Zora The She-Vampire #1 (2003)
By: J.R. McNamara on May 4, 2009  |  Comments ()  |  Share 
Cover Art
Cover Art
Publisher: Eurocomics
Art: Birago Balzano
Few people in the English speaking world know about a film made by the Manetti brothers in 2000 called Zora the She-Vampire. It's a comedy about the good Count Dracula (Toni Bertorelli)  let loose in a new millennium world where he falls for a young graffiti artist, Zora, played by the incredibly sexy Micaela Ramazzotti , and attempts to turn her to the dark side. Her only defence is hip-hopper MC Zombie (Chef Ragoo) and of course much hilarity ensues...
Unfortunately this travesty is based on a comic Zora La Vampiro that was published during the 70s and 80s, and was quite popular in Italy, where it originated from, and in France, where it was known as 'Zara la Vampire'. It was also collected on many occasions in various book forms in many European countries.
Zora was actually given an English translation by Californian comics company Eurocomics in 2003, but unfortunately only one issue was released. This may be because the first story, which of course features the origin of Zora, isn't really that good. It does feature liberal doses of tits and ass, but frankly, I'd rather see the real thing than drawn representations in the English version of a comics originally released 30 years earlier.
Zora, unlike the film, is set in London in 1859, and has us see Professor Pabst return from a three month sojourn to Transylvania, where he was researching the history of the nefarious Count Dracula. His efforts were to debunk the rumours circulating that the Count was actually a blood-sucking creature of the night. While searching the castle he comes across a frieze of a demon, with a large penis. Typically, as any good archaeologist would, Pabst immediately grabs the demon's penis and twists it, revealing a secret room, which contains the well-preserved remains of Count Dracula.
He returns to England with the body, and after announcing to his university contemporaries that he has succeeded in finding the remains of Dracula, he takes the corpse home for further investigation. Upon arriving home, he delights in being reunited with his voluptuous wife Joan, and his even more beautiful daughter, Zora, who tragically he lusts after more than his wife.
He reveals to them at dinner that he has the corpse of Dracula held in his laboratory, and Zora is fascinated by this. She visits her father while he starts his initial investigation of the body, and returns again later in the night for a private viewing. Whilst in the laboratory she is compelled to kiss the corpse of the handsome Count, after which she retires to the library to read about him, and discovers that the kiss of a virgin could revive him... and she is a virgin!!!
Midnight strikes and Dracula rises, searching the house until he finds Zora and feasts on her blood, but he does not complete the consumption as he wishes her to retain some of her life force so she can protect his body during the day... and so she becomes Zora the She Vampire!!
This comic is the tradition of Italio-porno comics from the 70s and 80s, and doesn't just tell a story, but provides a small bit of titillation with its depiction of boobs and butts, and the occasional schlong for the ladies. Later issues of the comic became more explicit, but none of that is really evident here, and considering this was the only release from Eurocomics, to see some of that you will have to pick up some of the original Italian fumetti. I am sure that the original text by Giuseppe Pederiali must have had more substance to it than this translation by Therese Mapes as the story just isn't very good, and the script is even worse!
The artwork by Birago Balzano may have been its saving grace, but I am not so sure that a comic could have survived as long as this one did with just drawings of boobies to sustain it, and as a horror fan I refuse to believe that we are so easily amused that this was as deep as the horror of these comics ever got.
If you can get it, this release from Eurocomics is worth it for the decent artwork, but unfortunately you will read the entire 118 pages in about 5 minutes, as it is extraordinarily simplistic. Like every issue of the original Ilation comics it has a great cover though!
Movie Score
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