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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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Clifford Evans ... Professor Zimmer
Edward de Souza ... Gerald Harcourt
Noel Willman ... Dr. Ravna
Jennifer Daniel 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

Producer Anthony Hinds used the alias John Elder to pen the screenplay of Kiss of the Vampire. Brian Carruthers See more »

Goofs

When the newlyweds arrive at the hotel, they get caught in a sudden downpour. Water can be seen on their shoulders and on their hats, as well as on the wooden porch as they ring the doorbell. They are however bone dry when they step into the reception, despite the innkeeper remarking that they are soaked through. See more »

Quotes

Professor Zimmer: When the devil attacks a man or woman with this foul disease of the vampire the unfortunate human being can do one of two things. Either he can seek God through the church and pray for absolution or he can persuade himself that his filthy perversion is some kind of new and wonderful experience to be shared by the favoured few. Then he tries to persuade others to join his new cult.
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 »

Connections

References The Lady Vanishes (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Vampire Rhapsody
Performed by James Bernard
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Beautifully filmed Hammer Horror
4 October 2005 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Probably the most important aspect of Hammer Horror, for me, is the colour scheme. At their best, Hammer films are painted like no other, and it gives the films a very distinct style. The Kiss of the Vampire has the best colours of all Hammer films - it's astounding how great this film looks. The sets are lavishly designed, the costumes are magnificent and on the whole - the film looks exactly how you want Hammer Horror to look. This sort of style really deserves an equally great story to go with it...but in a missed opportunity of epic proportions, Hammer haven't been able to script as well as they've proved with earlier and later films that they can; and the result is a visually dazzling film, with a severely underwhelming story. That's not to say that the story is bad, essentially; just not very good. We follow a honeymooning couple, who take a wrong turn and end up in a strange little village. This soon attracts the attention of the most important man in the village, and the pair are soon invited to dine with him. However, he's also the leader of a vampire cult, and he wants more than just to have them for dinner...

The main problem where the plot is concerned isn't necessarily the story - as that's classic vampire stuff - but rather in the way that it's handled. It just goes too slow, and while this gives you time admire the scenery; I want a little more stimulation than that. It takes ages to get going, and it isn't really until the last half hour that it picks up properly. It's nice when it does, but really it's too little too late. The ending is very nice, however, and the effects are typical Hammer, and therefore very much enjoyed by me. The Kiss of the Vampire doesn't feature any of Hammer's big stars. This shouldn't really harm it, but it does. Part of what makes many Hammer films work is the fact that there's a centrepiece actor that you can admire even when the plot isn't too good. This film doesn't have that, and while the cast of lesser-known actors do their collective best to keep the film interesting; there isn't one unique enough to really take the reins. There's still a lot to like here, however, and despite the low points with the plot, The Kiss of the Vampire never actually becomes boring. Just make sure you see the likes of The Vampire Lovers and Twins of Evil first.


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