Directed by: Paul Ararow & Al Adamson
Starring: Larry Hankin, Paul Thomas, Clair Dia, John Carradine, Don ‘Red’ Barry, Geoffrey Land, Regina Carrol, Susie Ewing
Year :1978 / 182 minutes
Also known as : Svengali The Magician, Doctor Dracula
Acclaimed author John Wainwright (nicely played by familiar character actor Larry Hankin) develops an interest in both the occult and black magic. His creepy publisher Sir Stephen Phillips (a perfectly slimy and sinister portrayal by Norman Pierce) encourages Wainwright to commit the ultimate black rite ritual in the form of a human sacrifice to Satan. They choose beautiful burlesque dancer Trilby (a charming performance by fetching and slender brunette Jane Brunel-Cohen) as their victim.
Director Paul Aratow, who also co-wrote the compelling script with Cecil Brown, relates the engrossing story at a deliberate pace, grounds the premise in a plausibly sordid workaday reality, offers a neat take on the reincarnation theme, and tosses in a generous amount of yummy female nudity and steamy soft-core sex for extra sizzle. The solid acting by the sturdy cast keeps this movie on track: Tweed Morris as lustful and jaded bisexual cokehead Barbara, Paul Thomas as sleazy scumbag nightclub owner Roland, Vic Kirk as pathetic mute magician Bobo, Robert W. Carr snooty butler Jeremy, and Clair Dia as saucy hooker Mary. Moreover, in an inspired touch Trilby isn’t presented as a total virginal innocent. Both Robbie Greenberg’s sharp cinematography and the shivery score by Ed Bogas are up to speed. A cool little fright flick.