Blood Of The Vampire

Discussion in 'Movie Reviews' started by miketardis, Dec 4, 2006.

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  1. miketardis

    miketardis Sophomore Member

    BLOOD OF THE VAMPIRE [1958]
    At the immediate start of this film, Donald Wolfit is dispatched by having a stake driven through his heart - not really a vampire, but one of those scientists whose experiments with blood have been misunderstood. He is then brought back to life by his loyal one-eyed hunchback (oh, he also cannot speak) servant, bribes his way into running a Castle for the Criminally Insane, and continues his attempts to find all of the answers regarding the properties of blood ("We'll call this first one Type A, and this one Type B") - mainly those answers applicable to his own blood condition. Yes, the inmates prove to offer a consistent supply of subjects. This one seems much like a Hammer film of the classic period in that the acting is quite good (Barbara Shelley even has a nice part to play), period sets and music are near to Hammer standard, and the script by Hammer regular Jimmy Sangster includes elements that would appear in some Cushing/Fisher Frankenstein films, particularly THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN [1958], which was also written by Sangster, and FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL [1973]. I enjoyed BLOOD OF THE VAMPIRE so much that I looked it up in Phil Hardy's HORROR ENCYCLOPEDIA and discovered the producing team of Robert S. Baker and Monty Berman were responsible for several of my favorite little British genre films from this period, i.e., THE TROLLENBERG TERROR/THE CRAWLING EYE, JACK THE RIPPER, THE HELLFIRE CLUB (also on the R1 DVD with VAMPIRE) and THE FLESH AND THE FIENDS. Apparently, they did two versions of most of these, one for British and American audiences, one for Europe. Fortunately, the R1 DVD for THE FLESH AND THE FIENDS has both. The print for BLOOD OF THE VAMPIRE is not top drawer (mainly too dark, a few scratches), but Hardy mentions the movie was thought lost for many years until some prints were finally found in America. The good news is that the DVD is anamorphic, and THE HELLFIRE CLUB is in scope - the bad, neither is the European cut.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2006
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