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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

Lust of the Vampire

1957 | Italy | 82 min
aka:
  • The Vampires
  • The Devil's Commandment
  • I vampiri
  • Watched on Thursday Dec 10, 2020 via Blu-ray (2013 | Arrow Video | 1080p-upconvert)
    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Mario Bava’s directorial debut. A hybrid mystery and mad-scientist picture. In contemporary Paris, young women are turning up drained of blood. The press labels the killer a vampire. Michaelis plays a reporter determined to uncover the culprit. The case leads him to his estranged cousin, her gothic castle, and the secrets they hold.

    Bava—who also serves as cinematographer—evokes a memorable gothic atmosphere with his use of light and shadow. He also pulls off a special effect reminiscent of Lon Chaney’s famous transformation in The Wolf-Man that holds up today.

    That said, he can’t overcome the predictable script leaden with exposition.