"Put Your College Books Away and get Yourself Some Dog's Bane"
Quite ridiculous yet somewhat engaging story about a young archaeologist, played with one dimension by Andrew Prine, coming to Vampire Island to see/investigate the death of his father. Somehow a huge crypt carrying the remains of a 700 year-old vampire woman has fallen on him and his son must convince the locals that vampires are absurd superstitions. Of course what might have been a mystery is destroyed in the opening sequence as we see who has killed the father, just leaving the not-too-hard-to-figure why out. The film doesn't have much of a budget but the bleak desolation of the island is convincing, the vampire queen is impressive(and beautiful), and some of the shots are very atmospheric. Prine is bland and Spanish horror queen Patty Shepard displays some histrionics. She looks subtle when compared to some of the so-called "quiet" locals who fear the return of the killing palindrome. Frank Brana, playing the crusty, old, sagacious blind sailor steals his scenes with no shame being not just a slice of ham but a whole butt roast! Listen to his dialog, it is so bad that it is so fun and easily for me at least the best part of this film. "She is smart...700 years smart" and other quotes about Hannah sticking her fangs into necks and the power of superstitions cascade from his lips in an almost monosyllabic manner which only accentuates his strange looks as he might be a cross between Bela Lugosi's Ygor in Son of Frankenstein and Carmen Ghia from The Producers(okay, I know it's an obscure reference). Nobody else in the film comes too close to being just plain eye-catching. Teresa Gimpera as Hannah comes close; however, for different reasons. She looks great after so long and can still turn into fog and a wolf with the best of them. Her death scene is something to behold unintentionally. While Crypt of the Living Dead is indeed a bad film, it is a very watchable one once things get going.
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