STRAGE DEI VAMPIRI
(The Slaughter of the Vampires) - 1962
STRAGE DEI VAMPIRI
Slaughter of the Vampires, Curse of the Blood Ghouls, Le Massacre
Roberto Mauri; Prod: Mercur; S: Robert Mauri; Ph: Ugo Brunelli;
Music: Aldo Piga; Cast: Walter Brandi, Dieter Eppler, Graziella
Granata, Paolo Solvay, Gena Gimmy, Alfredo Rizzo, Edda Ferronao
B&W; 84 min.
A wonderfully naive vampire Romance that harks back to a more
innocent time. Wolfgang and Louise host an evening in their
villa. The vampire appears and sweeps Louise into an erotic
delirium which will end in her death and resurrection as one
of the living dead. The vampire exists in a coffin in the
basement and is rather like a well dressed and barbered (he
sports flared sideburns and a pompadour hairstyle) vermin.
He also appears to have discovered mascara beyond the grave.
There's a sensuous morbidity which billows throughout the
scenes involving the female vampire's sexual slavery and Dieter
Eppler makes a commanding bloodsucker. Paolo Solvay (future
sleaze director Luigi Batzella--THE BEAST IN HEAT) has the
Peter Cushing role as an avuncular vampire hunter who knows
when to stake and when to call for a blood transfusion. Solvay/Batzella
had quite a career in Eurotrash, directing everything from
Spaghetti Westerns to Gothic horror (THE DEVIL'S WEDDING NIGHT).
Another future genre director, Alfredo Rizzo, appears as a
helpful handyman. Rizzo went on to direct his own vampire
film, THE BLOODSUCKER LEADS THE DANCE. Ugo Brunelli's b&w
cinematography is quite adept in creating a melancholy mood,
as contrasted to the vividly colorful blood drenched Hammer
vampire titles. A haunting Romantic theme by Aldo Piga gives
the film a unique musical signature. This film is a reminder
of an age where a dress pulled down to reveal a woman's bare
shoulders could be considered an erotic signifier of vampiric
seduction. How times have changed. -- Review by Robert Monell.
between the Retromedia and Dark Sky DVDs. While picture quality
is just about superb in the Dark Sky presentation, there are
two problems: 1) The matting at 1.85:1 is too tight, and, a
far lesser concern, 2) the coach ride of the vampire played
by Dieter Eppler is rendered in a solarized tint to make the
scene more acceptable to the plot. (In the regular version,
this ride appears to be taking place in the sunlight, though
the vampire notes to his coach driver that the sun is about
are some screen shot comparisons between the earlier Retromedia
version (which is unfortunately incomplete) and the Dark Sky
presentation. The Retromedia DVD is full-frame, while the Dark
Sky DVD widescreen. The DS element had appeared previously on
the Monster HD channel, so DS took what they got, matting and
all. (And the presentation appears to have been reframed in
various scenes, to give the best composition in the 1.85:1 ratio.)
The DS disc also contains a nice interview with the film's vampire
star, Dieter Eppler, a trailer for the American release (just
as dupey looking as the one present on the Retromedia DVD),
and a still gallery.
DARK SKY DVD
above composition shows the most picture by combining the Retromedia
and Dark Sky versions.
below the green line is missing from the Dark Sky presentation.