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.