Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


THE KISS OF THE VAMPIRE (1963). Director: Don Sharp.

Gerald (Edward de Souza of The Phantom of the Opera) and Marianne Harcourt (Jennifer Daniel) are traveling by motorcar in Europe, when they are forced to stop in an obscure village due to mechanical problems. At the inn they encounter the pleasant and dignified Dr. Ravna (Noel Willman) and the slightly manic Professor Zimmer (Clifford Evans of The Curse of the Werewolf), who not only gives them a warning about Ravna but about even staying in the village overnight. Ravna, along with his son Carl (Barry Warren) and daughter Sabena (Jacquie Wallis), is the head of a cult of vampires, and they've set their sights on initiating poor Marianne into the bloodsucking fold. Can Gerald put a stop to this dastardly plan with the help of Professor Zimmer? The Kiss of the Vampire badly needs the presence of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, and it simply lacks the usual Hammer panache, although the climax when hundreds of bats invade Ravna's castle is memorable. Don Sharp also directed Curse of the Fly.

Verdict: Ho hum Hammer horror film. **1/2.

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