Decadence and Decay in Paul Morrissey’s Blood for Dracula (1974)

  • Ian Murphy Manchester Metropolitan University
Keywords: Dracula, Paul Morrissey, Udo Kier, Blood for Dracula (1974), Andy Warhol, Vampire, Decadence


Paul Morrissey’s Blood for Dracula aka Andy Warhol’s Dracula (1974) is awash with allusions to vampire lore and B-movie aesthetics. Yet, camouflaged beneath these aesthetics lies a perverse and melancholy message. In the disarmingly simple opening scene of Blood for Dracula, Morrissey employs a heightened artificiality and a depiction of decadence that foreshadows the downfall and the ultimate death of Dracula at the film’s conclusion. Through analysis of the mise-en-scène of this opening scene, in which Dracula applies cosmetics before a mirror, it will be discussed how Morrissey utilizes a heightened artificiality to signify Dracula’s decay, and to ambivalently symbolize the corruption and decline of the European aristocracy.