The Vampire (1957)

Approved  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  June 1957 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 566 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 15 critic

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.



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Complete credited cast:
John Beal ...
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?


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 »


Carol Butler: Paul, why do you want to take your own life?
Dr. Paul Beecher: I have no choice!
See more »


Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Blood-Drinking Beings (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Fine Performance Elevates a Low-Budget Picture
4 December 2002 | by (NY, NY) – See all my reviews

John Beal seems genuinely agonized in the title role. He is a well liked small-town doctor, who has got hold accidentally of pills that -- don't ask! -- turn him into a vampire.

This is crisply filmed and Beal shows the pain of a decent man who knows something is wrong and suspects something is very wrong with himself.

I wonder if this was strictly a drive-in movie or if anyone at the time recognized its merits.

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