Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hammer + Universal = Great Vampire Movie

Kiss of the Vampire (aka "Kiss of Evil")(1962)
Starring: Edward DeSouza, Cifford Evans, Jennifer Daniel, Noel Willman, and Barry Warren
Director: Don Sharp
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

When a honeymooning British couple, Gerard and Marianne (DeSouza and Daniel) run out of gas on an isolated road, local nobleman Dr. Ravna (Willman) comes to their aid. Their gratefulness soon turns to horror, as Ravna is the leader of a cult of vampires, and he has chosen Marianne to the latest addition to the membership roster.

"Kiss of the Vampire" is one of Hammer's best vampire movies. Although a bit slow at times, it opens strong, offers one of the creepiest sequences in any Hammer movie, and a very unusual and refreshing ending.

The overall structure of the film reminds me more of an unofficial remake of Edgar Ulmer's Boris Karloff/Bela Lugosi film "The Black Cat" from 1934 (review here) than it does any other Hammer vampire film. In fact, as I think about it, the story here is almost exactly like that of "The Black Cat", except the cultists are vampires instead of Satanists.

Whether you're a lover of all things vampires, or someone who can appreciate a finely told gothic horror tale, this is a movie you should seek out. That goes double if you enjoyed "The Black Cat", as this unofficial remake/"inspired by"/"ripped off from" little-noticed Hammer classic is definately a film you'll get a kick out of.

No comments:

Post a Comment