Nightmare in Blood (1978)

Article #1225 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-22-2004
Posting Date: 12-19-2004
Directed by John Stanley
Featuring Kerwin Mathews, Jerry Walter, Dan Caldwell

A horror star invited to appear at a horror convention in San Francisco turns out to be a real vampire.

This movie was written and directed by John Stanley, who served as a horror host for six years in Oakland, California, and has since published several editions of a “Creature Feature” horror guide. His movie has a good premise and an interesting backdrop for the action, and it attempts to connect the dots between any number of horror concepts. Vampires are combined with slasher characters (the Burke and Hare characters), and has a Nazi background (the Van Helsing character Ben-Halik is Jewish). We have a comic-book worshipper, a Sherlockian, a sarcastic horror host, and a crusading psychologist (who condemns horror films) in the mix, as well is a janitor who misses the silent horror movies. There is a wealth of posters and comic-book covers on display, famous horror actors are name-dropped right and left, and several movies are referenced, including THE THING (FROM ANOTHER WORLD). As a result, there is quite a bit here to catch the interest of a horror fan. Unfortunately, it’s lifelessly directed, it never really gels, and though it offers the possibility for some satire, it never really takes advantage of the opportunity. One interesting touch is that the title of this movie is also the title of one of the movies in which the horror actor appeared; its opening credits provide the end credits for this one. Kerwin Mathews only appears in the first three minutes of the movie.


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