Dracula has returned from America to his native Transylvania. After killing a young barmaid to feed on her blood, he resumes his journey to the ancestral castle that is his home. As he approaches, he thinks back on his human life when he ruled these lands. He thinks about his first wife, whom he exiled with their daughter Lilith and how Lilith would become his eternal adversary; about his death in battle and resurrection as a vampire; and about the murder of his beloved second wife, Maria. Upon entering his castle, he discovers it has been ransacked, and many of his possessions stolen. Most significantly, his prized portrait of Maria has been taken.
In England, Dr. Charles Seward (the great-grandson of Dr. John Seward, one of the group who hunted Dracula as described in Bram Stoker's novel), returns from visiting his estranged wife and their two daughters to the laboratory where he is working on what he considers a highly important cure to an undisclosed disease. He makes a breakthrough and goes to inform his employer.
Dracula invades the home of the town's mayor whom he has charged with watching any who may approach his castle. After the mayor tells him he saw no one, Dracula kills the mayor's wife, then leaves to meet with his gathered minions to assign them the duty of gathering information about the transgression. One of his minions, Maltz, is mysteriously abducted.
Seward informs his unseen employer that he is ready to begin tests, but the shadowed figure demands that the serum be put to use immediately. Against Seward's objections and better judgement, he injects the serum into his employer's captive, the vampire Maltz.
Later, Seward acts as a stranded motorist on a country road. A woman stops her car to assist, but she is attacked and bitten by Maltz. However, the serum prevents Maltz from being able stomach her blood. She escapes and runs to her nearby home. When her husband lets her in, she is succumbing to some kind of flesh-eating virus, which he immediately contracts.