Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day 275: Kiss of the Vampire (1963) - Rank 3.5/5


Third in the vampire series by Hammer films and second film released sans Christopher Lee, "Kiss of the Vampire" stands up fairly well against its predecessors. This time, the victims are a honeymooning couple (Gerald and Marianne) that decided that Bavaria is a prime place to experience a romantic getaway (I'm sure that was a fad that had a half-life of two weeks in the early 20th century). The pair are invited to a dinner hosted by Dr. Ravna and his family in their luxurious and ominous castle. Marianne is turned into a vampire shortly thereafter and Gerald seeks the help of Dr. Zimmer (Clifford Evans acting qua Dr. Van Helsing) to bring his bride back.

The vampires in the film reflect the trend that was stared in "Brides of Dracula," where blood-suckery is an allegory for the cold nature of aristocracy. The parties held at the Ravna Castle are reminiscent of the celebration staged during the final act of Corman's "Masque of the Red Death" - colorful revelry masked by an ominous shadow. Evans doesn't rival Cushing's Dr. Van Helsing, but he's still fun to watch (though not nearly as entertaining as a sinister Noel Willman as the insideous Dr. Ravna). I find it somewhat sad though, that the hedonistic debauchery of vampire films of the sixties and seventies has been utterly replaced by teen angst and empty lust in the modern entries in the genre.

Watch the Trailer

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