The patriarch of the Escudero family is in ill health, and has one serious stipulation in his will: burn the family estate to the ground after he's passed away. It turns out that he's been hiding a very big secret from the rest of the family and the community for a long time. This proves to have disastrous consequences for everybody when some of these souls venture into the cellar. Soon, a large percentage of the local populace has been turned into vampires.
Directed by the iconic Filipino exploitation filmmaker Gerardo de Leon, "Curse of the Vampires" is enjoyable provided one doesn't expect too much from it. It has good atmosphere (and lighting; de Leon had obviously studied his Bava). However, it does play like a cross between a soap opera (dialogue and music are melodramatic, the performances cheesy) and a somewhat traditional Gothic horror film. This viewer says "somewhat", since it is a mite bit gorier and sexier than older classics of the genre. The scenario is most amusing the way that things keep going from bad to worse, owing to some stupid character decisions.
The similarly iconic actor of the genre, Eddie Garcia (who only recently passed away), is a hoot as the antagonistic Eduardo. He's such a heel at times that he might as well have been twirling his moustache. Amalia Fuentes has some appeal as the heroine of the piece, Eduardo's sister Leonore. Romeo Vasquez is a hoot as her macho, devoted admirer who wants to have it out with Eduardo since the latter so obviously tries to put a monkey wrench into their happiness. And Mary Walter is memorable as the matriarch of the clan. For whatever reason, the household staff are played by actresses wearing blackface.
Overall, the trashy, sordid plot was pretty entertaining, leading us to a climactic series of confrontations and some unforeseen developments. (Such as Eduardo having a duel with a ghostly version of Daniel.)
Not as much fun as the "Blood Island" series, but enjoyable enough.
Seven out of 10.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this