Kiss Of The Vam­pire

SFX - - Rated / Dvd & blu- ray -

Monsters’ Ball

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

1963 | 12 | Blu- ray Di­rec­tor: Don Sharp Cast: Clif­ford Evans, Ed­ward de Souza, Jen­nifer Daniel

It may be short

on mar­quee power – no Christo­pher Lee, no Peter Cush­ing – but Kiss Of The Vam­pire almost per­suades you it’s business as usual in the king­dom of Ham­mer, that un­lo­cat­able cor­ner of Europe where the un­dead rise with style and rustics tell fool­ish tourists, “No one ever comes in there, sir!”

From a cer­tain an­gle, chief vam­pire Noel Will­man looks un­can­nily like Lee’s light­ing dou­ble, sum­moned from the subs bench. But lift the tomb lid and some­thing more in­ter­est­ing lurks.

Our he­roes are hon­ey­moon­ers, of­fered an un­set­tling choice of Bavar­ian hos­pi­tal­ity: a per­ma­nently empty ho­tel owned by a creepy old cou­ple and a sin­is­ter chateau filled with caged birds and baroque stat­ues, in­hab­ited by a well­man­nered brood of blood­suck­ers. As English as crumpets, they at­tend a masked ball that plays like a proto Eyes Wide Shut, one cen­sor’s decision away from an orgy. Soon the film set­tles into its true groove, a Satanic fable more Den­nis Wheat­ley than Bram Stoker.

The lurid East­man­color vi­su­als oc­ca­sion­ally feel at odds with the story’s sense of pre- Pro­fumo re­straint. But this clash of the sen­sual and uptight proves per­fect for such a chastely pow­er­ful Kiss.

Ex­tras: A new com­men­tary with stars Ed­ward de Souza and Jen­nifer Daniel, a trailer and a gallery. Nick Setch­field The open­ing scene and the bat- at­tack cli­max were re­pur­posed from drafts of 1960’ s The Brides Of Drac­ula.

“You were hop­ing for Christo­pher Lee? Just squint, dar­ling.”

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