6.3/10
3,281
93 user 41 critic

Mark of the Vampire (1935)

When a nobleman is murdered, a professor of the occult blames vampires; but not all is what it seems.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play)
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An escaped convict uses miniaturized humans to wreak vengeance on those that framed him.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Maureen O'Sullivan, Frank Lawton
The Raven (1935)
Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A brilliant surgeon obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe saves the life of a beautiful dancer and goes mad when he can't have her.

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lester Matthews
Doctor X (1932)
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A wisecracking New York reporter intrudes on a research scientist's quest to unmask The Moon Killer.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Lee Tracy
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Englishmen race to find the tomb of Genghis Khan. They have to get there fast, as the evil genius Dr. Fu Manchu is also searching, and if he gets the mysteriously powerful relics, he and ... See full summary »

Directors: Charles Brabin, Charles Vidor
Stars: Boris Karloff, Lewis Stone, Karen Morley
Mad Love (1935)
Certificate: Passed Horror | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An insane surgeon's obsession with an actress leads him to replace her husband's hands with the hands of a knife murderer which still have the urge to throw knives.

Director: Karl Freund
Stars: Peter Lorre, Frances Drake, Colin Clive
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A mad scientist seeks to mingle human blood with that of an ape, and resorts to kidnapping women for his experiments.

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Sidney Fox, Leon Ames
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

When corpses drained of blood begin to show up in a European village, vampirism is suspected to be responsible.

Director: Frank R. Strayer
Stars: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Melvyn Douglas
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A scientist becomes murderous after discovering, and being exposed to the radiation of, a powerful new element called Radium X.

Director: Lambert Hillyer
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Frances Drake
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When an errant bomb unearths the coffin of a vampire during the London Blitz, a gravedigger unknowingly reanimates the monster by removing the stake from his heart

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Frieda Inescort, Nina Foch
Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Ignoring an ancient prophecy, evil brother Gregor seeks to maintain his feudal power on his his Tyrolean estate by murdering and impersonating his benevolent younger twin.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Boris Karloff, Marian Marsh, Robert Allen
The Black Cat (1934)
Adventure | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

American honeymooners in Hungary become trapped in the home of a Satan-worshiping priest when the bride is taken there for medical help following a road accident.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The disappearance of people and corpses leads a reporter to a wax museum and a sinister sculptor.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Glenda Farrell
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Professor Zelin
...
Irena Borotyn
...
Count Mora
...
Inspector Neumann
...
Baron Otto
Henry Wadsworth ...
Fedor Vincente
...
Dr. Doskil
...
Midwife
Ivan F. Simpson ...
Jan (as Ivan Simpson)
...
Chauffeur
...
Maria
June Gittelson ...
Annie
Carroll Borland ...
Luna (as Carol Borland)
...
Sir Karell Borotyn
Michael Visaroff ...
Innkeeper
Edit

Storyline

After Sir Karell Borotin is found dead in his study, drained of his blood, the local doctor determines that he was killed by a vampire. The coroner and police Inspector Neumann dismiss the suggestion but a year later, Sir Karell's daughter is attacked and bite marks are found on her throat. Neumann calls in the eminent Professor Zelin who thinks the story of vampires is true. The locals are convinced that Count Mora and his daughter Luna are the perpetrators of the crime, creatures of the night that can turn themselves into bats. There may be another solution however and the Professor sets a trap. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Undead...yet living on the Kisses of Youth!

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

26 April 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Vampires of Prague  »

Box Office

Budget:

$305,177 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Throughout the film, Count Mora (Bela Lugosi) has an unexplained bullet wound on his temple. In the original script Mora was supposed to have had an incestuous relationship with his daughter Luna, and to have committed suicide. After filming began, however, MGM deleted references to the crime (and any remaining references may have been deleted when 20 minutes of footage was removed after the film's preview). Because director Tod Browning's previous film, Freaks (1932), had been a box-office disaster, he was unable to object to any changes made by the studio. See more »

Goofs

When the professor first tries to hypnotize Baron Otto, there is a reflection of the candle he is holding which cannot be explained. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Innkeeper: I'm sorry gentleman and lady, but it will be best for you to stay here tonight.
Ronnie - Englishman at Inn: Come now, my good man. You can't frighten us. We've been over your foul roads before.
Innkeeper: Please, you do not understand. It is not the road. It is the darkness. Here, our doors are protected with bat thorns.
Ronnie's Wife: What is with all this bat thorn business?
Innkeeper: It keeps them out. They're afraid of it, the demons of the castle.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bride of Monster Mania (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Umrem Umrem
(uncredited)
Music by Jack Virgil
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An underrated film
22 February 2007 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

