Crucible of the Vampire is a 2017 British supernatural horror film directed by Iain Ross-McNamee (I Saw Black Clouds; The Singing Bird Will Come) from a screenplay co-written with Darren Lake and John Wolskel (I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle). The movie stars Neil Morrissey, Katie Goldfinch, Brian Croucher, Florence Cady and Larry Rew.
An ancient, cursed artefact draws a young, university researcher (Katie Goldfinch) to an old house which holds a dark and terrible secret. The young woman discovers the truth within the grim, foreboding walls of the house, but once in the clutches of its malevolent occupants, will she be able to leave with her life?
“Florence Cady, as Scarlet Scott-Morton, exudes the same kind of dangerous female sexuality that made Linda Hayden’s performances in Blood on Satan’s Claw and Exposé so compelling. Meanwhile Katie Goldfinch embodies that same, strong-willed heroine that you see in films like Suspiria and Rosemary’s Baby – women trying their damnedest to fight against the rising tide of evil…” Phil Wheat, Nerdly
“Taking elements of classics such as The Wicker Man and the spirit of M. R. James, it’s a film that is very easy to like, despite the occasional beats that don’t quite hit. The tone is pitch-perfect, and will certainly appeal to fans of parlour horror stories and moody old dark house flicks.” Martin Unsworth, Starburst
Screenbound Pictures is releasing Crucible of the Vampire in the UK on HD DVD on 4 February 2019.
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The Return of the Vampire is a 1943 supernatural horror feature film directed by Lew Landers (Terrified; The Boogie Man Will Get You; The Raven) from a screenplay by Griffin Jay (Cry of the Werewolf; The Mummy’s Hand; et al), based on an idea by Kurt Neumann (The Fly). The Sam White produced movie stars Bela Lugosi, Frieda Inescort, Nina Foch and Miles Mander.
Although not a sequel to Lugosi’s 1931 Dracula, this film has been interpreted by some critics and some scholars as an unofficial follow-up with Lugosi’s character renamed because the production was made at Columbia Pictures rather than Universal.
The Return of the Vampire is being released on Blu-ray by Scream Factory on February 19, 2019. Extra features are in progress and will be announced nearer the date.
A voiceover (Miles Mander) announces that ‘the following events are taken from the notes of Professor Walter Saunders of King’s College, Oxford…’
A mist-shrouded cemetery at night: A werewolf (Matt Willis) enters a tomb and tells his vampire ‘Master’ that it is time for him to awake. A hand reaches out of the coffin and lifts the lid. A shadow appears on the wall, and the unmistakable voice of Bela Lugosi asks what happened while he was asleep. The werewolf replies that his latest victim has been taken to Dr. Ainsley’s clinic.
Baffled by her patient’s anaemic condition, Lady Jane Ainsley (Frieda Inescort) has called in Professor Walter Saunders (Gilbert Emery). While they are discussing the patient, two children enter. They are Lady Jane’s son, John, and Professor Saunders’ granddaughter, Nikki. Lady Jane and the professor send the children to bed and return to their patient.
The vampire, finding that his victim is not alone, attacks Nikki instead. After the patient dies, Professor Saunders sits up the rest of the night, reading a book on vampires written two hundred years ago by Armand Tesla…
“The film is efficiently directed by Lew Landers, complete with the dreamlike rovings of a mobile camera and moody, mist-shrouded set pieces that are second to none. It also benefits greatly from the unwonted topicality of its setting.” Jonathan Rigby, American Gothic
“The best thing about it, apart from the outstanding performances by Inescourt (as a distaff Van Helsing) and Foch (making her debut as the vampire’s chief victim), is the ending in which the werewolf, tired of being in thrall to the vampire, drags him into the sun as he sleeps. The last shot of Lugosi’s face melting (actually a wax mould over a skeleton) was cut by the censor in Britain.” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror
“Bela Lugosi’s Armand Tesla is a far cry from the smooth and well-mannered Count Dracula, who smarmed his way into society. In his final serious outing as a vampire, Lugosi gives us a grouchy and bad-tempered bloodsucker, exhibiting little of the charisma traditionally associated with the role.” And You Call Yourself a Scientist!
