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A young man, Paul Carlson, is on a trip and spends the night at Count Dracula's castle. He is murdered. After some time has passed, the young man's brother Simon comes to the small town where all the traces end to look for him.
Roy Ward Baker
Casting for the film involved Gino Turini who put in part of the money for the film and Hélène Rémy as the film was originally going to be a co-production deal with France. Writer Ernesto Gastaldi once noted that the casting of Tina Gloriani was due to her being the director's lover at the time. See more »
Seen 54 years after its initial release "L'amante del vampiro" (1960) was a most pleasant surprise, a good horror film that introduced vampires with fangs into the golden age of Italian "cinéma fantastique", including (and often mixing) horror, péplum, spy spoof, comic-book heroes, giallo, and even science-fiction. When discussing this film directed by Renato Polselli, most sources indicate the influence of Terence Fisher's "Dracula" (United Kingdom, 1958), but I would say that Fernando Méndez's "El vampiro" (Mexico, 1957) was also a source of inspiration: the constant irruption of the Italian vampire (Walter Brandi) into the house of the ballerinas, is evocative of the menacing presence of a Eastern European vampire in the Mexican hacienda. It is evident that the financial resources were scarce, but this little film was made with conviction, imagination and a lot of humor. I suppose the erotic elements came mostly from Polselli, who would eventually direct a few pornographic films: in this case he handled them with the typical restraint of mainstream cinema of its day, but they are by no means deprived of sensuality. First, the film includes two welcome dance sequences, one even emerging from the beautiful ballerinas' sudden inspiration. Any dance academy would love to have this kind of students, who are good-looking, suggestive, dance well and can choreograph themselves! Then there is the vampire baroness (Maria Luisa Lombardo), a lady constantly in heat, even when she is wearing medieval gowns; while the erotic undercurrent rises whenever hunk Gino Turini (as Giorgio, the choreographer) appears bare chested, in bathing suits or in bed with his lover. The most sensual moment though, is when ballerina Luisa (Hélène Remy) moves ardently in bed, waiting for the vampire to arrive. The castle used as the vampires' lair is superb, with actors obviously working in very cold conditions; the black and white cinematography is a big plus, and even the ugly vampire's evident mask points to one important plot element. But I believe that the great strength of "L'amante del vampiro" is the music by Aldo Piga, even if some find it annoying. He not only added rhythm to scenes shot at a slow pace, but he also did a great job combining suspenseful contemporary music with a portentous and dramatic score that magnifies the terror described. Renato Polselli was not the most inspired director, yes, and it shows that he handled the material just adequately. But everybody involved in this production contributed more than the usual quota of professionalism and enthusiasm, and I believe that this is what has contributed to make "L'amante del vampiro" an attractive and interesting horror work up to this day.
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