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The Return of the Vampire (1944)

 -  Drama | Horror  -  1 January 1944 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,108 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 18 critic

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

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Title: The Return of the Vampire (1944)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Frieda Inescort ...
...
...
Roland Varno ...
Matt Willis ...
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Storyline

In 1918, an English family are terrorized by a vampire, until they learn how to deal with it. They think their troubles are over, but German bombs in WWII free the monster. He reclaims the soul of his wolfman ex-servant, and assuming the identity of a scientist who has just escaped from a concentration camp, he starts out on a plan to get revenge upon the family. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Terrifying! Paralyzing! Horrifying! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 January 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vampires of London  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The text of Tesla's book as shown is: "THE SUPERNATURAL AND ITS MANIFESTATIONS By Dr. Armand Tesla. From the beginning of time, man has been troubled by the uncertainty of death and by the rare and horrible manifestations which occur at intervals in which the dead are known to return from their grave. Such people are known as vampires or werewolves. Scientific men throughout the ages have endeavored to delve into the mystery that has baffled them The most ancient writings have mentioned this strange phenomenon and it has always left the writer baffled. It is a known certainty that these beings do do return to earth and have been known to attack humans. They have at times left horrible marks of their visits. The victim of such an attack by the un-dead insists upon the memory of a horrible dream, or nightmare. In addition, there are lacerations about the size of pin-pricks, on the throat and an almost total absence of blood in the body. They strike with such suddenness that it has been impossible to locate their coming and going and it is usually a case of sudden death to the unfortunate victim. Some tribes have recorded the visits of these beings and scientific research has revealed them to be beyond the realm of superstition. From the beginning of time..." (text begins repeating at this point.) See more »

Goofs

When the page of Tesla's book on Vampirism is shown at the beginning of the film, the text printed on the page consists of five brief paragraphs which are then repeated to fill out the page. See more »

Quotes

Armand Tesla: [Offscreen, as Andreas walks in the woods] Andreas!
[Andreas can't locate the source]
Armand Tesla: Andreas!
Andreas Obry: [Suddenly seeing Tesla] You! You have no power over me! That was ended many years ago! I'm no longer your slave! Dr. Ainsley has cleansed me of all the evil you forced upon me! You can't bring it back! You can't! I won't let you! I won't!
Armand Tesla: You're a fool, Andreas! A complete, utter fool! Your fate is to be what you are - as mine is to be what I am... your Master!
[In a commanding tone]
Armand Tesla: Come here1
Andreas Obry: I won't!
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Bela Lugosi (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Evil Never Dies...
8 August 2005 | by See all my reviews

In the 18th-century, Dr. Armand Tesla, a "depraved" Romanian scientist, developed an unhealthy obsession with the supernatural--vampires in particular--and became a foul creature of the night shortly after his death. Flash forward to 1918 and Tesla, with the help of his rather pathetic werewolf slave, has relocated to a desolate cemetery in London. After preying on the young niece of the intrepid scientist Walter Saunders, who immediately deduces a vampire is on the loose, Saunders and his colleague Lady Jane Ainsley find the vampire in his lair & drive a spike through his heart.

Twenty-five years later, German bombers disturb the cemetery where Tesla lays at rest & two cockney civil-defense workers remove the stake from the vampire's unearthed body. That night, Tesla sets out to reclaim his now reformed flunky, Andreas, whose "iron-will" shows through as it takes no more than a few minutes in Tesla's presence before he's furring out again. The vampire sets out to take revenge on those responsible for his quarter-century dirtnap, but like all malevolent beings in these types of horror films, his cruel mistreatment of his servant will eventually come back to bite him...

"The Return of the Vampire", while no masterpiece, is chock full of some wonderful atmosphere & images: the fog-bound cemeteries, Lugosi's outstretched cape, the entranced young beauty (Nina Foch) hypnotically walking through the graveyard. Speaking of those graveyards, have you ever stopped to wonder how this vampire can be so repulsed when a cross is shoved in his face, yet has no trouble stalking around cemeteries littered with giant stone-crosses.

Lugosi, of course, still has his vampire-mojo working, his line readings being as priceless as ever. As for his servant, was there any point in subjecting Matt Willis to a werewolf makeup, aside from Columbia feeling the need to jump on the bandwagon in light of that "Wolf Man" character that was making money for Universal Pictures. Matt's role could've just as easily been played as a totally human lapdog (ala Renfield). Being in a lycanthropic state doesn't enhance the character in anyway--the only thing the fur does is give Willis the dubious distinction of being one of the sorriest specimens of werewolf to prowl through a Hollywood movie.


12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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