed Dracula's cloak, which flutters outside and lands. Amazingly, no one seems to notice this. I pondered the cinematic impact and symbolism of this scene, but since it has absolutely no bearing on the rest of the film, and makes my head hurt, let’s just forget that I even brought it up. Back to the film. We're almost done.

As Assumed Dracula’s body decomposes, Betty wakes up, hearty and healthy, and they all lived happily ever after.

The End

As I try to grasp for the right words to describe Billy the Kid vs. Dracula, all I can come up with is disappointing. If you go in expecting something as awful as that title would imply, like I did, the film will disappoint because it simply just isn’t all that bad. Personally, I was hoping for something along the lines of Robot Monster, and all I got was a Halloween episode of Bonanza.

Make no mistake, there are plenty of goofs: the top hat wearing bat on a string, the bad jump-cut F/X during the transformation scenes, and John Carradine's red-tinted eye-bulging death-stare brought only fits of laughter instead of the menace it intended. And as the hero, Billy sure gets his ass kicked a lot.

And as I put this review to bed I must ponder one more thing: the bite marks on the victim’s neck. There were four puncture wounds instead of the customary two, and I wondered if that made this film noteworthy as the first canine vampire bites in screen history. Or was old Assumed Dracula just not as good a shot as he used to be?

Billy the Kid vs. Dracula (1966) Circle Productions Inc. :: Embassy Pictures Corporation / P: Carroll Case / D: William Beaudine / W: Carl K. Hittleman / C: Lothrop Worth / E: Roy V. Livingston / M: Raoul Kraushaar / S: John Carradine, Chuck Courtney, Melinda Plowman, Olive Carey, Roy Barcroft, Bing Russell, Virginia Christine, Walter Janovitz
Originally Posted: 03/02/00 :: Rehashed: 04/24/09

Knuckled-out by Chad Plambeck: misspeller of words, butcher of all things grammatical, and king of the run on sentence. Copy and paste at your own legal risk. Questions? Comments? Shoot us an e-mail.

How our Rating System works. Our Philosophy.