5.4/10
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27 user 23 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

Magnetic Video's edition is the first horror film released in the VHS format. 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

There is additional footage of Karl tormenting some chained female victims and also more of his death and some bloody lab shots in a version released on VHS in France in the 80s. See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
BLOOD OF THE VAMPIRE (Henry Cass, 1958) **1/2
19 October 2008 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

Decent Hammer imitation with a script by that studio's chief scribe, Jimmy Sangster. Producers Monty Berman and Robert S. Baker competed with Hammer in the horror stakes during the late 1950s/early 1960s (with Berman usually doubling also as cinematographer) via such efforts – besides the one under review which was actually their first – as THE TROLLENBERG TERROR aka THE CRAWLING EYE (1958), JACK THE RIPPER (1959), THE FLESH AND THE FIENDS (1960) and THE HELLFIRE CLUB (1961). Director Cass is best-known (if at all) for the Alec Guinness comedy LAST HOLIDAY (1950), itself recently retooled for the dubious talents of Queen Latifah!

The film (which I had been looking forward to for ages after viewing stills from it in critiques of the genre penned by film historian Alan Frank) is a lurid melodrama in vivid color and with, pardon the pun, full-blooded performances – but the contrived end result somehow misses the mark. For starters, the script seems uncertain whether it wants to be a Dracula (given its title and 'bloodthirsty' villain) or a Frankenstein (in view of the villain's guinea-pig experimentations with moribund or dead subjects) clone; the fact that it is almost entirely set in a mental institution-cum-prison (that includes future "Carry On" member Bernard Bresslaw as a rowdy jailbird) brings forth comparisons with the superior final Hammer Frankenstein entry FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL (1974)!

Distinguished thespian Donald Wolfit is surprisingly but effectively cast in the lead, while Victor Maddern has a memorable look as his knife-wielding henchman (although, again, bearing hideous features that are never explained); future Hammer startlet Barbara Shelley and Vincent Ball (playing a character saddled with the amusing name of John Pierre!), then, are reasonably appealing as the romantic leads. The rousing score is equally notable – as is a nasty climax featuring a pack of wild dogs prefiguring the one in Georges Franju's EYES WITHOUT A FACE (1959)! Incidentally, there is a very noticeable jump-cut during one of the lab scenes (suggesting that the film had censorship issues back in the day); incidentally, the Dark Sky DVD – which cleverly pairs it with the aforementioned THE HELLFIRE CLUB – amusingly allowed one to watch the show just as if it were playing in an old-fashioned Drive-In (complete with a host of schlocky trailers, ads and announcements)…


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