Dracula: Prince of Darkness
What are the benefits of working for a monster, do you think? Because I can’t imagine they’d be very good bosses. They’re bound to be sticklers for time-keeping, you wouldn’t get much holiday, if any, and there would always be the possibility, let’s face it, that one day they’d just up and kill you in a fit of pique.
This, I think, explains why it takes ten years for Dracula to rise from the dead after being put there by Cushing’s Van Helsing at the end of Dracula. Because here’s Dracula’s servant Klove, right? All he has to do to bring his master back is kill any old bloke and drain his blood over what looks like a ready made stone mould whereupon you take one dead vampire’s ashes, mix it with horrible red gore and bob’s your uncle - Dracula! You can almost see Christopher Lee showing Klove this mould and walking him through the process.
Dracula: You put what’s left of me in here, add the blood and stand back and watch the magic happen. Alright Klove?"
Klove: And I can only perform this ritual on specific days? Like say, once every ten years?
Dracula: No, no. Any time is fine. Just add blood.
Klove: Special blood? A virgin born on a full moon maybe?
Dracula: Really, Klove. Any blood is fine.
Yeah, I wouldn’t be rushing to bring Dracula back from the dead if I were Klove. What’s in for him anyway, right? The chance to run around performing menial tasks while being yelled at by your boss? Being treated by everyone else with fear and suspicion and sometimes just actual full-on screaming whenever they see your face?
Because, and here’s the thing, if all it takes is his ashes (which he has), a special stone coffin (built for just this occasion) and literally anyone’s blood, then why on Earth does it take ten years? I know what Klove will say when Dracula raises an eyebrow in Klove’s direction when the Count looks at a calender (being still too new to un-life to speak).
"People never come anywhere near here! Nobody ever gets in the spooky carriage you set up, and local people won’t even admit there’s a castle!"
But then Dracula might look around at the lavish meal Klove has prepared for the guests and wonder where all that lovely food and wine came from. In fact, how has Klove kept himself alive for ten years? Wouldn’t he, at some point, have had to pop to the shops? In which case, how hard would it have been for Klove to hit any old blighter round the back of the head and dragged him up to the castle along with all the other supplies. He could have done that the day after Cushing left town. As any Hammer fan knows, there’s a steady supply of drunk idiots falling out of the back doors of village pubs and any one of them would have done, no problem.
No, Klove fancied running his own castle, that’s what happened. Years of menial service, and then boom! One Cushing later and you’re free! The boss has gone, he’s not coming back, and you have a castle to yourself. Maybe he worked on that novel he’d always meant to start, maybe he held extravagent and unforgettable parties, maybe he just put Dracula’s cape on a broom and yelled at it:
"No, you get the bloody door!"
Sort of a Home Alone for evil helpers, I suppose. But Klove knew one day the end would come. That one day some foreign idiots too dumb to listen to the bloke in the pub, or the monk in the pub in this case, would climb into Dracula’s haunted carriage trap, turn up on the doorstep and bring to an end the reign of Klove over Castle Dracula.
Still, it could have been worse. Dracula’s other servant Ludwig had to spend 10 years locked in a room by monks, and so desperate for a lovely bit of evil he’s reduced to eating flies.
You know, it must have been terrible for Klove to finally have go back to work for a Dracula who had temporarily lost all his famed subtlety and cunning. You can almost see Klove trying to patiently explain to the mute fanged idiot that there are plenty of other women in the world as Dracula gestures furiously at the back of the recently scarpered blonde, that they don’t have to make a day long ride in sunlight to go bite one particular woman when there were plenty within bat-distance, smoke-distance and wolf-distance that Dracula could munch on to his heart’s content . And all without Klove having to get onto a carriage and risk his bloody neck just because the Prince of Darkness can’t think straight when he’s horny.
Ah well, I suppose that’s what you get when you go to work for a monster. But can a lifetime of running around after one ever lead to anything except a pointless and inglorious death? Even if you do get your own castle and presumably the best food and drink money can buy for a decade, is it worth it? It would have be some pretty good drink, that’s all I can say. Speaking of which…