I saw this film under the more appropriate title The Strange Love of the Vampires. It is mostly a Gothic love story, although it took this viewer some time to figure that out.
A small, 18th Century village has had a rash of strange deaths. The villagers believe the deaths are the work of vampires. A progressive doctor, at first, laughs at the villagers' superstitions (like staying away from an abandoned castle and driving a stake through the heart of a corpse). Just when the viewer is convinced that the doctor is the protagonist, the film's focus switches to one of his patients, the sickly Catherine (Emma Cohen). Rejected by her beloved, lonely Catherine is left in the care of servants when her parents go away. Then, one night, a count Rudolph appears asking for shelter. The two hit it off, but the count may not be human.
The Strange Love of the Vampires/Night of the Walking Dead remains a hard film to categorize. The story is very typical and more fitting for a film made a decade earlier. There is probably too much love and not enough blood for many fans of 70's horror. On the other hand, director Leon Klimovsky provides some obligatory T&A and a couple scenes reminiscent of his more explicit outings with Paul Naschy (the vampire party is the highlight). All of which might not set well with those looking for more old fashioned scares.
The Strange Love of the Vampires is not essential viewing. One watches with only mild interest. On the other hand, the film is certainly not painful to set through. The ending even surprised this viewer (although it is in keeping with what came before). Euro-horror completists with reserved expectations might like it.
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