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Blood of the Vampire (1958)

In 1870s Transylvania, scientist Dr. Callistratus is put to death by villagers who wrongly believe he's a vampire. However, his horribly disfigured henchman, Carl is on hand to orchestrate a life-saving heart transplant.


Henry Cass


Jimmy Sangster (story), Jimmy Sangster (screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Wolfit ... Callistratus
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


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


Nothing Like It This Side of Hell! See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Posters for Blood of the Vampire (1958) indicate that it was considered an adults-only film in France and the UK at the time of its release. French posters note that viewing by people under age 16 was prohibited and UK posters show that the film carried an X Certificate from the British Board of Film Censors, which prohibited the exhibition of the movie to those under 16. The X Certificate is indicative of the activities of Eros Film Distributors, which had by then deliberately 'embarked on a new X-certificate path'. Tempean Productions 'embraced' not only films designed to get an X cert, but also 'Eros's policy of offering co-feature programmes which could be marketed not only in Britain, but also on the American drive-in circuits'. See more »


The spikes on the top of a wall wobble when a rope is thrown over them during an escape, suggesting that they would be unable to carry the weight of a grown man. See more »

Crazy Credits

On American prints the MPAA seal appears on the Universal-International logo. 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 »


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

User Reviews

Not Exactly a Vampire Movie
22 March 2016 | by Uriah43See all my reviews

This movie begins in 1874 at a graveyard in Transylvania with a stake being driven through the heart of a corpse. Not long afterward a seriously deformed man enters the local tavern and requests the presence of the local doctor. Upon being taken to a nearby laboratory the doctor inserts a freshly removed heart from a man recently killed into the chest of the corpse from the graveyard. Six years later the scene shifts to the city of Karlstadt where another doctor named "Dr. John Pierre" (Vincent Ball) is sentenced to life in prison for accidentally killing his patient by using a certain procedure not recognized at the time by the medical community. However, rather than being taken to his assigned prison, Dr. John Pierre is instead taken to a place for the criminally insane which just happens to be supervised by the same person who had his chest punctured in Transylvania six years earlier, "Dr. Callistratus" (Donald Wolfit). Now rather than reveal any more I will just say the title is somewhat misleading as there isn't an actual vampire featured in this movie at all. At least not in the usual concept. Because of that this film doesn't contain the usual action or horror one might expect either. As such I found this movie to be slightly disappointing in that regard. Even so it was an adequate film for the most part and having an attractive woman like Barbara Shelley (as "Madelaine Duval") certainly didn't hurt. In any case, I have rated the film accordingly. Average.

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Release Date:

October 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blood of the Vampire See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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