5.5/10
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29 user 25 critic

Blood of the Vampire (1958)

In the late nineteenth century, the anaemic governor of a brutal prison institution, along with his crippled assistant, conducts research on the inmates.

Director:

Henry Cass

Writers:

Jimmy Sangster (story), Jimmy Sangster (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Wolfit ... Callistratus
Vincent Ball Vincent Ball ... John Pierre
Barbara Shelley ... Madeleine
Victor Maddern ... Carl
William Devlin William Devlin ... Kurt
Andrew Faulds ... Wetzler
John Le Mesurier ... Judge
Bryan Coleman Bryan Coleman ... Auron (as Bryan Coleman/Brian Coleman)
Cameron Hall Cameron Hall ... Drunken Doctor
George Murcell ... First Guard
Julian Strange Julian Strange ... Second Guard
Bruce Wightman ... Third Guard (as Bruce Whiteman)
Barbara Burke Barbara Burke ... Housekeeper
Bernard Bresslaw ... Tall Sneak Thief
Hal Osmond Hal Osmond ... Small Sneak Thief
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Storyline

In the late nineteenth century, the anaemic governor of a brutal prison institution, along with his crippled assistant, conducts research on the inmates. Written by Mysty <rharvey@flash.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Nothing Like It This Side of Hell! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

October 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Dämon mit den blutigen Händen See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Artistes Alliance Ltd. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (photographed in) (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was inspired by the success of Hammer's The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and Horror of Dracula (1958). The producers hired Jimmy Sangster, writer of both those movies, to do the screenplay. Shooting took four weeks. See more »

Goofs

Bryan Coleman is credited as Brian Coleman in the closing credits. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Transylvania 1874

The most loathsome scourge ever to afflict this earth was that of the Vampire.

Nourishing itself on warm living blood, the only known method of ending a vampire's reign of terror was to drive a wooden stake through his heart. See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema version was extensively cut by the BBFC upon release with edits to the opening staking, shots of dismembered body parts in the laboratory and a reduction to a scene where a tube is inserted into a man's neck to drain blood. Additionally the infamous dungeon scene, showing potential female victims chained to a wall, was completely removed. The 2005 UK DD Entertainment DVD features the same cut cinema print. The U.S Dark Sky DVD may be culled from a different print as the tube scene is completely intact, despite missing the other aforementioned BBFC cuts. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood's Creepiest Creatures (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

The Evil Eye
4 July 2010 | by tedgSee all my reviews

We each have the experiences that brought us to the way we dream, and the forms we use in wrangling the world. My cinematic maturity is pretty traceable because the films and the watching were so self-ware.

Going back before well-formed notions of self, this was one film experience that changed me. Or rather I should say that the first two minutes changed me. It was my first movie alone, and my first non-cartoon movie. Sent on a mission to get bread, this ten year old sneaked into a matinée with the 15 cents left over. Sitting virtually alone I knew that what I was doing would be costly, and that I would be crossing a boundary with my life never fully retrieved.

This movie starts with some text that tells us about the curse of the vampire being the greatest evil ever visited on the earth and that we are entering Transylvania during what I assumed was its riskiest, spookiest time. The only way to kill a vampire, we are told, is by a stake through the heart. We are in an unkempt graveyard, Leni Riefenstahl's mountains in the background. If a church bell tolls it doesn't matter because I heard it. Tones are muted, the distance is far. We know it is the deepest part of night.

Townsfolk carry a wrapped corpse on a stretcher, careful about their delicate business in managing the evil undead. They tip the corpse into the shallow grave, the only real space, and the covering comes off the body's face. We see not the artificial snarling teeth that we expect, but a regular bank president sort of guy.

The camera now looks up from the grave at two hired executioners. One has a stake five feet long, the other a wooden mallet with a head as big as his, something I suppose actually existed. But it is huge and the wide lens makes it very much larger as we hear the crunch of the stake through flesh and see and hear the pounding just as if it were our heart. The camera then shows the stake, the palette effectively shifting from black and white to color.

A quick title and then we see a hunchback skulking behind a rock. His right eye (the wrong color) drooping two inches too low. Even a ten year old cinematic virgin could see at once that the action we have witnessed we have seen through his eye and that of the corpse. I was out of that air conditioned theater like my life depended on it. The bread did not survive.

Now, after more than 50 years I can sit through the entire film. The first sequence is still masterful I think. But the rest of the thing must have been created by another team. Boring. It has dogs, which together with the opening must have been all Sangster had in mind when he started.

Funny how you build a life.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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