One of the great white whales of psychotronic cinema, Deafula is as strange and singular as it sounds and possibly the most original Dracula adaptation ever. It’s also the first full length feature film ever created entirely in sign language (with oddly affecting dubbed-in dialogue for a hearing audience). Our vampire, Steve, is a preacher’s son and a mild-mannered theology student with sad, gentle blue eyes and a blond seventies shag, who isn’t bothered by crucifixes or walking around in daylight but is bothered a lot by the inexplicable trail of blood-drained corpses that lie in his wake.

When the bloodlust comes upon him, he transforms into Deafula, an opera-caped, black-haired vampire (with an inexplicably giant schnozz), who sucks on attractive ladies but also does things like mind-control a violent junkie biker to drive himself and his girlfriend off a cliff. Only after Steve’s father lies dying of a heart attack does he direct him to his mother’s friend, a powerful occult wizardess who was at Steve’s birth. With her bug-eyed, handless (the deaf version of a mute!) hunchback assistant by her side, she reveals the satanic truth of Steve’s heritage and what he must do to rid the evil from his nature.

Dir. Peter Wolf, 1975, 16mm, 95 min.