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The Vampire (1957)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller | June 1957 (USA)
A small town doctor mistakenly ingests an experimental drug made from the blood of vampire bats which transforms the kindly medic into a bloodthirsty monster.



(screenplay), (story)

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Complete credited cast:
Dr. Paul Beecher
Sheriff Buck Donnelly
Lydia Reed ...
Betsy Beecher
Dr. Will Beaumont
Herb Vigran ...
George Ryan, Police Sergeant
Willy Warner
Ann Staunton ...
Marion Wilkins
Henry Winston


Dr. Matthew Campbell has been experimenting on methods to regress the mind to primitive instincts so that we can find methods to improve our brains and not get taken in by cheap horror movie hogwash. He's developed a drug made from vampire bat blood and has begun treating himself with it. But instead of improving his mind, he's become ill and addicted. He dies, but not before trying to warn fellow doctor Paul Beecher. Fortunately for us, he dies before he can say more than that pills are to blame. While still at Campbell's house, Paul finds a bottle of pills and pockets them. He's also got another bottle of pills in his other pocket that he takes for frequent migraine attacks. He goes home, puts his jacket on a rack, and then he's struck with a migraine. He asks his daughter to give him the pills in his jacket pocket, and of course she gives him the pills of evil. He is instantly addicted and he must take one pill every day. Each time he takes a pill he turns into a hairy and very ... Written by Jim Knoppow

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A New Kind of Killer to Stalk the Screen! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

June 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn  »

Box Office


$115,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Paul Landres apparently liked the character name "Dr. Paul Beecher" so he used it twice - as the main lead in this film and as a small supporting character in his follow up "The Return of Dracula" (1958) starring Francis Lederer. See more »


When the boy enters the doctor's house in the first scene, the doorknob changes. The exterior clearly doesn't match the interior. See more »


Dr. Paul Beecher: Oh, Will, you told me yourself these pills were from vampire bats.
Dr. Will Beaumont: Exactly, Paul, but that doesn't make you another Dracula.
See more »


Edited into Out of this World Super Shock Show (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A fun little chiller made in that classic monster-movie style
1 November 2002 | by (The Mitten State, USA) – See all my reviews

Dr. Paul Beecher, a respected small-town physician and all-around nice guy, ingests some mysterious pills given to him by his annoying daughter. It seems the li'l brat has foolishly mistaken them for his migraine medication! After Beecher develops a chemical dependency for the drug, he slowly realizes that he was responsible for a series of bizarre murders committed while he was under the influence of these pills. Apparently, these harmless-looking tablets have the power to make their user mutate into a hairy, bloodthirsty vampire at nightfall, leaving him with no recollection of what he has done after the effects have worn off. How could these pills be so powerful? Easy! Because they contain a chemical extracted from a vampire bat!!

This fun, fast-paced horror flick was made in that classic monster-movie style that we have all come to love, yet at the same time it has some very unique and clever twists. The vampire, who is played excellently by John Beal, really looks nothing like you'd expect. Rather than having the bloodsucker portrayed as the standard well-dressed, intelligent, and graceful DRACULA lookalike, THE VAMPIRE depicts him as a hairy, ugly, clumsy beast who ambles aimlessly after his targets. In my opinion, the interpretation of a vampire as being angry, primitive, and relentlessly brutal is much more frightening than the notion of a slick, attractive, intellectual vamp.

The characters in this film are eccentric, likeable, and very well-acted; and the special effects, although simple and outdated, are surprisingly effective. Despite the fact that THE VAMPIRE's story may contain a few glaring inconsistencies, it still succeeds as a suspenseful yet down-to-earth creature feature.

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