I really wish the weather would make up it’s mind as to what season it is going to be. In the span of a week it has gone from a warm winter weather (upper 40’s), to a nice spring day (70’s-80), only to drop back down to the 30’s today. Normally I wouldn’t mind too much as I love when the weather is cold enough for me to wear my jacket but the constant fluctuations has played havoc with my sinuses for the past 2 weeks now. So as I deal with all that this morning, I might as well get into today’s movie, Grave Of The Vampire.
The plot: Leslie Hollander and her boyfriend Paul leave a party at a friend’s house and head out to the nearby cemetery, where Paul proposes to Leslie. As they get in the back of Paul’s car to fool around, a vampire named Caleb Croft emerges from his tomb and heads to their car. Croft rips the door off the car and attacks and kills Paul, then drags Leslie into an open grave and starts to attack her. When a homeless man stumbles across the scene, Croft runs for it and hides in a basement to avoid the coming daybreak. Meanwhile, the police question the homeless man about what he saw, then go check on Leslie at the hospital. The doctor tells them that Leslie was raped and the lead inspector, Lt. Panzer, tries talking to her and then begins showing her mugshots to have her identify her attacker. After going through the mug shots with no reaction from Leslie, Panzer holds up one last photo and the doctor asks them to leave as Leslie begins having a panic attack. Outside the room, Sgt. Duffy asks whose photo it was and Panzer says it was the photo of Caleb Croft, who had been electrocuted year before and whose grave is now empty. As Leslie is being checked out of the hospital, her doctor talks to her and tells her she is pregnant, and Leslie believes it is Paul’s baby but the doctor says the baby is not alive and will end up killing her. When the doctor suggests getting an abortion, Leslie refuses and yells for Olga, the woman that has raised her, to take her out of there. Leslie and Olga return to their home, where Panzer tries to talk to them, but they refuse and head inside. Panzer notices a fully restored Croft watching them in the distance and follows him to the graveyard, where Croft sneaks up and kills Panzer. Some time later, Leslie gives birth to a son but as shoe goes to feed it, it refuses to eat. When she accidentally cuts her finger, some of the blood drips in the baby’s mouth and when she sees it licking up the blood, she cuts her breast and lets the baby feed from her wound. As the baby grows up to an adult named James Eastman, he begins a quest to track down his father and kill him, eventually tracking him to a college, where he is teaching under the assumed name of Professor Lockwood, so James enrolls in the night class that Lockwood teaches. That night, Lockwood kills a woman on his way to class, then enters the class and begins teaching. During the course of the class, the subject turns to vampires and Caleb Croft’s name is brought up by one of the students, Anita Jacoby, who says she read about it in a book. After class, Lockwood speaks with another student, Anne Arthur, privately and comments about her looking like his dead wife Sarah, then leaves and heads to a bookstore to search for the book Anita spoke of at the library, but when the librarian refuses to let him leave with it, he kills her. Meanwhile, Anita invites James to a party at her place, and speaks with him about the book and Croft’s connection to another suspected vampire named Charles Croighton. Anita then tells James she thinks he knows more about Croft than he is telling and she suspects Lockwood does as well. When Anita tries to kiss James, he gently lets her down and starts to leave but is stopped as Anne, who happens to be Anita’s roommate, shows up. Anita asks Anne about her meeting with Lockwood, then suggest Anne go up to James’ apartment with him in order to avoid the party going on and as the two leave, Anita thinks about what Anne said about her meeting with Lockwood and becomes more suspicious. Up in his apartment, Anne starts to cook dinner for her and James and the two end up talking and eventually have sex. Meanwhile, Lockwood shows up at the apartment and expects to find Anne there but is surprised to find Anita awake and waiting for him. Anita tells him she knows what he is and wants him to make her a vampire just like him. The two kiss and Lockwood admits he is Caleb Croft and says he will do the ceremony the next night but as he goes to leave, he grabs a knife and slits Anita’s throat. Meanwhile, Anne and James say their goodbyes and she goes back down to her apartment but as she is taking a shower, she turns and finds Anita’s corpse in the back of the shower. Anne then sees Lockwood on the other side of the glass and she starts screaming, which causes Lockwood to leave. James hears her screams and races to her apartment, and comforts Anne. The next day, Lockwood holds a seance with James, Anne, and 4 other students taking part. Lockwood attempts to have the spirit of his dead wife Sarah take over Anne’s body but instead, Anita’s spirit takes possession, telling everyone that Lockwood killed her. Lockwood manages to break the seance and James takes Anita from the room so she can rest, but as soon as he leaves, Lockwood locks the door and proceeds to attack and kill the other students. James hears the screams and breaks into the room and attacks Lockwood but Lockwood manages to throw him into the fireplace, setting him on fire. As James extinguishes the flames, Lockwood heads for Anne, who starts to scream but Lockwood causes her to faint. James begins fighting with Lockwood again and when Lockwood asks who he is, James admits to being his son and the two continue to fight through out the house. James gets the upper hand and breaks a table leg in order to kill Lockwood but Lockwood curses him before he drives the make-shift stake into his chest. Lockwood dies, his body falling down the stairs, and James goes to check on it when he suddenly is overcome by a sudden pain. Anne awakens and goes to check on him and James tells her to go away. When James turns to face her, he is shown to have grown fangs and Anne turns and runs as he starts up the stairs, with the screen going black saying “The End Or Is It?”
This was an interesting concept of a movie but to be honest, it was kind of a let down. The acting was ok but honestly lacked any sort of humanity from just about everyone involved. The story was interesting at the beginning but just kind of fizzled out when it came to the end game. I honestly was expecting more about the kid growing up and having to fight his vampiric urges and the Leslie and Olga trying to keep watch over him, as well as more involving his hunt for Croft later on. The special effects were pretty weak to the point of being non existent really and special effects could have made this a little better, but not by much. All told, there are hundreds of vampire movies and this is one that will definitely be lost in the shuffle and forgotten by most.
Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5