Sunday, December 17, 2023

Female Vampires of the Silver Screen 1927-1960: Edna Tichenor to Annette Vadim

Just a moment, ladies and gentlemen! A word before you go. We hope the memories of Dracula and Renfield won't give you bad dreams, so just a word of reassurance. When you get home tonight and the lights have been turned out and you are afraid to look behind the curtains—and you dread to see a face appear at the window—why, just pull yourself together and remember that after all, there are such things as vampires!

The above speech was delivered as an epilogue by actor Edward Van Sloan, who portrayed "Dr. Van Helsing", in director Tod Browning's, 1931, "Dracula"

After the movie's story ended, Van Sloan comes out through on-screen curtains, like seen in the opening to director James Whale's, 1931, "Frankenstein", to address the audience and deliver his warning.

However, when the motion picture was re-released in 1936, Joseph Breen of the "Hay's Censorship Office" had it removed from all known copies. Breen feared that the speech would encourage a belief in the supernatural.

Báthori Erzsébet, aka: Alžbeta Bátoriová, aka: Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed was accused of bathing in the blood of virgins. 

Elizabeth, during her life, August 7, 1560 - August 21, 1614, was an alleged serial killer of hundreds of young woman and a vampire. She was arrested on New Years Eve, 1612, accused of killing off and torturing the daughters of the lesser gentry, who were sent to her castle's women's quarters to learn etiquette. 

Accusations, including vampirism, against Bathory had started to be collected two-years prior to her arrest. By October, 1610, there were 30 such signed accusations, but by January, 1611, the number had risen to 300.

Countess Bathory and four of her servants were first tried over the unsupported accusations on January 2, 1611, but a retail was needed and held five-days later on January 7, 1611. According to the records of the second trial of Countess Elizabeth Bathory and her four servants, the highest number of victims the court could determine were 650 tortured, or missing women.

On January 25, 1611, the verdict directed that the countess be confined to her castle, the "Castle of Csejte", for the rest of her natural life, she died at the age of 54. Her four servants had been tortured for information and put to death.

The case of the vampire "Elizabeth Bathory" inspired many tales during the 18th and 19th Centuries. Her legend first appeared in print with the 1729, "Tragica Historia", by the Jesuit scholar Laszlo Turoczi. 

The legend still persists about the female vampire and according to the "Guinness Book of World Records":

The most prolific female murderer and the most prolific murderer of the western world, was Elizabeth Báthory, who practised vampirism on girls and young women. She is alleged to have killed more than 600 virgins in order to drink their blood and bathe in it, ostensibly to preserve her youth.

The actual witness accounts and the written accusations for the 1611-trials were discovered in 1817, none mentioned blood baths. In 1850, American John Paget in his "Hungry and Transylvania; with remarks of their condition Social, Political and Economical", page 50 - 51, describes what he claims is the origins of Elizbeth Bathory's blood bathing:

Between 1971 and 2013, there were eight motion pictures based upon the Elizabeth Bathory legend. Which brings me to Irish writer of Gothic stories, Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu, known simply as Sheridan Le Fanu.

First published in the London based literary magazine "Dark Blue", in late 1871, to early 1872, was Le Fanu's short story, 108 pages, "Carmilla"

Two points, first, this was 25-years before Irish writer Abraham "Bram" Stoker published his "Dracula"

Second, Sheridan Le Fanu's title character is a vampire and more specifically a lesbian vampire. Below is one of the original 1872 illustrations by D.H. Friston.

After spending several hours going over alleged "Complete Lists of Vampire Motion Pictures" from several sources, on and off-line, and revising my own list for this article. The 1913 motion picture, "The Vampire", appears on lists most often as the first female vampire movie. Technically yes, depending upon how you define "Vampire".

"The Vampire" starred actress Alice Hollister portraying a character called "Sybil the Vampire", or "The Vamp". The problem here is that "Sybil" was not a nocturnal, undead, "Carmilla", or a female heterosexual drinker of men's blood. Hollister was what morphed into the on-screen persona of actress Theda Bara, first seen in 1915's, "A Fool There Was".

According to author Jeffrey Weinstock, in his 2013, "Sana Fangs: Theda Bara, A Fool There Was, and the Cinematic Vamp":

the "Vampire woman" (Theda Bara) a psychic vampire described as "a woman of the vampire species" – who uses her charms to seduce men, only to leave after ruining their lives.

Theda Bara's persona of "The Vamp", the sexually active women draining wealthy men of their money and leaving them, was repeated in similar movies and stage productions with other actresses, but "The Vamp", also moved into the actual social life of what was called "The Roaring 20s". 

There were many vampire movies made in Europe, but just because they're on a list of such motion pictures does not always mean they are what that list or title seem to claim the picture is about. Two good examples come first from the then, "German Empire", 1916's, "Nachte des Grauens (A Night of Horror)". The film is supposedly the first feature length movie to portray vampires. Further investigation shows the movie is about a gang of thieves, and the young girl who avenges her father's murder by putting on a "monkey suit". Next, killing the entire gang in one night at their castle hideout.

From Poland, was 1925's, "Wampiry Warszawy (Vampires of Warsaw)". Although I found the title on several lists, the vampires of the story are actually a crime family that preys upon the citizens of Warsaw, Poland.

This is a small look at some of the actresses that portrayed the undead-female-vampire character between 1927 and 1960.  

I start with a lost motion picture----


"London After Midnight" is alleged to be based upon a short story written by Tod Browning entitled "The Hypnotist".  However, as of this writing, there is no evidence that such a story ever existed. Speculation is that Browning wrote a story outline he called "The Hypnotist" and that "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer" referenced it as a published work to lend more importance to the story.

The scenario, the silent film era term for what became the screenplay, was written by Waldemar Young. He had previously wrote the scenario's for Tod Browning and Lon Chaney's, 1925, "The Unholy Three", and 1927's, "The Unknown". Young followed this motion picture with the scenario for Browning and Chaney's, 1928's, "West of Zanzibar".

As this was a silent motion picture the title cards, telling the dialogue, were written by Joseph Farnham. He had just written them for 1927's, "The Unknown".

The motion picture's "Executive Producer", without on-screen credit, was "The Boy Wonder", Irving Thalberg. For "Universal Pictures", "Thalberg had produced Lon Chaney's, 1923, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", he did the same for Chaney's, Metro-Golden-Mayer, 1924, "He Who Gets Slapped", and both the Tod Browning - Lon Chaney, 1925, "The Unholy Three" and 1926's, "The Road to Mandalay"

Tod Browning both produced and directed this feature film. "Producer Browning" had just produced 1927's, "The Show", starring John Gilbert, Renee Adoree, and Lionel Barrymore. "Director Browning" had just directed "The Unknown", starring Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, and Joan Crawford.

The following are four important actors to this motion picture's story.

Lon Chaney portrayed two characters, "Professor, of Inspector", depending on who the reviewer, or film historian is, "Edward C. Burke", and ---

--- "The Man in the Beaver Hat". Chaney had just been seen in 1927's, "Mockery", and followed this motion picture with 1928, "The Big City".

Marceline Day portrayed "Lucile Balfour". Prior to this feature, Day portrayed "Serafina" in 1927's, "The Road to Romance". She would follow this feature with 1928's, "Under the Black Flag".

Henry B. Walthall portrayed "Sir James Hamlin". In 1915, Walthall had a major role in director D.W. Griffith's, "The Birth of a Nation". The same year he starred in a biography of Edgar Allan Poe, "The Raven", later he portrayed actor Richard Arlen's father in the first motion picture to win the "Best Picture Oscar", director William "Wild Bill" Wellman's, 1927, "Wings". 

Claude King portrayed both "Roger Balfour" and "The Stranger". Also in 1927, Claude King was in the Lon Chaney and Renee Adoree, "Mr. Wu".

The Female Vampire:

Edna Frances Tichenor was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on April 1, 1901, by 1904 her family had relocated to Los Angles and she attended elementary school there. Apparently, her family relocated once more, because Edna graduated from "Long Beach Polytechnic High School". In 1919, she married an auto mechanic named Robert J. Springer, and the marriage lasted until 1930.

It was during that marriage that Edna Tichenor Springer made her eleven motion pictures. I could not locate where she learned acting, or how she got her first film role, but that role was her first of four- motion pictures directed by Tod Browning. 

1923's, "Drifting", was about an American girl in Shanghai, China, portrayed by Priscilla Dean, as an opium smuggler who falls in love with the undercover agent out to get her. Edna Tichenor had sixth-billing portraying "Molly Norton". 

Six-roles later, Edna was portraying a character described as "The Vamp", with fifth-billing in 1926's, "The Gosh-Darn Mortgage". She followed that Mack Sennett comedy short, once more portraying "The Vamp", in a second Sennett comedy, 1926's, "Officer of the Day".

Next was Edna Tichenor's second motion picture directed by Tod Browning, January 14, 1927's, "The Show". The movie is set in a Budapest circus side-show and Edna portrayed "Arachnida  - the Human Spider", seen below with the movie's star, John Gilbert.

Which brings Edna Tichenor to the role of "Luna - the Bat Girl". Which might be the first true on-screen female vampire

"Rodger Balfour" is found dead one night in his London home. 

