Fangs of the Living Dead (1969)

FANGS OF THE LIVING DEAD (1969)
(a.k.a. MALENKA)
Article #1505 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-28-2005
Posting Date: 9-25-2005
Directed by Amando de Ossorio
Featuring Anita Ekberg, Gianni Medici, Diana Lorys

A woman returns home upon inheriting a castle and discovers that she’s from a family of vampires.

In the late sixties or early seventies, a horror movie triple feature called “Orgy of the Living Dead” was making the rounds which insured that anyone driven mad by the movie would be given psychiatric care or placed in an asylum. The movies were called REVENGE OF THE LIVING DEAD, CURSE OF THE LIVING DEAD and FANGS OF THE LIVING DEAD. Obviously, this triple feature was trying to cash in on the success of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, but anyone going into this triple feature hoping for the same harrowing experience of watching that movie would no doubt come away disappointed. In fact, the first two movies predated NOTLD, and had their titles changed for this triple feature. REVENGE OF THE LIVING DEAD was actually THE MURDER CLINIC, while CURSE OF THE LIVING DEAD was Mario Bava’s KILL, BABY, KILL , probably the best movie in the bunch.

I don’t know if this movie played in this country under any other name, but its more common title is MALENKA. It’s probably Amando de Ossorio’s first attempt at a horror film, and it’s pretty lame. The pace drags mightily, the dialogue is simply wretched, and the acting is weak. Granted, some of these problems are no doubt due to the poor dubbing, but there’s something about the way that the actors and actresses carry themselves that makes me believe it’s not significantly better in its native language, besides, I’ve had experience with Anita Ekberg’s thespic talents before (remember SCREAMING MIMI). However, the movie probably wasn’t a total washout; sure, it’s not the least bit scary, but if the presence of Ekberg didn’t clue you off, it does have plenty of heaving bosoms. In fact, you might as well make a sub-genre of it—The Heaving Bosom Vampire movie. It’s not the first I’ve seen, and most probably won’t be the last. How much you like it may depend on just how long heaving bosoms can hold your attention. Ossorio would eventually hit his stride as a horror director with his Blind Dead movies.

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