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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Curse Of The Undead (1959)

Starring Eric Fleming, Michael Pate, Kathleen Crowley, John Hoyt, Bruce Gordon
Directed by Edward Dein
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

In the Old West, a preacher tries to protect his girlfriend and her ranch from a gunslinger whom he discovers is a genuine vampire. 

I wouldn't place this film among the great vampire movies, but the Western setting does make it unusual and different, and the picture has some great shadow-filled photography from Ellis Carter and eerie music from Irving Gertz that elevates the film above other efforts.  Pate plays the vampire with nobility and an almost-friendly demeanor which makes it difficult to view him as a creature of evil, and his backstory which credits his vampirism to committing suicide in his past life comes off as a bit weak.  I still enjoyed the movie, and it was welcome to see Universal returning to the roots of its horror films, just not with enough success this time.

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