Uncle Was a Vampire (1959)

Article #1339 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-13-2004
Posting Date: 4-12-2005
Directed by Steno
Featuring Renato Rascel, Sylva Koscina, Christopher Lee

After his castle has been burnt to the ground, Baron Roderigo the vampire has his body shipped to his only remaining relative; a nephew in Italy. Unfortunately, the nephew has been forced to sell his castle to pay off his debts, and now works as a bellboy at the hotel to which it was converted.

At this point, I don’t think I’ve had the experience of covering an Italian horror comedy, so this movie presents something in the way of novelty value. It’s all pretty silly, and it plays fast and loose with vampire lore, even changing it from one moment to the next depending on which character is the vampire. Christopher Lee is the uncle, but apparently his voice was dubbed by another actor for the U.S. version of the movie. They did manage to find someone who sounded a little like him, though I don’t know why the vampires speak through an echo box half of the time. Renato Rascel is the main comic character, and becomes a vampire himself during the proceedings, and manages to have one of the busiest nights of any vampire I’ve seen. The movie is sporadically funny; the funniest scene involves Rascel desperately trying to talk a rooster into crowing.

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