Scotland Yard representative "Burke" is sent to the scene and determines this was a suicide. Five years pass, "Balfour's" home has been left vacant, but now there are reports of a strange man and woman living in the house.

The servants of "Rodger Balfour's" best friend, "Sir James Hamlin", report seeing the man and woman, but they are not seen during daylight. The two servants tell "Sir James" they believe the two mysterious persons are vampires.

The woman, Edna Tichenor, as "Luna - the Bat Girl", is seen below wearing her burial shroud, but I would point out Edna's dead like eyes stare. Edna's "Bat Girl" was the model for future women vampires that was carried out in different degrees into 1958.

"Sir James" contacts "Burke" and he returns to investigate. Meanwhile, the two neighbors appear within "Sir James's" house, where the daughter of "Roger Balfour" is living. "Burke" arrives and a man looking exacting like "Roger" is seen with the two vampires at the "Balfour" home. Has he come back from the grave?

Above left to right, Lon Chaney, Henry B. Walthall, Conrad Nagel portraying "Arthur Hibbs", who is falling for "Lucille", who is falling for "Arthur", Marceline Day, and Polly Moran portraying "Miss Smithson, the New Maid".

"Arthur" disappears and "Lucille" goes over to her old house and is confronted by the vampires.

"Lucille Balfour" faints at the site of "The Stranger" who looks exactly like her father.

As I am interested mainly in the character and look of Edna Tichenor's, female vampire, I will leave the reveal to this article in "Moving Picture World".

Legends say that Vampires Do Not Come Out in Daylight. However, during the daylight hours of September 29, 1930 through January 2, 1931, Tod Browning filmed "DRACULA", starring Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye, and the previously mentioned Edward Van Sloan.

However, it is what was happening at "Universal Pictures" between sunset and sunrise that I am really interested in for this article. When a Spanish language version of the screenplay was filmed.


This is a look at two vampire motion pictures that are exactly alike, but not exactly alike!

As I just mentioned, during the safety of daylight, Tod Browning filmed his 1931, "Dracula", but between sunset and sunrise, on the same sets, director George Melford, filmed the Spanish version of the same screenplay. At the time, the idea of dubbing a motion picture into a foreign language was yet to be developed. So, when a studio wanted to make a specific film in a specific non-English language, they hired a cast that spoke the required language and shot the same screenplay.

The Tod Browning screenplay had been written by John L. Balderston, Hamilton Deane, Garrett Fort, and Dudley Murphy. 

John L Balderston as a reporter was present for the opening of "King Tut's Tomb". He worked on the screenplays for both 1931's, "Dracula", and "Frankenstein", and of course 1932's, "The Mummy".
My article is "John L. Balderston: Writing Classic Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction Screenplays", at: 

George Melford, who did not speak one word of Spanish, used a Spanish language translator, Baltasar Fernandez Cue, credited as B. Fernandez Cue to rework the original screenplay into the Spanish version. Along with slight variations of names from English into Spanish recognized ones , for example, "Mina Seward", became "Eva Seward".

Director George Melford had started directing movies in 1911, none of them were in Spanish, or any other foreign language. He had been an actor since 1909 and his sound films at this point were all in English. As a director, George Melford had just directed future "B" Cowboy star, Charles Starrett, in 1931's, "The Viking", which was not about Vikings, but present-day fishermen. 

It needs to be mentioned that Tod Browning was tied down to the American censors of the "Hayes Office". While, George Melford's movie was considered a "Foreign Film", and the American censors could not change one second of the production. Even though both pictures were shot at a American studio, "Universal Pictures", in North Hollywood, California. 

I start with a comparison of Browning's three-vampire-brides, that are dressed basically like Edna Tichenor, with those same staring eyes from "London After Midnight", but not really frightening as appearing more like three mindless actresses.

However, compare them to the look of Melford's three-vampire-brides. That without American censorship, were savage and insane.

Carlos Villarias credited as Carlos Villar, portrayed "Conde Dracula". Born in Spain, Villarias had only been acting in motion pictures since 1930. His portrayal is too often compared to Bela Lugosi's, without understanding the differences he brought to the role for Latin audiences. The movie premiered March 11, 1931, not in Mexico, as many believe, but Havana, Cuba.

Lupita Tovar portrayed "Eva Seward". Guadalupe Natalia Tovar Sullivan was born in Matias Romero, Oaxaca, Mexico, on July 27, 1910. She started on-screen acting in 1929. In 1932, Lupita Tovar married Austrian-Hungarian producer Paul Kohner, and their daughter, Susan Kohner, would be nominated for the "Best Supporting Actress Academy Award", for 1959's, "Imitation of Life".

Both versions start out with solicitor "Renfield" riding inside a coach in Transylvania to meet with "Count Dracula". Although most of the coach passengers change in both versions with the different "Renfield's", Dwight Frye, or Pablo-Alvarez Rubio, one actress is seen in both. Carla Laemmle, was the niece of the founder and owner of "Universal Pictures", Carl Laemmle.

Above, Carla falls into the lap of Dwight Frye, below, she's in the lap of Pablo-Alvarez Rubio, recreating the scene in both the Browning and Melford versions

The "Renfield" section of the story is fairly identical. Once the count arrives in England, he meets both the heroine and hero of the story. Along with his future first vampire bride.

Which brings me to the two actresses that become the "Female Vampires" for a short on-screen time.

Below, Bela Lugosi's "Dracula", with Francis Wade's "Lucy Weston". Notice the "Hays Office" control of Wade's look, the perfect hair style, make-up, and a dress designed to fashionably cover her breasts and cleavage.

While the following still shows Carlos Villar portraying "Dracula" with Carmen Guerrero's "Lucia Weston". Notice the Latin Hairstyle, make-up, and a dress that is cut low into her cleavage adding a more sexual tone to the scene.

I could not locate any stills after both women after they were turned into vampires, except for the entrance of both "Dracula's" into their bedrooms. 

As both movies progressed the difference between the two leading female characters becomes clearer to the viewer. The only sign of a sexual nature in the Joseph Breen approved Tod Browning version. Seems to come, when Browning slipped in an almost implied lesbian relationship between "Mina" and "Lucy", after "Lucy" has been bitten.

While there is a freedom to Lupita Tovar's "Eva" that is not seen in Helen Chandler's "Mina". 

Which shows how having the freedom of being classified a foreign motion picture, gave George Melford the ability to go into the area of sexuality reflected in Bram Stoker's written words. Rather than just filming a screenplay based upon a stage play that starred Lugosi on Broadway. Which Tod Browning seemed content to flatly recreate on screen.

The difference in film styles between the "Hayes Office" controlled Tod Browning, 1931, "Dracula", and George Melford's Spanish language version is shown in the following stills of the two leading ladies. This sequence comes after the count has bitten them for the first time, beginning the process of turning them.

Below, Helen Chandler's "Mina Seward" is seen with David Joseph Manners, born Rauff de Ryther Duan Acklom's "Jonathan Harker". Note how stiff the actors seem in the scene.

Below, the exact same scene shows Lupita Tovar's "Eva Seward" with Argentine actor Barry Norton, born Alfredo Carlos Biraben's "Juan Harker". Note the uncensored Latin sexuality in the Spanish version of the scene. 

At the time of filming, Helen Chandler had already started to battle her own personal vampire, alcohol, which would last until her death in 1965. It had caused the end of her career in 1938, and in 1950, Chandler would fall asleep smoking and was severely burned all over her body. 

As the above sequence progresses, "Dracula" in the form of a bat appears calling to "Eva/Mina" and "Juan/John" fights it off. Note the difference between Lupita Tovar's sexuality awaiting the return of the vampire as directed by George Melford, compared with an almost stone-faced Helen Chandler directed by Tod Browning. 

Both versions end the same way with the saving of "Eva/Mina" in Carfax Abby, and the off-screen staking of "Count Dracula", 

A female vampire does not always look, pardon my pun, drop-dead-gorgeous on-screen.

The complete title for this German and French horror movie is "VAMPYR - DER TRAUM des ALLAN GRAY (Vampyr: The Dream of Allan Gray)".

The screenplay was based upon elements of the stories in J. Sheridan Le Fanu's, 1872 short story collection, "In a Glass Darkly". Which contain five stories, "Green Tea", "The Familiar", "Mr. Justice Harbottle", "The Room in the Dragon Volant", and "Carmilla".

The screenplay was co-written by Danish writer Christen Jul, this was his first of seven screenplays.

The other writer, also Danish, was Carl Theodor Dreyer. Dreyer also directed this motion picture, but his background was as an actor, film editor, and art director. Dreyer was credited on this production as Carl Th. Dreyer.

The very eerie cinematography was by Polish born  Rudolph Mate. Among his Hollywood work is actor Spencer Tracy's, 1935's, "Dante's Inferno", with a terrifying fantasy hell sequence, director Alfred Hitchcock's, 1940, "Foreign Correspondent", and Humphrey Bogart's, 1943, "Sahara". 

Julian West portrayed "Allan Gray". West was actually Paris, France, born, Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg, full name Nicolas Louis Alexandre de Gunzburg.  

