“Children of Dracula”: Listen to them, the children of the night… what music they make!

By on February 5, 2019

“What you are about to see is not a work of fiction,” we’re told by narrator Joe Estevez in Children of Dracula (1994), “… but a documentary examination of vampire behavior, featuring real interviews with real vampires.”

In producer/director Bret McCormick‘s video documentary about blood fetishism — now streaming on Night Flight Plus — we learn all about the modern-day vampire’s daily routines… what they eat, where they sleep, and how they feast on real human blood.

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At the beginning of this nearly hour-long made-for-TV documentary — co-produced by McCormick and David Stephens — our informative narrator sets the sombre tone for this macabre look at people with an obsession with drinking blood (“clinical vampirism,” more commonly known as Renfield’s syndrome).

“The undead: the ghost or spirit of a dead person, which issues forth at night to suck blood from the living. In English we refer to them as vampires, but the belief in blood-sucking entities from beyond the grave pre-dates the Anglo-Saxon culture, Christianity, and even Judaism. The ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Babylonians, the Greek culture… all espouse the version of the vampire myth.”

“But vampires are no longer confined to the realm of legend and folklore. What of these strange creatures who are compelled to drink blood? Join us as we examine the strange belief and practices of modern day vampires in… Children of Dracula: Real Interviews with Real Vampires.

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The interviews are broken up by a lengthy series of clips from movies like Eddie Romero’s insane Twilight People (featuring featuring “Darmo” the Bat Man), as well as Andy Warhol‘s Dracula, and Stephanie Rothman’s The Velvet Vampire.

There are also re-enactment sequences directed by Christopher Romero, who shares a co-directing credit on IMDB with McCormick, who is best known as the infamous producer of such underground classics as The Abomination, Repligator, Ozone! Attack of the Redneck Mutants and many more (he also has quite a few acting credits as “Max Raven”!).

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We’re then told about advertisement placed in major Los Angeles and Dallas-area newspapers back in 1994 which asked: “Are you a vampire? Vampire’s victim? Have fantasies about Vampires? Film producer wants to interview you.”

The response, according to the producers of this documentary, was simply astonishing.

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Approximately 78% were fans of vampires or vampire enthusiasts, but even more surprising was the fact that 18% of the people who responded to the ad claimed to be actual real-life blood-drinking vampires, including a mullet-headed dude named “Ason,” who describes how he has difficulty obtaining blood forced him to go to restaurants and order his meat raw.

Another four percent were, we’re told, “zany vampire imitators,” like Elizabeth Webber.

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Read more about Children of Dracula below.

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“I believe that blood houses the soul,” says one of our favorite modern-day vampires, “Steven” (wearing dark sunglasses and a long crucifix earring in his right ear, with his hair slicked-back, he looks a little like Dave Vanian of the Damned).

Steven’s rambling, nearly incoherent stream-of-consciousness religious-tinged rant continues:

“It houses all the chemical components of… see, your brain works on a chemical and electro basis. So, if blood can — it says as Dracula thinks it must be — then blood, well it is.. if you don’t have blood in your body, you won’t exist. I get to quote from the bible, because it’s just a book, but God thinks it’s an abomination for anyone to drink blood, but the flesh and the blood thereof, which is the life thereof, ye shall not eat.”

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Steven: “Uh, it says that it Genesis 9:4, and I have theories as to why that was written down is because you are not to partake of another one’s soul or their essence. That is sacred to them, and it is only for them, but when you drink blood you get a part of that, and you get a part of what they feel.. whether, if they’re manic depressive, you sure as hell get that. Uh, I’ve only done that once and it was a mistake ’cause I cried about some girlfriend that I lost that wasn’t even my girlfriend.”

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Children of Dracula isn’t just rambling interviews with blood-drinking real-life vampires, as we also get to hear lots of academic-sounding intonations by vampire researcher Andy Wait, author and film scholar John McCarty and clinical psychologist Dr. Marshall Voris, who certainly must know what he’s talking about because he’s seen seated at a desk loaded down with impressively-thick textbooks, with a chalkboard behind him with lots of confusing chalk markings.

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According to this 2012 article published on the Huffington Post blog, people continue to claim to be vampires and confess (or maybe profess) to drinking human blood.

They are clinically said to be suffering from Renfield’s Syndrome (otherwise known as clinical vampirism), which involves the delusion of actually being a vampire and feeling the need for human blood.

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“If vampirism is a response to a rigid social structure,” our narrator asks us towards the end of the documentary, “what does the proliferation of vampires say about our culture? Is vampirism a trend which will come and go in a number of years? Or will the vampire simply lie dormant in the collective unconscious, only the emerge again and again in successive generations? Who are the vampires? Your co-workers, your neighbors… your children? How do you identify them, and if you do, what then?”

What then, indeed?

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Watch Children of Dracula — which would make a great double-feature along with I Heart Monster Movies — on Night Flight Plus.

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.