5.5/10
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26 user 24 critic

Blood of the Vampire (1958)

A man and wife are terrorized by Mad Scientist Dr. Callistratus who was executed but has returned to life with a heart transplant. Along with his crippled assistant Carl, the 'anemic' Mad ... See full summary »

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

A man and wife are terrorized by Mad Scientist Dr. Callistratus who was executed but has returned to life with a heart transplant. Along with his crippled assistant Carl, the 'anemic' Mad Scientist, believed to be a vampire, conducts blood deficiency research on the inmates of a prison hospital for the criminally insane to sustain his return to life. 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 released on a double bill with Universal's Monster on the Campus (1958) in October 1958. See more »

Goofs

Kurt Urach's date of death is given as 1881 in the paper, but 1892 on his tombstone. 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 »

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User Reviews

Hammer "cash-in" done in great style by US production company
3 June 2006 | by rixrexSee all my reviews

Here's a well-done Hammer-styled "cash-in" of Horror of Dracula, interestingly enough done by a US production company and released by Universal (Universal-International in those days), which of course was the company that did all those great classic horror films that Hammer eventually updated with great success.

It is too bad that this film has been so neglected that it cannot be seen except on worn-out and ridiculously expensive factory VHS tapes that are rare, or on DVD duplicates made off of faded 16mm film prints. I saw this 30 years ago on TV from a good 35mm print and remember that the colors were great, but the recent 16mm dupe I saw was really faded. Still, increase the TV color saturation, and it's way better than nothing at all. (UPDATE: I thought I'd better update this now that a factory DVD has been recently released. No longer do you have to pay way too much to see this.)

The few occasional lapses in logic notwithstanding, this is bound to please any fan of the early Hammer horror films, and Donald Wolfit does a great turn as the doctor who has become a sort of living vampire. Though there are no real supernatural elements, this film tops many others without having to rely upon the fantastic to carry it. A fabulous beginning title sequence is followed by a great scene where the vampire-doctor is revived, with his misshapen servant beside him, and then a large bat flies out from the ceiling rafters. You would swear it was an actual bat, and then wonder how did they get it to do it just right?

As an example of the attention to detail you'll see here: during a conversation between two prisoners, a rat scurries behind one unnoticed and for no other reason than to show that the place is a squalid jail cell. Nobody sees it, yells or stomps on it, or anything you'd expect to happen in another film. It's just there and passes by. Now that's real set design!


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