” …contains everything that makes classic horror films so special. It’s brimming with atmosphere in the form of foggy graveyards and decaying crypts, with Lugosi’s vampiric presence being the highlight of the show. As the speech-gifted werewolf, Matt Willis (who in human form resembles a bloated Buster Crabbe) is fun to watch and is given much screen time…” George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In
“It almost ODs on atmosphere (that low-lying ground fog is everywhere, including indoors at times) and the surprises are few, but there is plenty of energy and fun in the proceedings, with even the comic relief being sharper than usual. Though I wouldn’t call it a great movie, it is a lot of fun…” Dave Sindelar, Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings
“As a film, it certainly coasts a bit on the novelty of seeing Lugosi back in the cape, but, in hindsight, it sort of sadly encapsulates how stagnated his career had become. Once a huge star, here he is clutching to past glories in a film content to do faintly echo the better films that preceded it. The Return of the Vampire is certainly not a bad film, merely one that feels a bit perfunctory in many ways.” Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror!
“Lady Jane Ainsley is an atypically strong female character for horror movies of the time, which makes this more interesting than it might be otherwise, and Inescort does a fine job with the role, offering it both strength and charisma. She’s basically the lead protagonist in the picture…” Ian Jane, Rock! Shock! Pop!
“Lugosi proved he still had it when portraying this kind of Eastern European supernatural threat, and if he wasn’t onscreen quite as much as you might have liked, he did get star billing and made his scenes, er, count. With creeping fog and graveyards featuring prominently, it was cliché all the way as far as the visuals went, but had a nice line in high-falutin’ dialogue well delivered by a solid cast.” Graeme Clark, The Spinning Image
“Inescort’s got good scenes with both Gilbert Emery and Miles Mander and Nina Foch seems like she’s a better actor than her part. The direction’s actually half good, usually going bad after a really good shot, but it’s probably better direction than most of the Universal monster movies of the era.” The Stop Button
…crude but fun – if you can accept cornball premises and a corny fog swirling around the vampire as he attacks his victims.” John Stanley, Creature Features
“The revenge orientated plot is too humdrum to give anyone a chance, apart from the conceit of a werewolf servant for Lugosi.” Alan Frank, The Horror Film Handbook
Red Spring is a 2017 Canadian horror feature film written, produced, directed by and starring Jeff Sinasac. The movie also stars Elysia White, Adam Cronheim and Jonathan Robbins.
The world has been ravaged by vampires. A group of survivors band together to search for loved ones who may be alive, dead or something in between, eventually taking shelter in what may be the only safe hideout left to them. However, well defended hideouts have a way of becoming prisons. And prisons aren’t the safest place to be when your friends can turn on you at any time…
“Red Spring does occasionally dip toes into familiar tropes just to up the body count, but it never uses it as a crutch. The film manages to build its tension and action slowly, offering a thrilling experience despite the limitations of its budget. A pleasant surprise from beginning to end, and featuring strong performances from its ensemble cast…” Courtney Small, Cinema Axis
“The film’s low budget is quite evident at times and with the exception of the Nosferatu-like lead vampire (Andre Guantanamo), most of the vampires border on cheesy with their grey make-up and dark circles around their eyes. However, despite the film’s limitations, Red Spring still ends up being a solid post-apocalyptic thriller.” Sean Kelly on Movies
“From a technical point of view, the film is well made with some creepy makeup and decent cinematography but they can’t overcome the lack of a good script. And there’s no excuse for this given the fact Sinasac had fourteen years to rewrite and improve it. Instead, Red Spring is a well made but dull film that owes more to Red Dawn than I Am Legend.” Jim Morazzini, Voices from the Balcony
” …the film does succeed where so many others fail—it’s sad when people die. Is it a touch too long? Yes. Does it deliver a better zombie-type plot than many zombie movies? Also yes. Red Spring’s uncommon approach to the genre is a refreshing change for anyone who’s tired of the same old zombie movie or vampire film or both.” Zombots!
Cast and characters:
Jeff Sinasac … Ray
Elysia White … Vicky
Adam Cronheim … Eric
Jonathan Robbins … Carlos
Lindsey Middleton … Bailey
Reece Presley … Mitchell
Andre Guantanamo … Vampire Leader
Sarah Chisholm … Vampire Gang
Tim Crawford … Vampire Gang
Glen M. Taylor … Vampire Gang
Fort Papalia … Vampire Gang
Alex Rawlings … Vampire Gang
Jim Peddie … Vampire Gang
Alanna Boucher … Pharmacy Vampire
Adrienne Lipson … Young Ballet Vicky
Work on Red Spring initially began in 2003 and it took actor Jeff Sinasac a further fourteen years to complete his project.
