Thursday, July 7, 2011

And The Best Title Of 1970 Goes To...

The Horrible Sexy Vampire(1970)
Director: Jose Luis Madrid
Cast: Val Davis(Waldemar Wohlfahrt), Barta Barri, Anastasio Campoy

Horrible is the word for this absolutely dreadful early 70s nonsense that contains a vampire that is neither horrible nor that terribly sexy! This film left me asking a whole heck of alot of questions, many that will most likely remain unanswered. Like why does the original poster suggest this is a Frankenstein movie as well as a vampire one? Trust me, the doctor nor his creation make an appearance, which is probably just as well considering the quality of this turkey. Though, it's kind of a neat poster, huh?

The plot ain't much, but i'll rehash what I remember: It begins with a young couple that stops at a hotel for the night, and immediately the young woman strips down and takes a shower, which is what all the women in this film do, shower or strip. Next the guy takes a shower and is attacked by an invisible force that appears to bite him! The lady sees and screams and the frame freezes and the titles appear over some excessively corny music. The police investigate the murders the following day and can't figure out what could have caused them. A doctor that talks to the detective in charge, suggests that he read Dracula! Then the doctor reveals a story about an old Count(Val Davis, who acts under the great name, Waldemar Wohlfahrt!) who supposedly returns from the grave to commit murders every 28 years. Logically, the detective swallows all this nonsense from a "doctor" who actually thinks that reading Dracula will aid him in a murder case(!) and they go to the estate of the dead Count. They find the skeleton of his long dead wife, and(gasp!) an empty coffin! Another cop is killed by something invisible, while waiting in a car and suddenly, the goofy looking Count shows up, now visible for some apparent reason and proceeds to strangle and stab the other detectives and the doctor! Are you following all of this?

Now that all the supposed heroes are dispatched within the first twenty minutes, the film just seems to get even more incoherant. A cousin of the Count(also played by Davis, I mean Wohlfahrt) arrives and meets with the new detective on the case, who does virtually nothing the rest of the movie. This English Count named Oblensky, travels to his estate to debunk any rumors and just gets drunk and wear really horrible fashions that include a black furry sweater that looks like something an effeminate mountain man might own. He tells the police that he has seen the dead Count, but they don't believe him and meanwhile, lots of girls are taking their clothes off and getting strangled by the Count! None of them are all that great for the curious voyeurs, but one of the movie's biggest, unintentional laughs occurs when the Count attacks some red headed chick, gets a load of her and makes this goofy face as he begins to feel her up and reach to rip off her underwear, where it immediately cuts! I'm assuming that this version i've seen was an edited one and that there's probably some funny business on hand. Maybe the original version reveals why he was so horrible?

 One night the Count arrives to meet Oblensky and in a potentially interesting plot move, tells him that he cannot control himself and must be destroyed by him and end his curse. He cannot harm Oblensky because he is a family member, but says that he will continue to murder and cause mayhem if not stopped. Oblensky, ever the genius, has sent for his blonde girlfriend anyway to stay with him and all she does is play a game of chess for a few seconds and get naked the rest of the time, either by getting dressed, having sex or taking a bath. The Count goes invisible for no apparent reason, other than the filmmakers weren't that clever(that's a surprise!) to use doubles as he beats up Oblensky, which is really the actor just throwing himself around a room. Towards the end of this nonsense, the Count tells Oblensky that he wants his girlfriend and says that, "he can have his way with her!" which was another knee-slapper moment, especially since that as soon as he decrees this to Oblensky, he runs screaming as Oblensky whips out a crucifix and chases him back to his coffin to stake him. The ending is really bizarre. You keep expecting something to happen, like Oblensky inheriting the curse and going all vampire like the conclusions of Count Yorga, Vampire(1970) or Grave of the Vampire(1972). The inspector even arrives and suggests that the bitten victims are supposed to rise after bite from a vampire, but no such invasion occurs. Instead it's two minutes of Oblensky and the blonde leaving the castle, getting gas and driving down the highway, before the cheesy music and terrible music score kicks in again to announce the end of this lunacy.

There were many of these Italian and Spanish made vampire films throughout the 60s and 70s, but this one was undeniably one of the silliest. The castle set isn't that terrible, but is barely utilized for any atmosphere and the potential of the grainy color photography is all but lost of the inept filmmakers. The cast are all awful, delivering terribly awkward lines of dubbed dialouge that have to be heard to be believed. All of the police men react to the series of murders as nothing more than a purse robbery and it makes for a surreal experience. Davis is hilarious throughout the film, looking as the undead Count, like a reject from The Fearless Vampire Killers(1967), and saying often ridiculous things while hardly drinking any blood. The scenes of Davis in combat with himself are really something to see. He's as bland as they get, but is so fascinatingly inept that he actually helps bring the film some entertainment value. The nudity quotient is considerably high and it's suggested that there is probably a more explicit european release somewhere, though I can't really imagine who would bother. It's all pretty mediocre and surprisingly, unexciting. With virtually no gore either, schlock fans are left with rather slim pickings. Of course, there is that title and man, is it a hoot. Unfortunately, there's also a film attached to it.

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