Fellow Svengoolie SvenPals will be excited about his upcoming big broadcast premiere of a cult horror-western classic with one of cinema’s horror icons.
Original 1966 Embassy Pictures theatrical trailer for “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula.”
In the latter part of his career, he worked on low-budget productions. Beaudine specialized in multiple film genres, earning him the nickname of “one-shot;” according to the Hollywood Walk of Fame’s article on Beaudine.
Beaudine’s 1966 horror-western production was written by Carl K. Hittleman and was produced by Carroll Case; under the “Circle Productions” moniker. “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” (1966) was released theatrically by Joseph E. Levine and his art-house/independent distribution firm, Embassy Pictures; according to IMDB.
That same year, Beaudine also worked on another Circle-Embassy horror/western, “Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter” (1966).
Who was in “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” (1966)?
The players who appeared in the 1966 William Beaudine-Circle-Embassy horror/western production were John Carradine (as Count Dracula), Chuck Courtney (as William “Billy the Kid” Bonney); Virginia Christine (as Eva Oster), Walter Janovitz (as Franz Oster), Hannie Landman (as Lisa Oster), Harry Carey Jr.* (as Ben Dooley) Melinda Casey (as Elizabeth “Betty” Bentley, Casey was billed as Melinda Plowman in the film), George Cisar (as Joe Flake), Bing Russell (as Dan “Red” Thorpe), Olive Carey (as Dr. Henrietta Hull), Roy Barcroft (as Sheriff Griffin), Richard Reeves (as saloonkeeper Pete), Marjorie Bennett (as Mary Ann Bentley), William Forrest (as “the real” James Underhill), Lennie Geer (as Yancy), Charlita (as Indian maiden Nana), Max Kleven (as Sandy Newman), William Challee (as station agent Tom) and Jack Williams (as Duffy).
Horror film personality John Carradine previously played the role of Count Dracula (a.k.a. Baron Latos) in Erle C. Kenton’s Universal monster productions of “House of Frankenstein” (1944, with Boris Karloff, Anne Gwynne, Lon Chaney Jr. and Glenn Strange) and “House of Dracula” (1945, with Strange, Jane Adams and the junior Chaney).
Virginia Christine previously appeared in two Universal horror productions, she played the role of Princess Ananka in Leslie Goodwins’ “The Mummy’s Curse” (1944, with Lon Chaney Jr.) and her role of the Lady of the Streets in Jean Yarbrough’s “House of Horrors” (1946, with Rondo Hatton). She was known for her latter role of “Mrs. Olson” in TV commercials for Folgers Coffee throughout the 1960s. Harry Carey Jr. appeared in numerous westerns throughout his screen career. His father, the senior Harry Carey* appeared in numerous features from 1910 until his death in 1948. The junior Carey’s real-life mother was Olive Carey.
Originally created in 1961
According to Ivan Spear’s March 1961 article in BoxOffice Magazine, producer Carroll Case and screenwriter Carl K. Hittleman crafted the idea of “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” with producer-director Hal Roach Jr., the son of veteran Hollywood mogul Hal Roach. The idea for “Jesse James Meets Frankenstein” (the future “Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter”) was also originally planned by the trio, under the “Showcase Enterprises” moniker. Case, Hittleman and the junior Roach were unsure if the horror-western production ideas were satirical or comedic.
A “youthful” look for Carradine’s characterization of Count Dracula in “Jesse James vs. Dracula”
According to Richard Harland Smith’s article on “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” (1966) for Turner Classic Movies, Carradine’s hair was dyed black in order to give the aging actor a “youthful” look for his characterization of Count Dracula in the aforementioned film. This was different than his earlier Universal appearances of Count Dracula in 1944 and 1945 (Carradine’s hair was dyed gray).
Released by Embassy as a double-feature presentation with Beaudine’s “Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter” under the “Shockorama” moniker
Acording to IMDB, Embassy released the Beaudine-Cirlcle horror/western productions of “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” and “Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter” (both 1966) were released as a double-feature presentation under the “Shockorama” moniker.
Be sure to watch/record Svengoolie’s big broadcast premiere of “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” (1966), this Sat. on Me-TV!
With John Carradine, Virginia Christine, Harry Carey Jr.*, Olive Carey, Melinda Casey, Walter Janovitz, Hannie Landman, George Cisar, Bing Russell, Roy Barcroft, Richard Reeves, Marjorie Bennett, William Forrest, Lennie Geer, Charlita, Max Kleven, William Challee and Jack Williams; you will not want to miss out on Svengoolie’s big broadcast premiere of “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” (1966) this Sat. on Me-TV! This will be a first for many fellow super SvenPals! Highly recommended with Sven’s additional fun facts, Doug Graves’ evening parody song and Kerwyn’s “mail call” segment! You will not be disappointed!