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Vampirella vs. ReAnimator is a 2018 Dynamite Entertainment comic book mini-series written by Cullen Bunn and Blacky Shepherd with artwork by the latter.
The first issue of Vampirella vs. ReAnimator is released on December 12, 2018. There are four different cover designs by Johnny Desjardins, Stuart Sayger, Blacky Shepherd, and a cosplay cover.
Here’s the synopsis:
“It’s the big question of 2018: How could Vampirella and the ReAnimator not have met before now?!!?! Herbert West – the Reanimator – has long sought the secret to perfecting his reagent and break death’s hold on mankind once and for all. The key to his success lies in only one place – the forbidden tomb of the Aztec god of death!
But disturbing sleeping gods is as troubling (to put it mildly) as raising the uncontrollable, murderous dead… especially when this deity is an ancient enemy of Vampirella of Drakulon! It’s vampire versus mad scientist in a battle that threatens to tear the gates of the underworld asunder!”
Devils of Darkness is a 1964 British horror feature film directed by Lance Comfort (The Ugly Duckling; Daughter of Darkness) from a story and screenplay by Lyn Fairhurst (production manager on The Flesh Eaters) and produced by Tom Blakeley. The Planet Films movie stars William Sylvester, Hubert Noël, Carole Gray, Tracy Reed and Diana Decker.
A small town in Brittany, primarily inhabited by gypsies: Paul Baxter (William Sylvester) is on holiday with a group of friends. Count Sinistre returns to terrorise the townspeople on All Soul’s Night, and murders three of Baxter’s friends.
Initially sceptical of the supernatural nature of the town, Baxter becomes suspicious and returns to England with a talisman belonging to Sinistre which he had taken from the scene of one of his murders, leading Sinistre to pursue Baxter in an attempt to recover the talisman and murder acquaintances along the way…
“Plot expediency sees the police keep their cynicism for approximately two minutes before suddenly believing all Paul’s wild theories about vampires on the loose, and the cast, although mainly attractive, are wooden and dull. The film’s only saving grace comes when Karin the gorgeous shop girl (Tracy Reed ) wakes up after being initiated into Sinistre’s coven…” British Horror Films
“Stilted British dud […] Directed uncomfortably by Lance Comfort.” John Stanley, Creature Features
“Stodgy and slow-moving though it is, the film is garishly photographed and has several diverting moments.” Jonathan Rigby, English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema, Reynolds & Hearn, 2004
” …it’s an uninteresting combination of vampires and Satanists, and the only times the movie comes alive are during a dance scene in the pre-credits sequence and a lab scene in the middle of the movie where all the lab animals start going wild.” Dave Sindelar, Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings
“Uninspired but efficient, the film raises little sense of terror or atmosphere but has an ingenious script that manages to combine elements of witchcraft, reincarnation and vampirism.” Alan Frank, The Horror Film Handbook, Batsford, 1982
“With some amusing special effects such as a rubber bat (shown up by a couple of real bats later on) and a hurricane from nowhere, there are intermittent points where the tone gets it right, but it was colourful yet flat otherwise.” Graeme Clark, The Spinning Image
The second season of the Netflix series refines its formula and delivers another love letter to the gothic horror video game franchise!
“The suffering doesn’t really matter to me anymore—only the death. Only the death matters now.”
Castlevania’s first season made a strong name for itself and proved to be a video game adaptation that demanded to be taken seriously, but season one really felt like an extensive prologue to what this Castlevania series would become in its sophomore year. Season one concludes with Trevor Belmont and prolific magic user, Sypha, joining forces with Dracula’s son, Alucard, after a grueling battle. The trio resolves to take down Alucard’s dad and now the show can finally let them kick ass as an eclectic monster-fighting team. Naturally, Dracula is also more prepared than ever this year and wields a number of new dangerous relics and allies at his disposal. These new complications bring out the best in the show and indicate the scope of a Castlevania series once the heavy lifting is out of the way.
