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The Kiss of the Vampire (1963)

Unrated | | Horror | 11 September 1963 (USA)
When car trouble strands a honeymooning couple in a small Southern European village, an aristocratic family in the area reaches out to help them with sinister consequences.

Director:

Don Sharp

Writer:

Anthony Hinds (screenplay) (as John Elder)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Clifford Evans ... Professor Zimmer
Edward de Souza ... Gerald Harcourt
Noel Willman ... Dr. Ravna
Jennifer Daniel ... Marianne Harcourt
Barry Warren Barry Warren ... Carl Ravna
Brian Oulton ... 1st disciple
Noel Howlett ... Father Xavier
Jacquie Wallis Jacquie Wallis ... Sabena Ravna
Peter Madden ... Bruno
Isobel Black ... Tania
Vera Cook Vera Cook ... Anna
John Harvey John Harvey ... Police Sergeant
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Carl Esmond ... Anton (US TV version)
Virginia Gregg ... Rosa Stangher (US TV version)
Sheilah Wells ... Theresa Stangher (US TV version)
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Storyline

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 Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Giant devil Bats...summoned from the caves of Hell to destroy the lust of the Vampires! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

11 September 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kiss of the Vampire See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The rubber bats used in the movie were bought from a local branch of Woolworths. See more »

Goofs

The car used in the film was built in 1903. Dialogue during the movie clearly implies that the car is new, suggesting that the events take place in the first half of the first decade of the 20th century. However, the car clearly has a AA (British Automobile Association) badge mounted on the front, of a type first used in 1911 and phased out by 1924. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Ravna: [referring to Marianne] I will not say that she has not changed in any way., Mr. Harcourt. She has, as you may put it, grown up - tasted the more sophisticated, more erotic fruits of... life.
Gerald Harcourt: [realizing that she has been initiated into vampirism] Oh, my God!
Dr. Ravna: [officiouly] God is hardly involved, Mr. Harcourt.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Retitled "Kiss of Evil" for American TV, and considerably tampered with. Bloody scenes are cut: e.g., when Herr Zimmer cauterizes his wrist after Tanya bites him, and the pre-credits scene in which blood gushes from the coffin of Zimmer's daughter after he plunges a shovel into it (even her scream is cut from that scene). A couple of the cuts result in scenes that don't make sense any more: in the cut-for-TV version, we never do find out what Marianne sees behind the curtain, a sight which makes her scream. And when Harcourt frees his hands after being clawed by Tanya, the TV version has him escape by running across the room untouched by the vampires, who just watch him get away. As originally filmed, Harcourt, after freeing his hands, immediately smears the blood on his chest into a cross-shaped pattern: the vampires now *can't* touch him. The cut running time was made up for by the addition of scenes of a family (middle-aged husband and wife; teenage daughter) who fret and argue about the influence of the vampiric Ravna clan, but never interact with anybody else in the movie. The married couple are inserted into the pre-credits graveyard scene in place of a couple of old crones. Even the final scene of the tampered-with version features this family, instead of the original cast! The theme of the family's scenes is the social disruption the vampires bring to town: specifically, women get uppity. The wife becomes the breadwinner (by sewing the vampire clan's white robes!) as the husband's business suffers, and she browbeats him about it. The daughter disses her boyfriend in favor of Carl Ravna. Carl, unseen in these scenes, has given her a music box which plays the same hypnotic tune that he plays on the piano elsewhere in the movie. The final scene has the men magnanimously forgiving the women, who meekly apologize as they all head off to church. See more »


Soundtracks

Vampire Rhapsody
Performed by James Bernard
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Still Another Winner From The House Of Hammer
22 December 2007 | by ferbs54See all my reviews

"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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