Monday, October 21, 2013

Shocktober Revisited: Slaughter of the Vampires

Previously on Cap'n Howdy's Blogorium:

I started but haven't finished watching Slaughter of the Vampires, which is a nice slice of Italian Cleavesploitation (no nudity, but lots of nubile young ladies in very tight bodices for no reason whatsoever) and I guess a vampire. I mean, there is one, but I'm not far enough in to see what his plan is, other than finding a new vampire bride (the old one was left behind and staked by angry villagers).

The film is dubbed but it's not such a bad thing. I don't honestly know how watchable it would be with subtitles, and horror is the universal language, y'know? Besides, I'm pretty sure that the vampire is a German gentleman and perhaps this was a multilingual shoot, like those Spaghetti Westerns.

For some reason, this movie was released stateside as Curse of the Blood Ghouls, which is admittedly a better title, but it doesn't set you up for any vampire slaughter. I like it when the movie promises you something and then kinda delivers on it in the first three minutes. Hopefully there's more slaughtering to come.

Here's the trailer, which looks much worse than the dvd picture does. Kudos to Dark Sky Films for cleaning this up, I suppose.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming:

I'll give Slaughter of the Vampires this: it's a more appropriate title than Curse of the Blood Ghouls, but just barely. Technically speaking, three vampires are killed, so it earns the plural quotient, and at least one of them is stabbed pretty viciously, so I'll count that as "slaughter". Otherwise, there's not much about the trailer or the title of the film that would be considered "accurate".

Most of Slaughter of the Vampires is about talking. And waiting. And talking about waiting. There's some momentum at the beginning, when the Vampire (he has no actual name, just Vampire, but is played by Dieter Eppler) and his first vampire bride (not sure who) are running like crazy from angry villagers. After he escapes and she doesn't, Count... uh, Vampire rides like crazy in a carriage to a castle. It's not really clear how he knows about the castle or if he lived there, but he moves into the cellar.

The castle belongs to Wolfgang (Walter Brandi) and Louise (Graziella Granata) and assorted servants. The Count takes a liking to Louise and decides to make her his new vampire bride. Very. Slowly. So slowly that Wolfgang has lots of time to talk about it with the servants and a Doctor and then to travel out of town to visit Dr. Nietzsche (Luigi Batzella). They talk some more and eventually get around to hunting down Louise, Count Vampire, and Louise's inexplicably vamped out servant maiden (also don't know the name. IMDB is a little vague).

As I said before, the movie is 79 minutes long. During that time I fell asleep three or four times, woke up, and rewound the dvd only to discover I'd missed nothing. Typically, it was a shot of Wolfgang 0r Dr. Nietzsche waiting for something to happen, followed by a shot of the vampire or Louise with "dramatic" music, except that they were also waiting. There's a lot of waiting for a movie where almost nothing happens.

I will say two things kept my attention, and neither one of them were the abundant cleavesploitation of Louise (who spends 80% of the movie in a low cut nightgown):

1. Count Vampire's main theme is played on a Theremin, which has the exact opposite effect they were intending (rather than mysterious and creepy, it's pretty silly).

2. The dubbing is done the same way many Japanese films are dubbed, so you get lots of overexplained sentences in order to match the mouths of characters. For example, Wolfgang says "Here comes the Doctor who was a good friend of mine in school. He will help you out he is a good Doctor. He does not bother you, does he little girl, you are not afraid of Doctors."

For a movie with a gratuitous bath scene (I mean, there is absolutely no reason for the bath, unless you really need to argue re-introducing a character late in the film) which is less suggestive than Louise's nightgown, Slaughter of the Vampires is pretty lackluster. I should have known better than to rewind after nodding off, because I probably stretched the running time into actual 90 minute territory as a result, and this movie doesn't deserve it.

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