Maurice Schultz portrayed "Der Schlossherr (The Lord of the Manor)". Between 1918 and 1952, the French actor appeared in 109 roles.

Rena Mandel portrayed "Gisele". The Polish model made this motion picture and only one other.

Sybille Schmitz portrayed "Leone". Sybille became very associated with Nazi Germany cinema to escape to her dream of Hollywood. She starred in the Nazi propaganda version of the sinking of the "Titanic" in 1943, her last film was in 1950.

Jan Hieronimko portrayed "Der Dorfarzt (The Village Doctor)". Warsaw, Poland, born Hieronimko only made this one motion picture.

The Female Vampire 

Henriette Gerard
portrayed "Marguerite Chopin - Die alte Frau von Friedof (The Old Woman from the Cemetery)". This was Henriette Gerard's only movie and I could not locate any information about her.

It's late evening and traveler "Allan Gray" comes upon an inn in Courtempierre, located in north-central France. He rents a room for the night and is awaken by a mysterious man leaving a square package on the table. Just as mysterious, the man leaves without a word, and "Gray" reads the words:

"Gray", still holding the strange package, steps outside of the inn to see moving shadows that seem to be a supernatural guide for him to follow to an old castle.


Above is "Castle Courtempierre", in Courtempierre. France, and used in the motion picture and built around 1357.

At the old castle, "Allan Gray" witnesses more shadows dancing on the walls and "Walking Away" on their own. 

"Gray" next meets an old woman, who he will find out is "Marguerite Chopin", and shortly afterwards, an old man, who turns out to be the village doctor. 

"Gray" leaves the castle's grounds and walks toward what appears to be a large manor house.

Looking through a window, ---

---"Allan Gray" sees the man who gave him the package, the "Lord of the Manor". A sudden shot rings out, and the "Lord of the Manor" falls to the floor. The servants see "Gray" and let him into the house, and rush, too late to aid the fallen man. 

Next, the servants ask "Allan Gray" to remain the night, "Gisele", the younger daughter of the "Lord of the Manor" takes him to the library. "Gisele" tells "Allan" that her older sister, "Leone" is gravely ill, but they now see her walking outside and leave the manor to follow her. 

The two find "Leone" unconscious on the lawn with two fresh bite marks on her neck. They have the servants carry "Leone" inside the manor to her room. "Allan Gray", next, opens the package from the "Lord of the Manor" to find a book inside. He starts to read it and finds the book is about horrific demons called vampyr's (vampires), that can force a human victim into submission to their will. "Allan" is sure that "Leone" is such a victim, but who is the vampyr?

The village doctor now visits "Leone" and tells "Gray" that she needs a blood transfusion, and "Allan" volunteers. After which, he falls asleep. The doctor is a thrall of the old woman, vampyr.

As the above is transpiring, Albert Bras portraying the "Der alte Diener (The Old Servant)" finds the book and reads it.

The old servant learns from the book that a vampyr can be destroyed by driving an iron bar through its heart. His daughter, I could not locate who portrayed her, had been bitten by the vampyr.

"Allan Gray" wakes up with a feeling a danger in the house and hurries to "Leone's" bedside, to find the doctor attempting to poison her. The doctor flees the room and the manor house. As "Allan" goes in search of "Gisele", but cannot find her.

"Allan Gray" now goes in search of the doctor, spots him and follows the doctor toward the castle. However, before he can go any further, "Allan Gray" has an out-of-body-experience. and sees himself dead and being buried by "Marguerite Chopin" and the doctor.

After "Gray" returns to his physical body, he spots the old servant heading for the grave of "Marguerite Chopin" and joins him. The two open her grave, find her perfectly preserved body and hammer a metal bar through her heart, "Leone" recovers as does the old servant's daughter.

Next, the ghost of the "Lord of the Manor" appears to the doctor and the "limping solider", portrayed by Georges Boidin, who has been helping him keep 'Gisele" a prisoner. The doctor flees, but the ghost causes the death of the soldier.

"Allan" rescues "Gisele", and the doctor flees to the old mill to hide. However, as the old servant arrives, the doctor realizes the flour making chamber he's in is now locked from the outside. The old servant starts the mill's machinery and the chamber starts to fill with flour, suffocating the doctor. While, "Allan" and "Gisele" cross a lake to a beautiful countryside and their happiness.

Sometimes a remake works, and sometimes a remake doesn't.


This is an interesting updated remake of 1927's, "London After Midnight", it works and it doesn't work.

The motion picture was produced and directed by Tod Browning. He also contributed to the screenplay, because of his story "The Hypnotist".

The actual screenplay was written by Guy Endore. Two-years before this motion picture, Endore had written what is considered the definitive werewolf novel, "The Werewolf of Paris". Which is to werewolf literature as Bram Stoker's "Dracula" is to vampire literature. Guy Endore would be blacklisted by the "House Committee on Un-American Activities", move to England and write the screenplay version of his novel as 1961's, "Curse of the Werewolf". His very interesting life and career can be read in my article "Guy Endore: Black Listing and Communism in the Motion Picture Industry", at:

There were four more names involved with this screenplay. Co-writing credit went to Bernard Schubert, he would co-write three horror films for "Universal Pictures", all in 1944, "Jungle Woman", "The Mummy's Curse", and the "Frozen Ghost".

Uncredited were H.S. Kraft, Samuel Ornitz, and John L. Balderston. 

Guy Endore separated the roles of the "Professor/Inspector", and "Vampire" into three separate characters. That, plus moving the story from London, England, to Prague, Czechoslovakia, has a on-going debate if this was really Tod Browning remaking his "London After Midnight"? 

Lionel Barrymore portrayed "Professor Zelin". Barrymore had just co-starred with Shirley Temple in 1935's, "The Little Colonel", and followed this motion picture with the crime drama, 1935's,"Public Hero Number 1", co-starring with Jean Arthur and Chester Morris. 

Trivia: Lionel Barrymore was the first sound "Captain Nemo", in the part silent/part sound, 1929 version of French author Jules Verne's, "The Mysterious Island".

Above Lionel Barrymore, center, with Donald Meek, on the left portraying "Dr. Doskil", and to his right, Jean Hersholt portraying "Baron Otto".

Elizabeth Allan portrayed "Irena Borotyn". She had just portrayed "Mrs. Copperfield", in the 1935 version of British author Charles Dickens', "David Copperfield". Allan followed this picture portraying "Lucie Manette", in the 1935 version of Charles Dickens', "A Tale of Two Cities".

Bela Lugosi portrayed "Count Moria". He had just been seen in the crime drama, 1935's, "The Best Man Wins", and followed this motion picture with 1935's, "The Raven", billed as "Bela (Dracula) LUGOSI".

Lionel Atwill portrayed "Inspector Neumann". Lionel Atwill, co-starred with Marlene Dietrich and Edward Everest Horton, in the 1935 comedy drama, "The Devil is a Woman". After this feature he was in the crime mystery, 1935's, "The Murder Man", starring Spencer Tracy and Virginia Bruce, Atwill had 3rd billing and a actor named James Stewart had 6th.

Above, Lionel Barrymore and Lionel Atwill.

Jean Hersholt portrayed "Baron Otto von Zinden". Hersholt had just been in the Greta Garbo and Herbert Marshall, 1934, "The Painted Veil", and followed this feature film with the Katharine Hepburn, and Charles Boyer's, 1935, "Break of Hearts".

Above, Lionel Atwill and Jean Hersholt.

Not on the poster, but very important is The Female Vampire.

Carroll Borland,
billed as Carol Borland, portrayed "Luna Mora". 

There is no doubt the following poster is referring to Carroll Borland's "Luna" about Bela Lugosi's "Count Moria".

This was Borland's third of only six feature films. He next role found her as a "woman in Ming's Palace", in 1936's, "Flash Gordon", starring Buster Crabbe, and Jean Rodgers. 

Borland was a student at the University of California, Berkeley, when she took this role. She had previously been on stage in a production of the play "Dracula", starring Bela Lugosi, written by John L. Balderston and Hamilton Deane. She had no idea that Lugosi was in the motion picture until she appeared at the studio. According to the "Los Angeles Times", Carroll Borland Parten, would obtain a doctorate:

she left pictures for academia, earned a doctorate in education and taught early childhood development at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena and at UCLA Extension.

Carroll Borland would eventually earn a "Professorship" in her profession. 

What the original screenplay written by Guy Endore was is apparently lost and stories have circulated since the pictures release. This might be explained by either "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer", or Tod Browning bringing in the three uncredited writers to work on and change portions of the screenplay. More at the end of this section.

The film opens as "Sir Karell Borotyn", portrayed by Holmes Herbert, is found murdered in his castle with two tiny puncture wounds on his neck. "Dr. Doskil", and "Sir Karell's" friend, "Baron Otto von Zinden" are convinced that he was killed by a vampire. They suspect "Count Moria", but "Prague Police Inspector Neumann" refuses to believe such nonsense.  


