Gerald and Marianne Harcourt are traveling by car when the car breaks down and they have to spend a few days in a small, remote village. It doesn't take long before they are invited to Dr. Ravna's castle. Without their knowledge, Dr. Ravna is the leader of a vampire cult, and he has become astonished by Marianne's beauty...Written by
Performed by James Bernard See more »
Still Another Winner From The House Of Hammer
"The Kiss of the Vampire" is a Hammer Studios film from 1963 that should manage to surprise and impress even the most jaded horror fans. In it, British honeymooning couple Gerald and Marianne Harcourt run out of petrol near "Kronenbourg," Germany in the year 1910 or so (judging from their vintage automobile), and are soon befriended by the area's most prominent citizens: the family of castle-dwelling Dr. Ravna, a debonair host who just happens to head a clan of blood-loving vampires! Interestingly, these vampires differ somewhat from the type we've all come to know and love, in that they have a fondness for ordinary food and wine, and can walk about during daylight hours...as long as it's fairly cloudy outside. Still, they remain averse to garlic and definitely suffer from, uh, crucifixaphobia. But this film offers us much more than just a group of atypical neck noshers. "Kiss" has been beautifully photographed, boasts some truly striking sets (an "ornate coffin," Ravna calls his sumptuous home), and features a literate script and fine acting from its relatively no-name cast. There are also several impressive sequences: Ravna's son, Karl, playing his eerily dreamy piano composition; a flaming-hand cauterization following a vampire's "kiss"; a vampire masquerade ball; and perhaps the best pentagram/conjuration scene ever shown on film...at least, until "The Devil Rides Out" came along in 1968. And, without giving anything away, let me just say that the vampires are undone in this film in a manner I have never seen before. From its deliciously morbid vampire-funeral opening to its (perhaps too) abrupt conclusion, this concise little picture is still another winner from the great House of Hammer.
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