After the commercial failure of his controversial masterpiece "Freaks" in 1932, director Tod Browning found himself in serious problems to find new projects. Browning was a man of proved talent, being the director of some of the best silent films starring Lon Chaney as well as the mind behind the 1931 horror masterpiece "Dracula". However, "Freaks" proved to be too ahead of its time and sadly suffered the prejudices of audiences clearly unprepared for the tragic story of a midget in love with a full grown woman. In this state of disgrace, the studio rejected his projects and instead gave him the job of directing "Fast Workers", a melodrama with former silent superstar John Gilbert. Fortunately, luck was still on his side as in 1935 he was allowed to direct a remake of his successful silent "London After Midnight", a movie that would reunite Browning with Dracula himself: Bela Lugosi.

"Mark of the Vampire" is the story of the tragedy surrounding the wealthy Borotyn family. The patriarch, Sir Karell Borotyn (Holmes Herbert) has been murdered under mysterious circumstances, and soon everyone in town suspects it was the work of Count Mora (Bela Lugosi) and his daughter Luna (Carroll Borland), as these two deceased nobles are rumored to awake by night as vampires and wreak havoc in the small superstitious village. Inspector Neumann (Lionel Atwill) doesn't believe in this, as he suspects there is a more mundane motif for the murder of the rich old man, however, when Sir Karell's only daughter Irena (Elizabeth Allan) becomes the vampires' new target, Insp. Neumann will have to join forces with a strange scientist specialized in the occult, Prof. Zelin (Lionel Barrymore) to solve the mystery before someone else gets killed.

As written above, "Mark of the Vampire" is essentially a remake of the now lost classic "London After Midnight", although this time Browning enhances the horror elements of the story by focusing on the couple of vampires and their actions instead of the mystery of the plot. The story is pretty convoluted and very clever for its time, with a nice use of black humor (some even see it as a satire of horror films of it's time) and very surprising plot twists to keep the mystery a secret until the end. Sadly (and like always happened to Browning), the film suffered approximately 20 minutes of cuts by the studio, who disliked Browning's idea of incest as background for Count Mora among other things. Unable to fight the studio (as they were still mad at him for "Freaks"), Browning had to let them cut the film, leading to the creation of many plot holes in the already convoluted story, ultimately destroying most of its effect by enhancing its flaws.

As in most Browning's films, the power of the movie is in the haunting visuals conveyed by this master of silent films, images so powerful that in a way make up for the messed up and disjointed storyline. In fact (and like "Dracula"), most of the best scenes in "Mark of the Vampire" come when nobody talks and only the images are what carry the story. Taking his expressionist influences to the max, Browning makes the figure of the vampire to embody the ultimate vision of irresistible evil, as their unnatural shining in complete darkness makes them diabolically attractive. Browning always struggled with the use of sound, and this problem shows again in "Mark of the Vampire", although the high quality of his cast manage to improve Browning's direction in this "talkie".

Lionel Barrymore is very good as the eccentric Prof. Zelin, and while he receives some bash for giving an over-the-top performance, I think his acting is right on the money, as he is not a serious Van Helsing, his character seems to be wicked, almost as wicked as the monsters he fights, so his hammy touch is, in my opinion, very appropriate. Lionel Atwill shines as Insp. Neumann, bringing a sense of dignity to the film as the stoic hero who is forced to work with what he considers as superstitious fools in order to fulfill his mission. Borland and Luogsi are simply wonderful as the almost silent vampires, relaying mostly on gestures to convey their emotions. Jean Hersholt, Donald Meek and Ivan Simpson have nice turns in supporting roles, with Meek and Simpson delivering some nice comedy that seems to parody stereotypes of horror films of its time.

Sadly, the film (or what was left of it) suffers from many flaws that effectively make the brilliant parts of it look bad, leaving the final product as simply a slightly better than average 30s movie. Not only the cuts done by the studio ruined the storyline, as being honest, Browning's talent wasn't as fond of talkies as it was of silents. Browning was a genius of black comedy, but this skill couldn't translate well to sound movies and often his attempts of comedy look too over-the-top for the overall mood of the movie. To make things worse, the performances of Elizabeth Allan and Henry Wadsworth (the main romantic couple of the movie) are atrociously poor, paling in comparison to the work of the rest of the cast.

"Mark of the Vampire" is a very good film of Browning's short post-"Freaks" career, as despite being plagued by many problems, it still works as a nice tale of mystery and horror. It is definitely not the typical vampire movie, and a number of factors make me to be willing to believe that Browning intended this to be a satire than a proper horror (for example the fact that vampires are silent and humans are very talkative for example). While certainly not a masterpiece, it is a fine film to watch despite its troubled upbringing. 7/10


21 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?