"Sir Karell's" daughter, "Irena" is considered the next possible target by "Inspector Neumann". "Professor Zelin", an expert on vampires and the occult now arrives to study "Sir Karell Borotyn's" death and the possibility that the vampire, "Count Moria", is in the vicinity. "Irena", because of her age, is staying with "Baron von Zinden", her appointed guardian, who is soon to be the executor of her father's extremely wealthy estate. "Fedor Vincente", portrayed by Henry Wadsworth, is a possible suspect, because he is "Irena's" fiancé and would gain access to the wealth through a marriage.

Meanwhile, the "Borotyn" castle remains unoccupied since "Sir Karell's" murder. Perhaps?

The "Coroner", portrayed by Egon Brecher, does his investigation in "Dr. Doskil's" office and questions the local "Inkeeper", portrayed by Michael Visaroff, second picture below, if he looks somewhat familiar? Visaroff was the "Innkeeper" in 1931's, "Dracula" that warned Dwight Frye.

The Innkeeper also believes it was "Count Moria" and his daughter that killed "Sir Karell" and claims to have seen the two at the castle, appearing as giant bats of the night. 

"Professor Zelin", after hearing the Innkeeper's testimony and others, now states he believes that "Sir Karrell Borotyn" was killed by "Count Moria". The next person to have seen the vampires is "Fedor", who enters "Baron Otto's" home in obvious distress and unable to recall anything, but running by the castle to catch a train at the nearby train station and falling down. 

Both "Dr. Doskil" and "Professor Zelin" examine two bite marks on "Fedor's" neck.

Next, during the night, a horse-led-wagon is carrying the new servant, "Maria", portrayed by Lelia Bennett, who sees "Luna Moria" in the floating mists.

"Baron Otto" says that "Maria" must have seen some real estate agents showing the castle, which is up for sale, and not fantasy vampires. 

Next, "Irena" is found sitting in the garden in the middle of night, and "Professor Zelin" believes she has been a victim of "Luna".

"Professor Zelin" now orders bat-thorn, a weed that wards of supernatural spirits be spread throughout "Baron Otto's" house and the doors kept locked at all times. While the servants spread the bat-thorn, a large bat flies into the house and an apparition of "Count Moria" appears and then disappears.

Finally convinced that something strange is happening, "Inspector Neumann", meets with "Baron Otto" and "Professor Zelin". It is determined that the only way to rid the Baron's house of a vampire is to find their graves, cut off their heads, and place bat-thorn in their necks.

Next, it is discovered that there is a recently signed lease on the castle. It was signed by the dead "Sir Karell Borotyn" in what appears to be his handwriting. The three men decide to go to the castle and inspect the grounds to find out what's going on there.

While sneaking up to one of the castle's windows, "Baron Otto" and "Inspector Neuman" now witness "Sir Karell" with "Count Moria" and "Luna".

This is how the movie ends, more afterward.

Now, "Irena" in panic comes to "Professor Zelin" to tell him she can't go through with his plan to force "Baron Otto" to confess to murdering her father by seeing his ghost and the vampires.

 "Zelin" now switches to hypnotizing "Baron Otto" into recreating the murder. The audience learns that an actor is portraying "Sir Karell Borotyn" and with his help recreates the events leading up to the murder, and the murder, itself, up to the point it was actually committed.

"Inspector Neumann" now arrests "Baron Otto", and "Irena" is free to marry "Fedor". Finally, the audience learns that even the vampires were hired actors in "Zelin's" plan.

According to Arthur Lenning's, July 2010, "The Immortal Count: The Life and Films of Bela Lugosi", University Press of Kentucky, Carrol Borland, said the ending that the vampires were actors hired by "Professor Zelin", was not revealed to the cast until the scene was to be shot.

This fact is reinforced by several other sources including the "Notes", on the "TCM Website" for "The Mark of the Vampire",  

Lugosi's biography also notes that the actor designed his own costume, and that neither he nor any of the other actors knew how the film was going to conclude until the final days of production, when Browning made the final pages of the script available to them. Because the actors had been playing the story as strict horror, they reportedly balked at Browning's "gimmick" ending.
An alternate ending with a second twist, in which Lionel Barrymore's character receives a telegram from the vaudeville actors apologizing for not being able to make their train for the castle assignment, was proposed, but Browning rejected it.
That alternate ending would imply to the audience that the vampires were real, which brings me to what Guy Endore might have actually written. As a clue, I direct my reader to the movie poster I placed with Carrol Borland's name above. That "Count Moria" and his daughter, "Luna" were actual vampires.

As is pointed out by film critic Mark A. Vera, 2003, "Hollywood Horror: From Gothic to Cosmic", Harry N. Abrams, New York, and the "TCM Notes:

The original story had Count Mora committing suicide after killing his daughter, with whom he had an incestuous relationship, but all traces of the incest and suicide plots, with the exception of Count Mora's bullet wound scar resulting from the suicide, were removed from the film. 

Above, the bullet wound scar seems out of place and unexplained in the released version.

It also must be mentioned that the estimated running time of the original preview version of "Mark of the Vampire' was 80-minutes, the final released version that the above storyline relates to was 60-minutes. Asking the reasonable question, were the other four writers hired by either the studio, or Tod Browning to change the original screenplay and that final sequence?

Sheridan Le Fanu was not the only author of lesbian vampire stories. It is believed that the real opening to Bram Stoker's novel, "Dracula", was such a story. The author removed that section, known as "Dracula's Guest", before having his novel published. The removed story was not published until 1914, after his death by his wife Florence, as part of a collection entitled, "Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories".


This motion picture will also be found in my article looking at several different vampire movies, "Not the Same Old VAMPIRE Movie, or Get Your Dentures Away from My Juglar Vein" at:

The Twisting Road to a Screenplay:

The idea of turning "Dracula's Guest" into a motion picture was presented to "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer", in 1933, by David O. Selznick, after he acquired the rights from Bram Stoker's widow, Florence Stoker. John L. Balderston, was hired by Selznick to write a motion picture story based upon the short story and to also plug up as many holes in the 1931, Tod Browning screenplay as it applied to the original novel. 

It would be John L. Balderston, who according to the "TCM Website" stated:

in a January 1934 memo. "I want... to establish the fact that Dracula's Daughter enjoys torturing her male victims... and that these men under her spell rather like it."

It was also Balderston that realized the rights to Bram Stoker's novel were owned by "Universal Pictures", a rival of "MGM", and the possibility of lawsuits. 

The possible lawsuit problem was solved in 1934, when "Universal Pictures" bought the rights from "MGM" using the code-name "Tarantula" in correspondence. Selznick would receive coded credit for the suggested idea of using "Dracula's Guest", under the name of "Oliver Jeffries". 

There was a heightened reason for "Universal Pictures" acquiring of the Balderston treatment of the short story then most people realized. At the time "Universal Pictures" was in deep financial problems and owner Carl L. Laemmle was in need of a money-making motion picture. In actuality, this was one of the last films "Presented" by him, before the family lost control of the studio he built and owned.

An earlier treatment of the Balderston story, that was not used, was by Kurt Neumann. As a writer, Neumann came up with the story idea for Bela Lugosi's, 1943, "The Return of the Vampire". However, Kurt Neumann had been primarily a "B" director since 1931, but he would also write the screenplay for, and direct the science fiction cult classic, 1950's, "Rocketship X-M". As a director, his other science fiction films were 1957's, "KRONOS", and the original, 1958, "The Fly".

Carl Laemmle, Jr. wanted the picture directed by James Whale, who was already signed to direct "The Bride of Frankenstein". "Junior", as he was known on the lot, reassigned R.C. Sherriff, Whale's, 1932's, "The Old Dark House", and 1933's, "The Invisible Man", to rewrite Neumann's screenplay. 

The problem for "Junior" was that Whale had other ideas, and only wanted to direct the Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's, Broadway musical, "Show Boat".

Looking for an escape clause, James Whale made changes to Sheriff's screenplay that brought down the power of Joseph Breen, and as Whale had hoped, got him off the project.

Next, Laemmle, Jr. assigned Garret Fort, who had co-written with Balderston, both 1931's, "Dracula" and "Frankenstein", to rewrite the James Whale tampering of the R.C. Sherriff screenplay, with Finley Peter Dunne, 1934's "Imitation of Life" and 1935's the "Magnificent Obsession". Fort's screenplay was submitted in January 1936, but wasn't exactly what Carl Laemmle, Jr. still wanted.

Meanwhile, Joseph Breen laid down the law over what he saw in the screenplay. He is quoted by Rick Worland, in his 2007, "The Horror Film: An Introduction", as saying:

The present suggestion that ... Lili poses in the nude will be changed. She will be posing her neck and shoulders, and there will be no suggestion that she undresses, and there will be no exposure of her person. It was also stated that the present incomplete sequence will be followed by a scene in which Lili is taken to a hospital and there it will be definitely established that she has been attacked by a vampire. The whole sequence will be treated in such a way as to avoid any suggestion of perverse sexual desire on the part of Marya or of an attempted sexual attack by her upon Lili.

In March 1936, the writer of 1933's, "The Mystery of the Wax Museum", Charles Belden, was given the Garret Fort screenplay to once again rewrite. Belden's screenplay appears to be what the audience saw on-screen, but it still seemed more Sheridan Le Fanu, then Abraham Bram Stoker.

