HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lupin the Third vs. Detective Conan: The Movie
Gangsta
3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt
Magic Serpent, The
That's Not Me
There Goes the Bride
Billy the Kid versus Dracula
Liquid Sword
I, Tonya
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
Bad Match
Güeros
Anchor and Hope
One, The
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Lucky
Still of the Night
Home Sweet Homicide
Mannaja - A Man Called Blade
Spitfire
Killers from Space
Castle of the Creeping Flesh
Ghost Stories
Wild Boys, The
Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai, The
Four Rode Out
Lethal Weapon 3
Kit Curran Radio Show, The
D.O.A.
End, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
   
 
  Blood of the Vampire Shoot The Juice To Me, BruceBuy this film here.
Year: 1958
Director: Henry Cass
Stars: Donald Wolfit, Vincent Ball, Barbara Shelley, Victor Maddern, William Devlin, Andrew Faulds, John Le Mesurier, Bryan Coleman, Cameron Hall, George Murcell, Julian Strange, Bruce Wightman, Barbara Burke, Bernard Bresslaw, Hal Osmond, Milton Reid
Genre: Horror
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is well known that the best way to prevent a vampire from returning from the dead to drink the blood of the living is to drive a stake through its heart, and so it is tonight when the body of the recently deceased Dr Callistratus (Donald Wolfit) has that action performed upon it, the locals believing he was a supernatural menace when he was alive. But he had an ally in the deformed Carl (Victor Maddern) who fetches the drunken local doctor to perform a heart transplant on the body, which he does, then is murdered by Carl to cover up the surgery...

But actually Callistratus is not a vampire in the traditional sense, for in spite of being raised from the dead in the first few minutes he didn't go around biting jugular veins to slake his thirst, this was a more scientific approach we were seeing. You could observe it was a cross between the Frankenstein and Dracula movies with which the British studio Hammer made their name, and that was no coincidence for those efforts shared a writer in Jimmy Sangster, who was on script duties here as well. He had just enjoyed a huge international hit with Curse of Frankenstein which is likely why Blood of the Vampire more closely resembles that.

Rather than the Hammer Dracula which was shot almost simultaneously with this, hailing from producer Monty Berman, a man who prompted a few Hammer aping movies for a brief period, in some territories doing even better than them thanks to his habit of filming stronger versions for overseas, the British version being rather toned down in light of the harsher censorship the country was labouring under at the time. Certainly here the purpose appeared to have been to craft something as lurid, if not more, than the Frankenstein picture, and you can see its almost slavish methods of trying to one up that rival in practically every other scene.

For the lead villain they hired Wolfit, a reliable old barnstormer of the theatre who made occasional big screen appearances; his reputation was as a ham, which naturally was precisely what a horror such as this needed and didn't they know it. Although offscreen for the best part of twenty minutes as the plot is established, when he did show up he made his impression as a lipsmacking villain of the Tod Slaughter school, indeed if Slaughter had survived you could envisage him taking just this type of role. That setting up sees unfairly accused doctor John Pierre (Vincent Ball) lose his court case and sent to an asylum.

Guess who runs the asylum? That's right, Dr Callistratus, and he has orchestrated the delivery of Pierre to the castle which is heavily guarded with wardens and fierce dogs, with word only gradually getting out that there is an inordinate amount of inmates dying there. That's because the head of the asylum is experimenting on them all the better to understand their blood, which he taps into his own veins to keep himself alive, and Pierre seems like the very chap who can allow him to move on and make a breakthrough which would cease the necessity of such an operation; our hero is suitably appalled, and for a long stretch Blood of the Vampire comes across like a prototype for The Shawshank Redemption as he and his cellmate Kurt (William Devlin) do their very best to escape. They're not alone, as Pierre's fiancée Madeleine (Barbara Shelley starting her run as a great Briitsh horror star) plots to free them only to end up a potential victim herself - you know how this will go from the start, a bloodthirsty nature marking it out as not slick, yet enjoyable. Music by Stanley Black.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1328 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
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
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
  Afra Khan
  Dan Malone
   

 

Last Updated: