Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Vamp or Not? Bloodsucker Leads the Dance

DVD cover

Not a great leap to do a ‘Vamp or Not?’ on this film as I can state right now it is not vamp, I had seen it before watching it for this article you see. I felt it worth covering for a few reasons. Firstly it does keep finding itself on vampire filmographies. I re-watched the film for this article when it was on Zone Horror and the satellite programme information said:

“Cult Italian horror film featuring gruesome murders as gothic lesbians prowl the corridors of an Italian castle and fall prey to a deranged vampire.”

Now this has to be one of the worst excesses of false advertising ever. Okay there are murders, whether they are gruesome or not depends on whether you get squeamish over rubbish looking decapitated heads – pawing not prowlingjudge for yourself all three beheadings are screenshot – and you have to also realise you do not see a single murder, just the aftermath. There are lesbians, I’d hardly call them gothic and they do very little prowling and considerably more pawing. The film states clearly that it is set in Ireland, not Italy. Then there is the matter of the vampire, which is simply not there.

The last reason is that the film featured in a night of vampire movies, click any of the screenshots to get a clear view and notice that they state “Tuesday special – vampires.” IT ISN’T A VAMPIRE MOVIE! So what is it?

Giacomo Rossi-Stuart as Count MarnackFrankly, it is an incredibly rubbish film. Essentially Count Marnack (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) – pronounced monarch – invites the members of a disbanding acting troop to his castle as he fancies Evelyn (Patrizia Webley), one of the actresses, because she looks like his runaway wife. With her go the diminutive Samuel (Leo Valeriano), slattern Cora (Krista Nell) and lovers Rosalind (Marzia Damon) and Penny (Lidia Olizzi). He tells them the story that both his grandfather and father killed their wives with a certain blade, now on display, by beheading and then killed themselves.

head # 1 - CoraGuests start dying, beheaded, and the infamous blade has gone. That is about the long and short of it until the end where we go from the sublime to the ridiculous. The police eventually get there and have the knife – not a word regarding where they found it. Without investigating the inspector solves the case. What we have is a typical detective parlour scene where he runs through the crime but head # 2 - Pennythere is no real run through. We get a confession by Samuel that is immediately revealed to be play-acting, we move on without delay to the idea that Evelyn is really the wife and then the film gives the real solution. Unbeknown to the Count, the housekeeper Sybil (Femi Benussi) has his mad wife locked in a tower, having told the Count she ran away, and is letting her out to kill the guests. Sybil and his wife are taken away and the film, mercifully, ends.

head # 3 - RosalindThere isn’t one single vampiric element in the film. The lighting was dreadful and the dubbing worse. Stock footage of a storm, which is added in frequently, is in black and white. It is a sexploitation and there are plenty of naked breasts and scenes of softcore fumbling, though it is not a great example of the sexploitation genre. In short it is a genuinely awful movie, one to be avoided and one to remove from vampire filmographies… right now.

The imdb page is here.


ZEVO67 said...

i am sick of watching movies from Netflix that are edited. I mean, it was 1975. A LOT of movies with nudity! Why show the trailer and not even have the scene in the movie? What religious nutjobs are working with these companies that make sure NO PUBIC HAIR is ever shown? Jesus H. Christ!

Taliesin_ttlg said...

there just isn't an answer to that... though editing of movies by distributors generally is wrong