Next, Get Someone to Direct:

With no James Whale, "Junior" now gave Charles Belden's screenplay to A. Edward Sutherland. Sutherland was a great comedy director, but this wasn't a comedy. He had just directed W.C. Fields in 1936's, "Poppy", and just before that, 1935's, "Diamond Jim", a fictional telling of the 1899 romance between James Buchanan "Diamond Jim" Brady and actress and singer Lillian Russell. However, Sutherland had the same lack of interest in vampires and actually left "Universal Pictures".

"Dracula's Daughter" was now given to Lambert Hillyer to direct. He was as strange a choice as Sutherland, and known for "B" Cowboy movies with Tom Mix, and Buck Jones. Along with forgotten minor-"B"-dramas with Jack Holt, who also was associated with westerns as the main villain. Immediately before this feature, Hillyer directed Holt, Robert Armstrong, and Grace Barley in the forgotten drama, 1936's, "Dangerous Waters". He did have one horror film, 1935's, "The Invisible Ray", starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. Apparently, Lambert Hillyer accidently turned out to be the best director for this feature and he got together with cinematographer George Robinson, who had worked with him on "The Invisible Ray", to create a very atmospheric tone to the overall production.

Casting a Vampire Movie:

Carl Laemmle, Jr. signed Bela Lugosi to once again portray "Count Dracula", but the role wasn't really needed and by the time the filming was completed. The actor had been paid more money for the role then he got in 1931, but was used only in publicity stills like the one below with Gloria Holden.

Radio, stage, and film actress Jane Wyatt, a year away from director Frank Capra's classic fantasy, 1937's, "Lost Horizon", and eighteen-years away from the first episode of televisions "Father Knows Best", was originally considered for the role of "Janet Blake". 

Character actor Cesar Romero was three-years away from his first "Cisco Kid" movie, but not as the character. That would be in 1939, with "The Cisco Kid and the Lady". He was originally considered for the role of "Jeffrey Garth".

Otto Kruger portrayed "Jeffrey Garth". Over his career Otto Kruger had major supporting roles in the Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper, 1934, version of Robert Lewis Stevenson's, "Treasure Island", 1940's, "Dr. Ehrlch's Magic Bullet", co-starring with Edgar G. Robinson, co-starred in director Alfred Hitchcock's, 1942, "Saboteur", was in Dick Powell's version of author Raymond Chandler's, 1944, "Murder, My Sweet", David O. Selznick's controversial 1946 western, "Duel in the Sun", and 1952's, "High Noon".

The Female Vampire:

Gloria Holden
portrayed "Countess Marya Zaleska (Dracula's Daughter)". Born in London, England, her parents came to the United States and settled in Wayne, Pennsylvania. She studied drama at New York City's, "American Academy of Dramatic Arts". This was stage and radio actress, Holden's third on-screen role, and her most memorable to fans of horror. 

Film critic Mark Clark, writes in his 2004, "Smirk, Sneer and Scream: Great Actors in Horror Cinema", that Gloria Holden had heard Bela Lugosi's complaints for being typecast and feared this would happen to her. Clark writes that:

Her disdain for the part translates into a kind of self-loathing that perfectly suits her troubled character.

It is said, but not confirmed, that Gloria Holden's "Countess Zaleska" influenced vampire writer Ann Rice, for her novel, "Queen of the Damned".

Marguerite Churchill portrayed "Janet Blake". Her film career totals only twenty-nine roles, but they span 1929 to 1952. Just prior to this feature film, Churchill had fourth-billing in 1936's, "The Walking Dead", starring Boris Karloff. 

Edward Van Sloan
portrayed "Professor Van Helsing". He had just been in a crime film-noir starring Donald Woods, 1936's, "Road Gang", but billed as "Ed Van Sloan". He would next have an uncredited role in the Mary Ellis and Walter Pidgeon musical mystery romance, 1936's, "Fatal Lady".

Irving Pichel portrayed "Sandor". Don't recognize his name? Pichel was both an actor and director, and as a director he co-directed the Joel McCrea, Fay Wray, and Leslie Banks', classic 1932, "The Most Dangerous Game". Pichel was the voice narrating the "Woody Woodpecker" cartoon and the director of producer George Pal's, classic science fiction movie, 1950's, "Destination Moon". Not to forget narrating director's John Ford and Gregg Toland's, 1943 documentary, "December 7th", and Ford's, 1949, "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon", among many other films in both categories.

Nan Grey, billed as Nan Gray, portrayed "Lili". In 1939, Grey portrayed "Lady Alice Barton", in the Basil Rathbone and Boris Karloff, "Tower of London", and in 1940, she co-starred with Sir Cedric Hardwicke and Vincent Price in "The Invisible Man Returns".

What was seen on-screen:

"Countess Zaleska", is seen on-screen, not as Bram Stoker would have written her, or the screenplay did, but pardon the overly used term, "A Shakespearian Character", a tragic person searching for that one someone who would understand her real situation and not be repelled by what she is, by helping the countess to regain her lost humanity.

The screenplay actually opens where Tod Browning's, 1931, "Dracula" left off. "Professor Van Helsing" has just driven a wooden stake through "Dracula's" heart and is still in the lower ruins of Carfax Abby. 

Above, initially Laemmle, Jr. and Hillyer wanted Bela Lugosi to be in the coffin, but as the story goes, he refused and a terrible "Dummy Lugosi" was used instead. With Bela getting paid handsomely for posing for the dummy.

As "Van Helsing" starts to leave, two Whitby police officers, "Sergeant Wilkes", portrayed by E. E. Clive, and "Constable Albert", portrayed by Billy Bevan, come across him and find a body with a stake driven through it and another man, supposedly "Renfield", with a broken neck. "Van Helsing" is taken to Scotland Yard, and is brought before "Sir Basil Humphrey", portrayed by Gilbert Emery.

There, "Van Helsing" explains that he cannot be accused of murdering a man who has been dead for 500-years. "Sir Basil" does not believe that the corpse was a vampire, or for that matter there are vampires. Instead of hiring a lawyer, the professor calls upon a former student, "Dr. Jeffrey Garth", a psychiatrist, and a friend of "Sir Basil Humphrey".

Meanwhile, in Whitby, the recovered bodies are in a jail cell, and "Sergeant Wilkes" leaves "Constable Albert" to oversee them, so "Wilkes" can meet an officer from Scotland Yard arriving by train.

Entering the jail is the "Countess Zaleska", who using her ring, hypnotizes "Albert" and with her servant, "Sandor", leaves with the body of her father, "Count Dracula". 

The audience finds out that "Dracula's Daughter" is attempting to rid herself of the curse of vampirism. She believes that by performing a ritual burial on her father, the curse will be lifted and she can live a normal life. She tosses salt on her father's body and begins the ritual.

"Sandor", who is in love with "Marya", tells her that she is only fooling herself, and that her eyes do not deceive, and have death in them.

The two returns to "Countess Marya Zaleska's London flat.

"Sando" helps his love into her coat and she goes out into the night seeking blood.

Next there is a party being held by "Lady Esme Hammond", portrayed by Hedda Hopper, she had just started her first "Hollywood Gossip Column" in 1935. At the party attended by "Countess Zaleska", is "Dr. Jeffrey Garth", and his secretary - fiancée, "Janet Blake". 

Above, Marguerite Churchill, Otto Kruger, and Hedda Hopper. Many reviewers committed the crime of identifying Hopper as Louella Parsons. Below, Churchill and Hopper in another scene at the party.

"Jeffrey" and "Janet" meet the "Countess Marya Zaleska" and the conversation turns to "Van Helsing" and his delusions about a vampire called "Dracula". "Dr. Garth" believes that "Van Helsing" can be cured and the "Countess" asks "Garth" to come to her home for a personal consultation on a problem she experiences. 

At her home, "Dr. Garth" gives the "Countess" the advice, that the next time she feels the influence of the dead using her for their own will, she should face it, and fight it. 

Next, "Dr. Jeffrey Garth" is called away and "Marya" attempts to follow his medical advice, believing this will cure her of her vampirism.

The audience now reaches the point in the story of Joseph Breen's concern. "Sandor" is sent to find a model for "Marya's" painting and returns with "Lili" to pose for her. The first of the veiled lesbianism of the screenplay now comes out. As Lambert Hillyer suggests what is not written and is able to get around Breen.

"Countess Marya Zaleska" cannot resist her urge to drink the blood of "Lili" and next the audience sees "Lili" in an alleyway. She is rushed to a hospital and "Dr. Jeffrey Garth" examines the young woman who has amnesia and two-tiny-punctures on her neck, like a man from the night before.

"Dr. Garth" now treats "Lili" for a post-hypnotic trance and starts to believe the incredible story "Marya" told him about vampirism and herself. "Jeffrey" brings "Lili" out of her trance; she tells him what happened and dies. "Jeffrey Garth" now calls "Marya Zaleska" and tells her not to leave London.

