“How does one fight the supernatural? A thing that is dead.”
A vampire (John Carradine) is in the Old West. While on a stagecoach he hears from one of the passengers that she is on her way to meet her daughter at her ranch. She shows him a picture of her young beautiful daughter. Along with her is her brother who has never met his niece. When Indians attack the coach and kill all the passengers, Dracula, who happens to be absent at the time, assumes the brother's identity calling himself James Underhill. He has designs for the beautiful Betty Bentley and plots to make her his mate. As a matter of fact he has been killing every young beautiful girl that has crossed his path.
At the Bentley ranch Dracula meets Betty (Melinda Plowman). She introduces a reformed Billy the Kid as William Bonney (Chuck Courtney) to the person she thinks is her uncle.
A German immigrant couple Eva (Virginia Christine) and Franz (Walter Janovitz) comes to work for Betty. Their daughter had been killed by a vampire. They warn Billy and Betty. Betty doesn’t believe them and Billy doesn’t know what to believe but he knows something isn’t right. No, something is very wrong.
“Billy the Kid vs Dracula” was released in 1966. It was directed by William Beaudine and written by Carl K. Hittleman. It is a gothic/horror/western which is part of a sub-genre called weird west. Weird west combines western elements with another genre such as science fiction, horror, occult or fantasy. Other movies in this sub-genre are “Cowboys and Aliens” or “Wild Wild West”. “Billy the Kid VS Dracula” goes along with its brother movie “Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter”. As with the Jesse James movie the camp factor for Billy the Kid is there, but for some reason it seems more, I don’t know, straight. Perhaps it’s the John Carradine effect.
John Carradine is an accomplished actor with over 350 movie credits to his name. He was in “BlueBeard”, “The Grapes of Wrath”, “Stagecoach” and, at one time, was a Shakespearian actor. But with a wife and five kids he probably took any job that came along. “Billy the Kid VS Dracula” was one of them. Not to say he was bad, on the contrary, his performance was good. It’s the movie that is bad. Not bad actually but, like “Jesse James meets Frankenstein’s Daughter”, it’s silly. And I mean in a good way. It’s light nonsense. The acting, script and plot are, shall we say, imaginative. It’s a bit of horror fluff, all the way to its happy ending.
The Wolfsbane that the Eva puts in Betty’s room is not Wolfsbane but Chinese lanterns. Real Wolfsbane is purple. Of course there are several things that don’t adhere to the vampire legend. This one walks around in the day. He doesn’t sleep in a coffin with earth from his homeland. And I guess a silver scalpel works just as well as a wooden stake for dispatching such a creature. Another interesting thing. The title calls the vampire Dracula, but no one in the movie does. They just say vampire. Billy the Kid is played by stunt man Chuck Courtney.