The Blood Drinkers (1966)

THE BLOOD DRINKERS (1966)
(a.k.a. THE VAMPIRE PEOPLE/KULAY DUGO ANG GABI)
Article #1101 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Day: 3-20-2004
Posting Day: 8-17-2004
Directed by Gerardo de Leon
Featuring Ronald Remy, Amalia Fuentes, Eddie Fernandez

A vampire plans to save the life of his love by replacing her heart with that of her twin sister’s.

I have to admit that I’m impressed by vampire movies that can come up with new ideas or take new slants on old ideas rather than just rehash the usual vampire lore. That’s why I quite liked this take on the vampire legend; it really is like no other I’ve seen. It was made in the Philippines, and features a tall bald vampire (a la Nosferatu) who has a group of followers, some human and some vampires like himself. The plot is bizarre and somewhat elaborate, and the use of color is truly unusual. The movie is billed as being in color, but that doesn’t quite capture it. Some of the scenes are in color, some are in black and white, and others are tintied red to indicate that the evil of vampirism is present. This vampire wields a whip and uses a gun when the need arises. He has a hunchback and a midget for his helpers, while the Van Helsing character (a priest who knows that faith is important in battling vampirism) has a deaf-mute servant of his own. There are scenes where the vampires regain their humanity, only to lose it again, and a scene where the vampire spares the life of one of his foes because he doesn’t want to draw the wrath of the police onto himself. It definitely has its flaws; the whole production looks somewhat ragged, and the rubber bat is frightfully bad, but this may be one of the weirdest vampire flicks since VAMPYR. It’s worth catching if you want to see something a little different in the way of vampires.

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