Meanwhile, "Sandor" under the orders of "Marya" has kidnapped "Janet" and taken her to Transylvania. This is unknown to "Jeffrey" and he goes to "Marya's" London studio. There she tells him that she will do anything to get rid of her father's curse upon her, and hints she has "Janet". Later, "Dracula's Daughter", disappears, and "Dr. Jeffrey Garth" goes to his mentor "Professor Van Helsing".

"Van Helsing" tells "Garth" that "Zaleska" probably returned to her home county. "Jeffrey" charters a plane and flies to Transylvania. Speaking with the local people he finds his way to the 
Castle Dracula".


While "Jeffrey Garth" makes his way through the castle, Lambert Hillyer ads a little more subtle lesbianism to the story.

"Marya" offers "Jeffrey" one chance to save the life of "Janet", become a vampire and spend eternity with her. "Jeffrey" accepts, but in a rage, "Sandor" uses a cross bow to shoot "Jeffrey", but accidently the wooden-stake-like-arrow pierces "Marya's" heart.

As this is happening, "Professor Van Helsing", and "Sir Basil Humphrey", who took a plane right after "Jeffrey Garth" left, arrive with the police and shoot and kill "Sandor". The death of "Countess Marya Zaleska" releases "Janet Blake" and she and "Jeffrey" are reunited. 


The above poster indicated that the new owners of "Universal Pictures" knew that sex-sells.

From the day this motion picture was released to the writing of this article, 1943's, "Son of Dracula". has been either you like it, or you don't, motion picture. 

The picture was the creation of two brothers, Kurt "Curt" Siodmak, the writer of 1941's, "The Wolf Man", and that classic poem about the moon being full and bright, among his other horror screenplays. The director, his brother Robert Siodmak, who was one of the major directors of 1940's, film-noirs, 1946's, Ernest Hemmingway's, "The Killers", that introduced an actor named Burt Lancaster, is one of Robert's classics.

What the critics over look, was that before leaving Hitler's Germany, the brothers worked with many major German directors within the German film industry, such as Fritz Lang. They brought a love for their home country's work during the 1920's with them. 

The brothers convinced the executives of ""Universal Pictures" to let them make a homage-horror-film in that German style, as seen in 1921's, "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari", and, 1922's, "Nosferatu".

My article is "CURT and ROBERT SIODMAK: Horror and Film Noir" at:

Eric Taylor had already turned Curt Siodmak's, 1940, "Black Friday" storyline, into a screenplay for Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, and in 1942, was the primary writer for Lon Chaney's, "The Ghost of Frankenstein". Right before this feature, Taylor wrote the screenplay for 1943's, "Phantom of the Opera", starring Claude Rains. Now he was given the assignment to turn Curt's latest story into a screenplay.

Depending upon which of the majority of posters for the motion picture you view, Robert Paige and Louise Allbritton's names are interchangeable for first billing, but Lon Chaney is always billed last. 

Lon Chaney portrayed "Count Alucard", another of Curt Siodmak's great ideas, "Dracula" spelled backwards. Although the above poster was a give away to any potential audience member. Chaney had just been seen in in Broadway comedian's, Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson's, 1943 movie, "Crazy House", as himself. Lon followed this feature with the first of his radio to motion pictures "Inner Sanctum" mysteries, 1943's, "Calling Dr. Death". My article is "Lon Chaney, Jr.: Of Mice and Werewolves", at:

Robert Paige portrayed "Frank Stanley". Big Band Singer Robert Paige had just been seen in "Crazy House", as himself. He would follow this feature with a romantic comedy, 1944's, "Her Primitive Man", co-starring with Louise Allbritton. 

The Female Vampire:

Louise Allbritton portrayed "Katherine Caldwell". Of course, she had just appeared as herself, in 1943's, "Crazy House", and very contrary to this role, but next co-starred with Robert Paige, in the romantic comedy, "Her Primitive Man". Three-years after this motion picture, Allbritton married the "Columbia Broadcasting System's (CBS)" reporter, Charles Collingwood.

Evelyn Ankers portrayed "Claire Caldwell". The wife of actor Richard Denning was a familiar face in "Universal Pictures" horror movies, but first to keep things rolling, she had just been seen in "Crazy House", as herself. Her other movies with Lon Chaney included Curt Siodmak's, 1941, "The Wolf Man", and more recently, 1942's, "The Ghost of Frankenstein". My article is "Evelyn Ankers and Her 1940's Horror Film from Universal Pictures" at:

Above, publicity shot, left to right, Robert Paige, Louise Allbritton, and Evelyn Ankers.

Curt Siodmak sets this story on a old Civil War plantation in the swamp area of Louisiana. The name of the plantation is well chosen by him to add to the mood, "Dark Oaks".

"Frank Stanley" and "Dr. Harry Brewster", portrayed by Frank Craven, are waiting at the train station for a friend of "Frank's" fiancée "Katherine Caldwell. He is the Hungarian "Count Alucard". The train arrives, but the conductor tells the two that nobody got off at the station. 

However, the Count's luggage appears to be on the train platform. The doctor notices that the Count's name, at the angle he's looking at it, is not "Alucard", but "Dracula". 

"Katharine" is upset by the non-arrival of the count, but everyone assures her that he might have missed this train for some reason and will arrive on the next. However, she seems extremely agitated and goes into the swamp to the home of "Queen Zimba", portrayed by Adeline De Walt Reynolds, a practitioner of voodoo. "Queen Zimba" warns "Katharine Caldwell" that:
Death Comes with the Count

Before, "Queen Zimba" can say anything more, a giant bat flies into the room and frightens "Zimba", literally to death.

"Katharine", "Claire", and their father "Colonel Caldwell", portrayed by George Irving, are still giving their planned reception for the missing count. In attendance is "Frank Stanley", who is also concerned over his fiancée's earlier trip into the swamp. 

It is getting late and the colonel is getting very tired and retires to his bedroom. "Alucard" has been observing all of this from outside of the house. After the colonel arrives in his bedroom, "Alucard" transforms into a giant bat, enters the bedroom, and kills the colonel. 

"Count Alucard" now arrives and is sad to hear of the colonel's heart attack. His luggage had already been moved to the small guest house.

"Katharine Caldwell" is deeply into the occult, and "Frank" once more attempts to get her to give it up, but she refuses as if there is something she is hiding. The colonel's body is now more thoroughly examined by "Dr. Brewster" and "Frank Stanley", and the two men discover two small puncture wounds on his neck. It is now that "Brewster" associates "Alucard" with the backward spelling of "Dracula". He starts to think of "Katharine's" Hungarian guest in a different light and contacts vampire authority, "Professor Lazlo", portrayed by J. Edward Bromberg.

While the two men are discussing not "Count Alucard", but "Count Dracula". They do not see a strange mist come under the locked door and form the shape of a man, as the count stands in front of that door. He attacks "Professor Lazlo", but it driven off by a crucifix.

It is now time for the reading of "Colonel Caldwell's" will. The original will split everything the colonel had between his two daughters, but "Katharine" now produces a new will. All of the colonel's money and securities goes to "Claire", and "Katharine" just gets "Dark Oaks".

"Dr. Brewster" is suspicious of "Katharine's" relationship (?) to "Count Alucard". He convinces "Claire" to accompany him to look at the count's luggage in the guest house.

When the two enter the seemingly unlived in guest house, they discover that all of "Count Alucard's" luggage are empty. "Dr. Brewster" now insists that "Claire" leave "Dark Oaks" and swear out an insanity complaint against her sister. 

Later, "Katharine" goes to the swamps and watches "Count Alucard" materialize from the swamp waters. 

Shortly afterwards, the two are married, "Frank" confronts the count inside the main house of "Dark Oaks", and tells him to leave town.

"Alucard" refuses, and "Frank" uses a pistol he has brought and shoots the count through the heart. However, the bullet has no effect on "Count Alucard", but hits and kills "Katharine Caldwell". "Frank", in shock, runs from "Dark Oaks" into the graveyard and collapses on a grave, where a crucifix and the sunrise saves him from "Dracula".

"Frank" then goes to "Dr. Brewster's" house to speak to him about the events at "Dark Oaks" and accidently murdering "Katharine".

"Brewster" tells "Frank" to stay at his house while he investigates. "Dr. Brewster" goes to "Dark Oaks" and finds "Count Alucard" and his wife "Katharine", claiming they are doing scientific work and do not want to socialize with her old friends and family.

The following day, "Dr. Brewster" is informed that there in no foundation for an insanity case against "Katharine Caldwell Alucard". Meanwhile, "Frank Stanley" turns himself in to "Sheriff Dawes", portrayed by Pat Moriarty. "Dr. Brewster" hears about this and goes to the sheriff to argue that "Frank" is insane and that "Brewster" saw "Katharine" alive the other night. The Sheriff insists on going out to "Dark Oaks" and brings "Frank" along, and "Dr. Brewster" goes also. There they found "Katharine" in a coffin, dead!

"Frank" is taken back to the jail and is starting to come unhinged.

"Dr. Brewster" goes to "Professor Lazlo", who is now convinced they're dealing with a vampire. Once again "Alucard - DRACULA" appears to the two men. Once again, the count threatens to kill them, if they continue to interfere. Once again it is a crucifix that drives the vampire away.