Curiously, this season’s beginning charts back to the days of the Inquisition where a naïve Lisa Tepes, Dracula’s second wife and Alucard’s mother is persecuted for being a “witch.” More than anything the scene is meant to accentuate the power of Dracula and it’s incredibly effective in that regard. The scenes that he’s in are electric, but these moments where others speak of him in fear are just as intimidating. Castlevania absolutely nails scenes like this that honor these characters storied reputations from the game series. At the same time, this scene also reinforces this season’s mission statement and Alucard and company’s goal to avenge his mother’s death and end Dracula’s unholy rule. They both fight in Lisa’s name, but with diametrically opposed goals.
Dracula prepares his undead army for their attack on Wallachia on the one-year anniversary of his wife’s death, while Belmont, Sypha, and Alucard prepare to prevent humanity’s extinction. Curiously, this season really fleshes out Dracula as a character and tries its best to create sympathy for the tyrant as it simultaneously intensifies the fight against him. Word to the wise, don’t besmirch Lisa’s name around the guy.
Furthermore, Hector and Isaac, Dracula’s two (human) generals, but also his must trusted individuals, perhaps in spite of how they support a mission to wipe out humanity. The season provides them with their own respective spotlights to shine and provides some warped backstory for them both while not getting indulgent in the area. Popular recurring villain from the game series, Carmilla, also lends her support to the Lord of Darkness.
Dracula is a forthcoming 2019 British three-part television mini-series being co-written by Mark Gatiss (Jekyll series, 2007) and Stephen Moffat (Doctor Who). The BBC One show, first unveiled as ‘in development’ in June 2017, will be a co-production with Netflix, who will stream it outside the UK.
Inspired by Bram Stoker‘s novel, the mini-series will “re-introduce the world to Dracula, the vampire who made evil sexy” says a BBC press release. “In Transylvania in 1897, the blood drinking Count is drawing his plans against Victorian London. And be warned: the dead travel fast.”
“There have always been stories about great evil,” Sherlock creator Moffat and Gatiss say in the announcement. “What’s special about Dracula, is that Bram Stoker gave evil its own hero.”
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama added, “Steven and Mark’s ingenious vision for Dracula is as clever as it is chilling. In their talented hands the fans will experience the power of Bram Stoker’s creation as if completely anew. We are thrilled to be collaborating with them and the brilliant team at Hartswood on yet another iconic British series.”
Vampire is a 1979 American horror made-for-television feature film directed by E.W. Swackhamer (Terror at London Bridge) from a screenplay by Steven Bochco and Michael Kozoll. It stars Richard Lynch, E.G. Marshall, Jason Miller and Jessica Walter.
Leading San Francisco architect John Rawlins is hired by the mysterious Anton Voytek to excavate the old ruined Heidecker Estate. A vast treasure trove of artworks worth more than $25 million is uncovered. Rawlins’s wife Leslie discovers that all of the artworks have been stolen over the centuries.
Arrested, Voytek swears vengeance. Bailed out, he turns up at Rawlins’ home and seduces Leslie. Rawlins returns home to find her dead. He becomes obsessed with revenge against Voytek. Breaking into Voytek’s apartment, he flees after discovering him sleeping in a coffin. After being placed in a psychiatric institution, he is freed by former police detective Harry Kilcoyne who believes his story because of a similar experience on the force. Together the two of them team up to eliminate the vampire Voytek…
ABC’s Vampire is essentially a modern-day (1979) reworking of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Splendidly directed by E.W. Swackhamer, it’s a solid production with just enough tweak to make the centenarian plot a fresh one. Steven Bochco, who also executive produced, and Michael Kozoll deliver a nearly impeccable script that intelligently and subtly updates the desired Gothic tropes, perfectly mingling traditional vampire lore with 20th century sensibilities.
Fred Karlin provides an excellent score, with touches of tinkling harpsicord and gloomy oboe in order to evoke regal mystery. Cinematographer Dennis Dalzell negotiates the maze of established shadowy symbolism and modern expectations beautifully, enhancing the venerable mythology while simultaneously respecting it.
The cast is exemplary, each playing their warmly familiar characters: Richard Lynch as the menacingly elegant vampire, Prince Anton Voytek; Jason Miller as the Jonathan Harkeresque John Rawlins; E. G. Marshall as the police detective equivalent of Professor Van Helsing, Harry Kilcoyne; the female co-stars – Kathryn Harrold as Leslie Rawlins, Jessica Walter as Nicole DeCamp, and Barrie Youngfellow as Andrea Parker – offer-up fine performances, with their characters intermingling traits from the original counterparts from Stoker’s Dracula as well as taking on some of the aspects of the male characters from the book. Harrold’s Leslie Rawlins is essentially a mix of both Mina Harker and Lucy Westenra; Walter’s DeCamp takes on the role of estate agent performed by Jonathan Harker in the original novel; and Youngfellow’s Andrea Parker inherits the position of Mina Harker from Kathryn Harrold.
