The Curse of the Vampires (1966)

Article 2142 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-26-2007
Posting Date: 6-24-2007
Directed by Gerardo de Leon
Featuring Eddie Garcia, Amalia Fuentes, Romeo Vasquez

The patriarch of a country estate is on his deathbed, and places a codicil in his will stating that upon his death the estate will be burned to the ground. His son, who was hoping to inherit the estate, objects to this, but then discovers that there is a curse of evil on his family, and that his mother has become a vampire and is kept chained in the basement.

Sometimes a movie catches you off guard. Given that this is an mid sixties Filipino horror film I fully expected it would be little more than dumb but campy fun. However, as I watched it, I started to notice a few things; for one thing, the characters act with a real emotional resonance to the events that happen; when the son discovers that his mother is now a vampire chained in the basement, his reaction is full of the right mixture of revulsion and grief, and we get a real sense of the tragedy of the situation. These kinds of touches abound, and this compensates somewhat for the fact that the movie wanders somewhat in the plot department and that some of the makeup is quite bad. I’m sure the dubbing hurts it a little, but it does seem as if they got decent actors to do the dubbing as well, and this also helps. I found myself caught up in this one in ways that were totally unexpected. No, it’s not a great movie, but I ended up caring about the characters and what happens to them, and this made the movie much more interesting than I though it would be. And I do have to take my hat off to any movie that manages to kill off practically every major character and still come up with a happy ending. Good show!


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