Twist Time and a Spoiler:

"Frank" is in his cell when "Katharine" appears to him. 

Everything that has happened since going to Europe and meeting the vampire count was her plan. She tricked "Count Dracula" into coming to Louisiana and "Dark Oaks". Once he had turned her into a vampire, she knew that "Frank" and herself could live forever at "Dark Oaks", which she would own outright. Now, all "Frank Stanley" needed to do was wait until sunrise and destroy the count by either burning his grave, or driving a stake through his heart. Then the two of them would be immortal, because while he was sleeping, she had already bitten "Frank". 

"Katharine" turns into a mist and as she leaves the jail cell, it unlocks.

"Frank" now goes to the hiding spot of "Dracula's" coffin and sets it on fire. The count arrives without realizing what the other has done. He immediately attacks "Frank", who is becoming even more unhinged, over the events of the past few hours.

"Dracula" suddenly stops, finally realizing his coffin is burning.

But that doesn't matter as the first rays of the sun starts to reach the vampire and he is destroyed.

"Frank" regains some of his lost senses and returns to "Dark Oaks", goes to "Katharine's" secret  room, where her coffin now is in. 

"Dr. Brewster" and "Professor Lazlo" arrive to see "Katharine's" coffin ablaze with her in it. The three men exit "Dark Oaks" as the house is engulfed in flames.

With the end of the Second World War, the vampire seemed to disappear from motion pictures, except in comedies, such as two with Bela Lugosi, 1949's, "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein", in the United States, and the United Kingdom's, 1952's, "Mother Riley Meets the Vampire". Science fiction became the main genre pushing nuclear holocaust and alien invasions. 

Nuclear holocaust appeared in feature films such as 1950's, "Rocketship X-M", and 1951's, "Five", but even in Japan, the target of the first two atomic bombs. The horror of nuclear holocaust became Toho Studio's, 1954, allegorical, in the uncut Japanese language, original, "Gojira".

Alien invasion appeared in the 1950's cliff-hanger, "Flying Disc Man from Mars", and more to the point, 1951's, "The Thing from Another World", and the 1953 classic version of H.G. Wells', "War of the Worlds". While the United Kingdom was a little more subtle with 1955's, "The Quatermass X-periment (The Creeping Unknown)" based upon the BBC mini-series.

Next, the old fashion vampire, not the alien vampire of Roger Corman's, 1957, "Not of This Earth", returned in 1957 from Mexico. 


The Ramon Obon story and screenplay owed itself more to George Melford's, 1931, "Dracula", then Bram Stoker's novel. The look, by director Fernando Mendez, was also Melford's "Dracula", with one exception. This was the first motion picture to show fangs on the vampire.

Abel Salazar would seem to portray the "Van Helsing" role as "Dr. Enrique Saldivar". Which he also portrayed in 1958's, "The Vampire's Coffin", except that Ramon Obon did a Guy Endore style twist to his version of Stoker.

Abel Salazar Garcia 
was an actor, and the producer of this picture and its first sequel. Salazar produced the first Mexican medical science fiction movie, 1953's, "El Monstruo Resucitado", very loosely based on Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's, "Frankenstein". He also directed fourteen feature films during his career. 

German Robles portrayed "Conde Karol de Lavud" aka "Duval". Robles immigrated to Mexico after the "Spanish Civil War" ended in 1939, he was seventeen at the time. This was the actor's first on-screen appearance and he would continue in the role in both 1958's, "El ataud del vampiro (Th Vampire's Coffin", and, "El castillo de los monstrous (The Monster Castle)".

Ariadne Welter billed as Ariadrna Welter, portrayed "Marta Gonzalez". Her first on-screen role was uncredited in director Henry King's, 1949 "Prince of Foxes", starring Tyrone Power and Orson Welles portraying "Cesare Borgia". Welter became a major Mexican television actress.

The Female Vampires ?

Carmen Montejo portrayed "Eloisa". Carmen was born Maria Teresa Sanchez Gonzalez, in Pinar del Rio, Cuba. When she arrived in Mexico, Carmen bluffed her way into a radio job, claiming she was a famous Cuban actress. She did become a famous Mexican actress with 119-roles in her career.

Alicia Montoya portrayed "Maria Teresa". Montoya had been acting on-screen in Spanish language productions since 1938. She would repeat her role of "Maria Teresa" in 1958's, "The Vampire's Coffin".

The following is the best description of the opening of the motion picture I could locate and comes from the website at:

El Vampiro follows a fairly complex plot, which is unraveled gradually and plays out like an old mystery novel. At a train station in Mexico, an oversized crate arrives, filled with soil from Hungary. Meanwhile, two strangers, Marta (Ariadna Welter) and Enrique (Abel Salazar), meet. Marta is looking for Sicomoros, the village from her childhood where her two aunts reside, and Enrique seems to be going whatever direction Marta is headed. Both strangers hitch a ride into town on a wagon that has come to the station to retrieve the mysterious crate and deliver it to its owner Mr. Duval (German Robles). Marta and Enrique arrive in  Sicomoros to discover that Marta's aunt Maria Teresa (Alicia Montoya) has died during a state of mental delusion, and her other aunt, Eloisa (Carnen Montejo) has taken control of the property and, eerily, does not appear to have aged.
Not to say there isn't a little of "Universal Picture's" "Son of Dracula" here, but "DUVAL" spelled backward is "LAUVD", the name of the vampire.

The dialogue may be weird and the pace of the film slow, but it's worth a look.

However, it was the following year, 1958, that truly brought the VAMPIRE BACK TO UNDEAD LIFE and in Technicolor for the first time.


In 1957, the United Kingdom studio, "Hammer Films Productions" did two things. The first was to bring back Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's classic "Frankenstein". The second was to film their motion picture in Technicolor. Although, 1939's "Son of Frankenstein" was planned in the process and test films shot, it was decided as to expensive even for the new "Universal Pictures".

Now, "Hammer Film Productions" turned over the creation of a screenplay, based upon the Bram Stoker novel, to the man who had written 1957's, "Curse of Frankenstein", Jimmy Sangster. My article is "Jimmy Sangster: 1930's Horror Re-Imagined, Intelligent Science Fiction, and Bette Davis Insanity", at:

Like his first screenplay, Jimmy Sangster was faced with budget problems and he rearranged the characters from the novel. The following is from my article about the screenplay writer:

Anthony Hinds assigned Jimmy Sangster the problem of fitting Irish author Bram Stoker's novel into the typical "Hammer Film Productions" budget as he had with Mary Shelley's. The result was a completely new storyline, but within the concept as outlined by Stoker.

After reading the novel, the character of "Lucy Westenra's" Texas suitor, "Quincy Morris", was dropped. Along with the character of "Renfield".

Next, Sangster reworked who the remaining characters were, the second suitor for "Lucy", "Arthur Holmwood", became the husband of "Mina Murray". While, "Lucy", now became "Arthur's" sister. "Jonathan Harker" was reduced from a major character to a very minor one with shades of "Renfield" as an agent of "Professor Van Helsing" . Who was reduced from a professor to a doctor and a professional vampire hunter.

There are two vampire brides in Sangster's screenplay, but I am concentrating on the first portrayed by Valerie Gaunt.

In the screenplay, a complete look is in my article about Jimmy Sangster, "Jonathan Harker", portrayed by John Van Eyssen, is to be the librarian for "Count Dracula", portrayed by Christopher Lee. This is a ruse to get into the castle and destroy the vampire count and any brides he may have. This fails, and "Harker" will become a vampire destroyed by his friend, "Dr. Van Helsing", portrayed by Peter Cushing

Valerie Gaunt was billed as the "Vampire Woman". This was her fourth and last on-screen role, Gaunt's first two were in television dramas, and her third was as "Justine", the maid having an affair with "Baron Frankenstein", in 1957's, "The Curse of Frankenstein". 

Valerie Sheila Gaunt had been born on June 26, 1932, in the very Shakespearian, Stratford-upon-Avon. She was a graduate of the "Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA)". Later in 1958, the vampire woman would marry the "Reverend Gerald Alfred Reddington and have four-children.

"Jonathan Harker" will drive a wooden stake through the vampire woman's heart. 

As the screenplay progresses, "Van Helsing" goes to the home of "Jonathan's" fiancée, "Lucy Holmwood", portrayed by Carol Marsh, and meets with her brother, "Arthur", portrayed by Michael Gough, and gives him the journal being kept by "Jonathan" to read, because "Lucy" has become "vampire woman #2". Since his first bride was destroyed, the count has started to visit "Lucy" in her bedroom at night.


Carol Marsh, was born Norma Lilian Simpson, and started on-screen acting with the classic British crime film-noir, 1948's, "Brighten Rock", starring Richard Attenborough, and the first "Dr. Who", William Hartnell, portraying "Rose". Marsh was basically a British television dramatic actress. 

As in the novel, "Lucy" returns to her burial crypt, in the case, with the daughter of the "Holmwood's" maid, "Tania", portrayed by Janina Faye, to be her first victim. Her brother, "Arthur", and "Van Helsing" are waiting and save "Tania". The two will destroy the vampire "Lucy" has become and free her of "Dracula's" control.

