Kiss Of The Vampire
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.”