In the Frederick, Maryland/Washington, D.C. area: WTTG-5.3/Cable 196/FiOS 489/Antietam Cable 194 (also on QAM digital 68.6 for Antietam cable subscribers)
In the Baltimore, Maryland area: WBAL-TV 11.2/Cable 208/FiOS 460
In the Hanover/Gettysburg/York, Pennsylvania area: WGAL-TV 8.2/Cable 248/FiOS 460
Live-tweet with all fellow coast-to-coast SvenPals everywhere during #Svengoolie’s big broadcast premiere of “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” (1966) on Me-TV this Sat.!
All official Svengoolie and Me-TV items are now on sale through the official Me-TV online store, as part of the summer sale! Be sure to type in the coupon code “METV15” at the online checkout to receive 15% off the original price of an official Sven or Me-TV item from the Sven/Me-TV store! Makes a perfect gift/present for any fellow super SvenPal or Me-TV aficionado! Again, be sure to enter the coupon code “METV15” before checkout (offer good until Sun., June 2) to receive 15% off! And to quote Sven’s legendary phrase for the official Sven/Me-TV online store, “no personal checks!”
(In place of “The Wild, Wild West” for the summer): Me-TV has officially announced that the classic Columbia “Three Stooges” short comedies will be coming to the network Sat. evenings (with two classic shorts beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Central) as part of the “Summer of Me” lineup, beginning on June 1! A selection of the Stooges’ classic shorts will be shown Sat. evenings from June 1-Aug. 24; featuring Moe Howard, Jerome “Curly” Howard, Larry Fine and some of the latter Columbia Stooge shorts with Shemp Howard!
And speaking of Sven and the Stooges: Fellow super SvenPal David Fuentes (through his official “Terror From Beyond the Dave” YouTube channel) has a selection of classic WCIU-TV 26/”The U” “Stooge-a-Palooza” segments; featuring Svengoolie’s alter-ego and Stooge aficionado/expert Rich Koz!
Cameo mentions of fellow super SvenPals!
Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals who saw Svengoolie’s classic “On the Road”/”Nightmare on Chicago Street” 2018 segment after the conclusion of his May 25 big broadcast of “The Ghost of Frankenstein” (1942) may have spotted fellow super SvenPal Nanette Keir in Sven’s classic segment! Sven’s “Nightmare on Chicago Street” segment originally aired during his Jan. 2019 big broadcast of “The Ghost of Frankenstein” (1942) on Me-TV! And for those that missed the recent May 25 rebroadcast of the segment, Sven’s segment with Nanette is available on the YouTube channel of the author of “Silver Screen Reflections!”
Congratulations again, kudos, two thumbs up and three cheers to Nanette from all of us fellow super SvenPals! We’re all jumping for joy!-C.H.
Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow Chicago/Berwyn/Antioch super SvenPals and beyond! This will mark the first big week of the PM&L Theatre stage rendition of Christopher Durang’s Tony Award-winning play, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike;” featuring fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Jamie Lee and the PM&L players ensemble! Directed for by Mark Badtke for the PM&L players, Jamie will be reprising her role of Nina in the upcoming PM&L Theatre rendition of Durang’s play! The first big week of the PM&L edition of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” will begin this Fri., May 31 at 8 p.m. (local time), Sat., June 1 at 8 p.m. (local time) and Sun., June 2 at 2:30 p.m. (local time). Additional performances will take place on Fri., June 7 at 8 p.m. (local time), Sat., June 8 at 8 p.m. (local time), Sun., June 9 at 2:30 p.m. (local time); Fri., June 14 at 8 p.m. (local time), Sat., June 15 at 8 p.m. (local time) and the finale on Sun., June 16 at 2:30 p.m. (local time)! Online ticket orders are available for purchase and ticket orders at the PM&L Theatre box office are on sale (according to the PM&L Theatre website, ticket prices are $15 and $18). Tickets are selling fast, purchase yours today!
The entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals from coast-to-coast are rooting and cheering for Jamie and the entire PM&L Theatre players on their upcoming production of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” this week! Two thumbs up, congrats, kudos and three cheers to Jamie and the entire PM&L crowd from all of us fellow super SvenPals! We’re all jumping for joy! Break a leg and have fun! -C.H.
In connection to “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” (1966):
Complete 1966 Embassy Pictures “Shockorama” press kit for exhibitors, featuring “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” and “Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter;” from Zombo’s Closet classic/cult horror film blog
Rare Embassy Pictures “Shockorama” trailer for the double-feature presentation of “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” and “Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter;” from Notgrillo Collector’s YouTube channel
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