movie, movie review

February 19th, 2017 Movie – Fangs Of The Living Dead


I think I know why this box set is called the Pure Terror collection. Because these movies are so bad that it is scary to watch them. Ok, that might be a bit harsh and I should try to be more open minded regarding these films but I have to admit that these have been kind of a let down. Take today’s movie for instance. I honestly never heard of this movie before but while looking it up, I learned that it was a Spanish-Italian movie from the late 60’s. Now the majority of low budget vampire movies from this time period were nothing more than some poor excuse to help market a sexploitation movie. Let’s see if we have one of those type of movies or an actual horror movie as I watch Fangs Of The Living Dead.

The plot: While working in his lab, Dr. Piero Luciani receives a call from his fiance Sylvia Morel, who says she has great news and wants to meet with him. When they meet, Sylvia hands him a letter from her uncle, who informs her that she has is a Countess and has inherited her mother’s castle. Piero thinks it is a hoax but Sylvia insists that it is genuine and makes plans to travel to the castle. When she reaches the village, she stops at the local inn for a drink. When the barmaid goes to prepare a room for her, Sylvia tells them not to bother as she will be staying at the castle, then asks what is wrong just as a coach driver enters and calls out to her, causing the other villagers to back away in fright. Sylvia is taken to the castle and asks about her uncle Max but the driver says he won’t be available until 10 that night and has the maid show her to her room. That night Max exit’s his room and meets with Sylvia, briefly talking about their family and showing her a picture of Malenka, her aunt, saying that Sylvia looks just like her. Sylvia asks about her mother’s death and where she is buried and Max tells her she is buried in the castle’s crypt and takes her down to see it. As Max talks about the various bodies in the crypt, he becomes lost in thought and gets in an argument with Sylvia concerning how he runs things. That night, Sylvia is in bed when she is woken by someone entering her bedroom and when she asks who it is, the woman introduces herself as Blinka. Blinka tells Sylvia that Max is over 100 years old and had kept Sylvia’s mother trapped there in an attempt to break her spirit. Blinka tells Sylvia to get some sleep and as Sylvia lies down, she begins kissing her shoulder when Max suddenly enters the room and drags Blinka away. Sylvia follows after them and enters a chamber to find Max whipping Blinka and begs Max to release her but when Blinka faces Sylvia, Slyvia sees the fangs in her mouth and quickly runs from the room. Max frees Blinka, who appears upset that Sylvia saw her like that, and Max says he will come clean about everything to Sylvia. Sylvia tries to leave the castle but is caught by Max, who brings her back inside. When Sylvia accuses Max of killing her mother, Max tells her that Malenka was burned at the stake for witchcraft by the villagers and warns her that as part of the family, she is also cursed and if she marries, she will pass the curse on to her loved ones, prompting Sylvia to cancel her engagement. Piero, worried about Sylvia, travels with his friend, Dr. Albert, to locate Sylvia but when they reach the castle, the see her in a window but she shows no indication that she sees them. As they rest at the inn and try to plan their next move, the barmaid, Bertha, asks that Piero examine her as she has been feeling weak. Piero determines that she has some mild anemia and prescribes some rest and iron but after they leave, Max enters the room. Bertha asks Max not to hurt the girl and Max just smiles before approaching the barmaid and biting her neck. Max and Albert talk about the village’s superstitions and Albert is woken by a large bat flying past the window when Bertha’s sister, Freya, comes to get them, saying her sister is dead. As they check the body, the town doctor, Dr. Horbinger, shows Piero the bite marks on her neck and says that they are the reason for her death, then asks Piero to look at something at his house. At the castle, Max tries to get Sylvia to drink a goblet of his blood but as he tries to force her to drink, they are interrupted by someone ringing the door chime. Max goes and finds Bertha there, who was working with Max, but when he returns, he finds Sylvia had run off. Sylvia manages to elude Max and makes her way down to the basement, where she finds Blinka chained up again and after Sylvia frees her, Blinka tells her of a way out of the castle. Sylvia ends up getting lost in the catacombs and runs into Bertha, who shows her fangs to Sylvia and begins chasing her. Sylvia manages to make it to the inn and after Piero lets her inn, she tells them what happened and Piero says it is impossible becuase Bertha died. Deciding that they will leave the next day, Piero and Albert decide to help Horbinger, and find out what is going on, by examining Bertha’s grave. While they are gone, the coachman enters the inn and forces Freya to tell him where Sylvia is. Back at the graveyard, the three doctors watch as Bertha’s grave opens and Bertha emerges. When Albert sneezes, Horbinger goes to confront Bertha but she easily overpowers her and is about to bite him until Piero stops her. As Bertha runs off, Horbinger say to follow her but Brugard, another barmaid, shows up and tells them about Sylvia, prompting Piero to head to the castle instead. At the castle, Max directs Piero to where Sylvia is resting while Albert and Horbinger wait. When Sylvia shows signs of not wanting to leave, Piero confronts Max and says he is taking her with him but Max has his coachman knock Piero unconscious. Meanwhile, Blinka shows up in the room with Albert and Horbinger, and Albert is immediately infatuated with her and begins talking with her and offers to take her back to Rome with him, which she happily agrees to. Back in the basement, Piero is chained up and Max explains that he is attempting to drive Sylvia insane in order to gain control of her estate. Max has Bertha bring Sylvia down and orders her to bite Piero but before she can, Blinka shows up and tells her to stop. Bertha and Blinka begin fighting, while Sylvia whispers to Piero that she was faking it in order to help them escape and works on freeing him. As Bertha gets the upper hand against Blinka, Sylvia frees Piero, who punches Max and then jabs him in the gut with a lit torch, which causes Max to wither up into a skeleton. The next day, Sylvia and Piero are preparing to leave as Albert takes one last look at the castle and wishes his friend goodbye. Suddenly, Freya appears before Albert and offers to accompany him to Rome but Albert reveals a pair of fangs and Freya screams and runs away with Albert chasing after her.

Well, it wasn’t really a sexploitation movie but it also wasn’t really a horror movie. If anything, this confusing bit of 73 minutes would probably be considered some sort of thriller more than anything else. The acting was ok at times but mostly felt kind of stiff and forced. The story was honestly kind of boring and incredibly confusing, never really saying if the whole thing was completely fake or if it was real, while the ending itself looked like something out of a bad comedy more than anything else. The few special effects that there were was nothing really special and even the scene where Max decomposed looked like it was just scenes superimposed on top of each other, only not very smoothly done. Definitely not something that you would look forward to watching during a vampire movie marathon.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5


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