Presumably, this mish-mashing is done to streamline the story, move things along, and set things up for a TV series spin-off which is hinted at as this was apparently a pilot. Regardless of the changes, ABC’s Vampire is an agreeable mix of late-70s police procedural and monster hunt, similar in vein to ABC’s earlier success, The Night Stalker (1972).
A brief, but welcome, cameo by Joe Spinell (Maniac) as Captain Desher doesn’t hurt, either. Vampire (1979) is a distinguished yet rarely seen gem well worth any serious horror fan’s time.
Ben Spurling, HORRORPEDIA
“Richard Lynch’s Voytek has more personality than Barry Atwater in The Night Stalker and is certainly a more engaged modern vampire than say Dracula was in Dracula A.D. 1972 – but not that much. We never see him drinking blood, for one. The other flaw of the show is E.W. Swackhamer’s workmanlike and dull direction…” Richard Scheib, Moria
Saturday the 14th is a 1981 American comedy horror feature film written and directed by Howard R. Cohen based on a story by Jeff Begun, who also co-produced with Julie Corman. The movie stars Richard Benjamin, Paula Prentiss, Kari Michaelsen and Kevin Brando.
An all-American family inherits a deceased uncle’s house. John (Richard Benjamin) and Mary (Paula Prentiss) together with their daughter Debbie (Kari Michaelsen), and son Billy (Kevin Brando) then move into the house. Waldemar (Jeffrey Tambor), a vampire figure, and Yolanda (Nancy Andrews), his wife, want desperately to get into the run down house because it contains a book of evil.
Billy finds the mysterious book Waldemar and Yolanda are after. He opens it and reads of a curse hanging over the date of Saturday the 14th. As he turns the page a monster is unleashed, and with each turn another disappears from the page and is materialized within or outside the home. The house is soon swarming with monsters.
Soon, strange things start happening: eyes appear in John’s coffee, sandwiches are eaten, the television tunes into The Twilight Zone only, dirt is found in Mary’s bed, dishes get done by themselves, neighbours disappear. As this is happening, neither John or Mary suspect anything, blaming things on a lack of curtains…
Saturday the 14th will be released on Blu-ray by Scream Factory on January 15, 2019. Special features will be announced nearer the release date.
“Unfortunately Saturday the 14th’s humour feels like it should be more zany, and more madcap than it actually is. Most jokes fall flat against deadpan performances (with the exception of the incredible Jeffrey Tambor) and uninspired direction from Howard R. Cohen. It is a dumb movie, but a harmless one.” Ken Wynn, Attack from Planet B
“There are a few pleasing notions […] but the humour is for the most part pitifully juvenile and the film itself crude.” Phil Hardy (editor), The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror
“Many folks worked on the effects but men in rubber monster suits still look like men in rubber monster suits and most of the jokes fall as flat as corpses.” John Stanley, Creature Features
“Like Love at First Bite, it’s nothing spectacular, but it’s a harmless little movie that breezes by, feeling even shorter than its 75 minute run time. It takes roughly 3 minutes from the time they move into the house for the first monster to show up, and it rarely slows down too much from there.” Horror Movie a Day
“The acting in this movie rates somewhere between flat and dead. Richard Benjamin is humorous as John and Severn Darden is mildly entertaining as the exterminator, Van Helsing. The rest of the cast is quickly forgettable. The plot is forgettable too. And, so are the laughs.” Movie Metropolis
“There is an on running joke, with regards oblivious John and Mary, about any noise at night, including a monster falling through a window, being owls (and the fact that Mary can’t tell the difference between an owl and a bat) that is severely overplayed. The rest of the film fell really flat laughs wise…” Taliesin Meets the Vampires
” …a pathetic farce which will seem frail even on TV, for which it probably should have been made in the first place.” Variety
Van Helsing: “Selling the house now would be like closing the barn door after the horses eat your children.”
Waldemar: “If you weren’t immortal, you’d kill yourself.”
Cast and characters:
Richard Benjamin … John Hyatt – Witches Brew; Love at First Bite