HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Marriage Story
Santa Claus is a Bastard
Star, The
Tom & Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  I Vampiri Buy this film here.
Year: 1956
Director: Riccardo Freda, Mario Bava
Stars: Gianna Maria Canale, Dario Michaelis, Carlo D' Angelo, Paul Muller, Wandisa Guida
Genre: Horror
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: When police find the body of a young woman floating in the river Seine, journalist Pierre Lantin (Michaelis) embarks on a personal crusade, aiming to solve the mystery of the so-called 'Vampire Murders.' The latest in a series of blood-drained corpses leads our intrepid newshound to a castle owned by the Duchess du Grand, whose neice, Gisele (Canale), adds further to a troubled history shared by the Lantin family and her own flesh and blood.

Often referred to as the first Italian horror film, I Vampiri started life as a bet between Riccardo Freda and two Italian film producers who wagered that Freda would not be able to shoot his proposed feature inside 12 days. The rest, as they say, is history. With 2 days left and only 50% of the script translated into film, Freda asked for an extension and was duly turned down. Freda walked, Mario Bava stepped in and managed to complete the film, courtesy of major script changes, the inclusion of stock footage and some truly inspired photography. The end result may occasionally reflect the rather bizarre production deal, but it's still a fascinating and visually impressive film which is strong enough to carry the weight of two great directors.

Freda's love of the macabre is well to the fore here, rubbing shoulders with Bava's already considerable talents to deliver suspense and shock in equal measure. As Bava's grand design unveils eerie candlelit tombs, hidden passageways leading to corpse-ridden rooms and, best of all, a remarkable transformation scene, the excellent cast grow in stature: Micahelis, promoted by Bava from supporting actor to major player; Canale, impossibly gorgeous as the cold-hearted beauty harbouring a dark secret; Antoine Balpetri's harrassed scientist, who is in just as much of a hurry as his director - in this case to produce results for a less-than model patient - and Paul Muller as a drug addict who exists on a supply-and-supply basis. Although Muller's character suffers from the directorial switch (the ligature marks on his neck are, literally, from another film entirely), this should not detract too much from a stylish study in terror which thoroughly deserved its promotion to DVD. While Image's disc presentation looks way too bright and washed-out in places, it generally provides a sharp, stable picture with bags of detail in those wonderfully spooky castle interiors. B+ for the transfer and the same for the film which marked the formative steps of a golden age.
Reviewer: Steve Langton

 

This review has been viewed 4486 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Mario Bava  (1914 - 1980)

Italian director/writer/cinematographer and one of the few Italian genre film-makers who influenced, rather than imitated. Worked as a cinematographer until the late 1950s, during which time he gained a reputation as a hugely talented director of photography, particularly in the use of optical effects.

Bava made his feature debut in 1960 with Black Sunday/The Mask of Satan, a richly-shot black and white Gothic gem. From then on Bava worked in various genres – spaghetti western, sci-fi, action, peplum, sex – but it was in the horror genre that Bava made his legacy. His sumptuously filmed, tightly plotted giallo thrillers (Blood and Black Lace, Hatchet for the Honeymoon, Bay of Blood) and supernatural horrors (Lisa and the Devil, Baron Blood, Kill, Baby...Kill!) influenced an entire generation of Italian film-makers (and beyond) – never had horror looked so good. Bava’s penultimate picture was the harrowing thriller Rabid Dogs, while his last film, Shock, was one his very scariest. Died of a heart attack in 1980.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: