Sunday, January 27, 2013

Crypt Of The Vampire (1964)

Starring Christopher Lee, Audry Amber, Ursula Davis, Jose Campos, Vera Valmont
Directed by Thomas Miller
(actor & director credits courtesy

A European count fears his daughter may be the reincarnation of an ancient vampiress, who promised to return and destroy his family when they executed her.

This is an Italian film adaptation of one of the first vampire stories, 1872's "Carmilla."  While Wikipedia indicates the novel is fairly straightforward about who the vampire is, the film builds a mystery about her, suggesting it may be one of three women, the count's daughter, tortured by dreams of vampire killings, her father's mistress, or a beautiful stranger who comes to stay with the family after a carriage accident.  "Carmilla" is also known for suggesting the female vampire had a powerful attraction to her female victim, which would become the central focus of more explicit adaptations, but is only hinted at here.  I liked this film for its unique mystery angle and the filmmakers' crafting of suspense up to the climax.

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