Friday, June 25, 2010
First released: 1968
Also known as The Hand of Night, this is a strange little beast that could have been much better than it was. That said, it managed to achieve some of its aims – one feels – but let itself down ultimately.
I should mention, before we get to the film itself, the opening credits. As well as being filled with skeletons and smoke, the astoundingly crap bat (pierced through the heart with a skeletal finger) is worth mentioning for it was, indeed, incredibly crap.
Carver is on a plane to Morocco. The passenger next to him, Gunther – who was the undertaker in his dream – slaps him to wake him, whilst a stewardess (Angela Lovell) looks on in concern. Given him talking and mentioning jumping they think it is a flight anxiety dream. Gunther starts talking to him and Carver mentions that he saw Gunther and the Arab in the tomb in his dream. Gunther invites him to his home and, as they leave the airport, gives him his card. As a pretty blonde woman, Chantal (Diane Clare), meets Gunther, Carver wanders off.
Despite this (or maybe because of it, as they are real to him and, it seems, to those caught up in his trauma) the vampires do have rules. The ring was a talisman used to reflect light and thus ward evil spirits. Sunlight destroys the vampires, causing them to desiccate and become skeletons and a stake through the heart works well also.
It is a shame as this could have been something special, it tracks a course that would be, at least a little, similar to that explored in Blood Suckers and does a much better job of it. Yet it could have raised itself to so much more. 5 out of 10.
The imdb page is here.