Monday, October 24, 2011

The Vampire Happening (1971)

Director: Freddie Francis

Starring: Pia Degermark, Thomas Hunter, Yvor Murillo, Ingrid van Bergen, Joachim Kemmer, Oskar Wegrostek, Lyvia Bauer

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The Adult Vampire Sex Comedy!

Plot: An American actress inherits a castle in Transylvania. What she doesn't know is that her ancestor, the Baroness Catali, was in actuality a vampire countess, and emerges from her tomb to ravage the nearby village and Catholic seminary.

My rating: 3/10

Will I watch it again? Aw, hell no.

#106 on Drive-In Delirium Vol. 2 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT

Damn, this was painful. It doesn't work as a horror, it doesn't work as a comedy and it doesn't work as entertainment. I had higher expectations for director Francis who, the very next year, directed the very good horror anthology, TALES FROM THE CRYPT (1972). He's by no means incompetent but this picture is a mess. It's just really, really not funny. I still haven't seen Polanski's THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS (1967) (although I've cringed at the trailer many times) but this looks like it's along that same vein. Ahahahahahaha. It even has the same actor, Ferdy Mayne, as Dracula!

Seriously? They couldn't do something about those fillings for a several hundred year old vampire? Whatever.

Besides not laughing once, this has the trappings of a reasonable Gothic horror flick, the kind that were made every week in Europe in the late 60s and 70s. Most of them are difficult to get through due to pacing problems and shear boredom but there are some that are quite good. The sad thing is, this could've been a decent Gothic vampire flick if they'd left the "jokes" out and fiddled with the script a bit. Slap in a good score and some decent makeup effects and you'd have something that's a damn sight more watchable than this dreck. Great. Now I'm upset.

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