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Latarnia presents CASTILIAN CRIMSON
The Spanish Horror Film

LA TUMBA DE LA ISLA MALDITA

CRYPT OF THE LIVING DEAD
YOUNG HANNAH, QUEEN OF THE VAMPIRES

1973

 

Director: Julio Salvador, Ray Danton
Screenplay: Julio Salvador, Lois Gibson
Music: Philip Lambro
Cast: Andrew Prine, Patty Shepard, Mark Damon, Teresa Gimpera
Running time: 83/85/99 minutes
Eastmancolor, Panoramico

  

   

Julio Salvador was the original director/writer of this atmospheric vampire tale concerning a medieval French female vampire, the wife of Louis VII. Hannah was entombed on a Turkish Isle during the Crusades. She is protected by by Mark Damon, a disturbed novelist who is attempting to pray her into reincarnated life. Patty Shepard is on hand as Damon's sister, the local grade school instructor who is at risk when Hannah emerges from her living death.

Gimpera's Hannah, who turns out to be perfectly preserved, possesses a chilling eroticism which shockingly putrefies when torched at the climax. Damon is quite effective as the writer who is given to delirious monologues. Andrew Prine's investigating anchaeologist grounds the proceedings in some kind of reality. Familiar Spanish genre actor Frank Brana is also among the supporting cast. Brana was also in numerous Spaghetti Westersns, he's one of the gunmen shot by Tuco in the opening scene of THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY. He also plays the lead in the Salvador scripted Spanish/French horror obscurity EL SEGRETO DE MOMIA EGIPCION (1972), directed by Alejandro Marti.

The vampire plague spread by Hannah goes on at the end, at least in the US export version recut by Wolf Schmidt and Ray Danton. Lou Shaw is credited as the scriptwriter in this version. He wrote a few new scenes involving US actors emoting stateside that were cut into the action. Schmidt and director-of-credit Danton must have removed a lot of footage from the Salvador's version, which is reported to have clocked in at 99 minutes (the re-edit runs 83). It's unclear just what was cut, but Juan Gelpi's brooding, rust colored scheme provides a kind of visual integrity which survives the tampering.

-- Reviewed by Robert Monell


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 Young Hannah - Queen of the Vampires