What is THE BRIDE'S INITIATION? Watching this 67 minute low budget, Miami produced oddity is a rather distinctive experience. Unlike other hardcore Dracula films, such as Dracula Sucks, with its hodgepodge blend of gothic atmosphere with cheap violence and bad comedy, or Shaun Costello's sublime Dracula Exotica, with is beautifully unfolded love story set against odd political hijinks, THE BRIDGE'S INITIATION (which was shot as 'The Vampire' and first released as 'Demon's Brew') feels less like a well intentioned sexploitation take on Dracula as it does a strangely self reflective piece of regional drive-in filmmaking that decided to go hardcore.
The story makes little logical sense - as Dracula, who's completely unfazed by the sun, lives in Miami in a mansion along with a well made up witch who he keeps arguing with, but who makes him sperm cocktails to keep him young while he searches for a virgin to give him eternal life.
It's a film comprised of the type of humor middle aged, mostly Jewish, New Yorkers who were frequently involved with the production of sex films at the time, would find really funny, blissfully ignorant (or uncaring) of the implications of their flamboyant, eye shadow wearing, bitchy count sustaining himself on sperm cocktails. Or maybe not. After all, the film's punchline is an eye rolling gay joke, and then there's the self reflective quality...A detective, assigned to locate a missing bride (kidnapped by Dracula's chauffeur), upon hearing that there's a limo in Miami registered to Dracula, is utterly confused by how such a thing can be real. It's a sobering moment as, although many vampire films toy with the notion that their characters doubt the validity of supernatural forces, but very few go as far as to question the whole logic of their narratives in such a revealing way.
THE BRIDE'S INITIATION is the rare exception in that it asks the viewers to, essentially, step back and examine the whole conceit of the plot...that Dracula is living in Miami in 1972 and has a limo registered to him with the DMV. As insanely illogical as that may be, THE BRIDE'S INITIATION actually becomes very comfortable in the world it sets up. After all, if Dracula is concerned about proper registration of his car, why wouldn't he live with a witch and drink sperm cocktails. And why wouldn't he obsesses over a dumb platinum blonde he's never met in the hopes that she'll be his bride? Even the ending, as stupid as it is, has its own logic to it. And, considering the story as a whole, maintaining a semblance of logic is no small feat.