"Van Helsing" next discovers that the count is slowly turning "Arthur's" wife, "Mina Holmwood", portrayed by Melissa Stribling, into his third bride in the screenplay. 

Like the original novel, minus a couple of characters, "Van Helsing" and "Arthur" chase the count back to his castle, save "Mina", and destroy "Count Dracula".

Below is a link, as of this writing, to the complete death sequence from "Hammer Film Productions", 1958, "DRACULA".

"Dracula (Horror of Dracula)" was a major success and as a result, a very interesting low-budgeted, black and white, "Dracula" motion picture that had arrived one-month-earlier just disappeared from movie screens. 

In the United Kingdom, to not confuse the movie goers, that movie was re-titled, "The Fantastic Disappearing Man", without ever mentioning the name "Dracula". 


Part of the problem for this picture was that it is set in 1958 and deals with a teenage couple. The motion picture was released during a deluge of teen horror and science fiction movies from "American International Pictures", which it was not part of.  My article is "I Was a Teenage Werewolf: 1950's Teenage Horror and Science Fiction Movies" at:

The story and screenplay was based upon Bram Stoker's "Dracula", and written by Pat Fielder. Her birth name was Patricia Penny, and her first story and screenplay was 1957's, "The Vampire". A twist on the traditional tale and a part of my article linked in "Dracula's Daughter". Also in 1957, Pat Fielder co-wrote the screenplay for the cult science fiction horror picture, "The Monster That Challenged the World".

This feature film was directed by Paul Landres, who also directed 1957's, "The Vampire". Landres started directing in "B" features in 1937. In the early 1950's, he was a television director, with among other programs, 23-episodes of "The Lone Ranger", 31-episodes of "The Cisco Kid", 9-episodes of "The Adventures of Kit Carson", 20-episodes of "Brave Eagle", and 14-episodes of the comedy show, "Blondie".

Francis Lederer portrayed "Uncle Bellac Gordal", actually "Count Dracula". Lederer was a  major European movie star from the old Austro-Hungarian Empire city of Prague. In 1933, Francis Lederer like Peter Lorre and Fritz Lang, left Germany with the rise of Adolph Hitler. After escaping the Nazi's, Lederer would become known in the 1940's for portraying Nazis. 

When he arrived in the United States, he purchased a large piece of land in the North West Corner of the San Fernando Valley. Today, we call his purchase Canoga Park, California.

My article is "FRANCIS LEDERER the Forgotten 'DRACULA': A Stage and Film Actor's Life" at:

Norma Eberhardt portrayed "Rachel Mayberry". An Oakhurst, New Jersey, fashion model turned actress, Eberhardt was 29-years-old when she portrayed teenager "Rachel". She had started her on-screen acting with an uncredited bit part in the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, 1952, "Sailor Beware", this was her ninth-role.

Ray Stricklyn portrayed "Tim Hansen". "Rachel's" teenage boyfriend was portrayed by 30-years old Stricklyn. Not to push the age difference, but in Irwin Allen's, 1960 version, of British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Lost World". Ray Stricklyn portrayed Jill St. John's younger brother. St. John was 19-years-old at the time of filming, and Ray was 31-years-old.

John Wengraf portrayed "John Meierman". Born in Vienna, Austria, and the director of the Vienna State Theater, he also left with the rise of Adolph Hitler, but not until 1939 and the invasion of Poland.
For science fiction fans, Wengraf portrayed "Dr. Zeitman", in producer Ivan Tors, 1954 3-D, "GOG". He also co-starred with Paul Burke and Allison Hayes in the 1957 horror picture, "The Disembodied".

The Female Vampire

Virginia Vincent
portrayed "Jennie Blake". Her career of 103 different roles, between 1950 and 1988, started in the Forest Tucker western, 1950's, "California Passage". She is remembered for this one-role, but did appear as "Ethel Carter", in the 1977, Wes Craven, horror movie, "The Hills Have Eyes".

Pat Fielder's Version of "Dracula"

The story opens in an unnamed country within a cemetery. "John Meierman" is the head of the current group of men, religious, political, and police, who have been tracking "Dracula" for over a century. Thye have surrounded the tomb that contains his casket, it is opened and found empty.

In a car of a speeding passenger train racing through Europe is an old artist and a man hidden by the newspaper he reads.

The old artist is "Bellac Gordal", portrayed by Norbert Schiller, will be traveling across Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, and the United States to visit a cousin he has never met. The audience see "Bellac's" facial expressions as the man reading the newspaper gets up and crosses to him.

The scene switches to the moving train as the engine's whistle loudly sounds. The story switches again to the train station in a small California town, as "Cousin Cora Mayberry", portrayed by Greta Granstedt, meets here cousin "Bellac Gordal" for the first time. With is her daughter "Rachel", her young son "Mickey", portrayed by Jimmy Baird, and her daughter's boyfriend "Tim". 

What makes Francis Lederer's "Dracula" frightening in this sequence, is how low-keyed and charming he makes "Cousin Bellac" seem. Had the audience not known that "Cousin Bellac" was the vampire king of nightmares, they would also want to invite him into their homes.

The day after his arrival, "Mickey's" cat goes missing and its mutilated body is found near a dangerous abandoned mine shaft. "Rachel" is a student of art and wants to be a clothing designer. She hopes to spend some time with her new cousin to discuss his art and get advise. However, "Bellac" seems to have a rather eccentric behavior pattern, he asked for the mirrors in his bedroom to be removed, and other than that, his bedroom always seems to be exactly as "Rachel's" mother made it before his arrival. 

In actuality, "Cousin Bellac" has moved his coffin into that mine shaft and had plans to turn the locals into his army of vampires.

"Rachel" wanted to show "Cousin Bellac" the town he now is living in, but is unable to find him during daylight. As she leaves one night to go to work at the local parish house, "Bellac" appears, apologizes, saying he spent the day painting. "Rachel" expresses her desire to see his work and he promises her she will.

At the parish house, "Rachel" has befriended and takes care, at night, of blind "Jennie Blake". 

After "Rachel" leaves "Jennie's" room, "Jennie" has a visitor who promises to make her see again and had entered through the closed window as a mist. After promising the blind young woman, "Dracula" bites her on the neck.

The next morning "Rachel" receives a phone call to come to the parish house immediately. Her boyfriend, "Tim", drives her there and the two find "Jennie" feverish and hysterical about a man entering her room. As soon as she tells "Rachel", "Jennie Blake" dies.

After "Jennie's" funeral, at their home, "Rachel" and her mother are approached by "Mack Bryant", portrayed by Charles Tannen. "Bryant" is from immigration and way tipped off by "Meierman" and asks questions about "Cousin Bellac". He does mentions that an unidentified man was thrown from the same train "Bellac" was on.

"Bellac" returns, "Bryant" examines his passport and other immigration paperwork, thanks "Bellac" and leaves to meet with "Meirerman", who is outside near the house. 

Later, "Dracula/Bellac" goes to the crypt that contains "Jennie Blake's" coffin and awakens his vampire bride, and sends her on a mission.

"Mack Bryant" hears "Jennie Blake's" voice beckoning him into the woods, going to investigate, "Bryant" is fatally mauled by a white wolf. 

Later, "Rachel" invites her cousin to attend a Halloween party at the parish house the following night, but he declines. She confronts "Bellac" about his evasiveness and not being a part of the family and an isolationist. "Bellac" remains evasive in his answer.

Later, while reading in bed, "Rachel", wearing the crucifix that belonged to "Jennie", falls asleep and has a dream. 

"Rachel" has a nightmare in which "Bellac/Dracula" visits her, and asks "Rachel" to remove the crucifix and he will give her "eternal life" in exchange. 

In the morning, "Rachel" finds the crucifix on the floor, was her nightmare reality?

"Meierman" now visits the parish house and confronts "Reverend Whitfield", portrayed by Gage Clarke, with his findings and belief that "Cousin Bellac" is in reality "COUNT DRACULA" and that he has turned "Jennie Blake" into a female vampire!

While preparing for the Halloween party, "Rachel" decides to go to "Cousin Bellac's" room and re-invite him to the party. He's not there, but she finds his drawings and is shocked to find one is of herself in a coffin.

"Rachel" goes to her bedroom to both gather her wits and to finish preparing for the party. Looking in a mirror, she turns and finds "Cousin Bellac" behind her, but he casts no reflection in the mirror she was using.

"Tim" appears and the two leave for the party, with "Rachel" confused and at times seeming to be in some type of trance. At the party, the trance-like "Rachel" is confronted by both "Meierman" and "Reverend Whitfield". They want her to help them entrap "Bellac", but she appears not to believe their story.

Later at the cemetery, "Meierman", the "Reverend", an unbelieving "Sheriff Bicknell", portrayed by John McNamara, and some deputies are at "Jennie Blake's" coffin. It is opened to find no body inside as expected by "Meierman" and "Reverend Whitfield".

Next, they see "Jennie Blake" running through the graveyard toward her crypt.

At the same time, "Rachel" just leaves the Halloween party and a confused "Tim". She drives to the abandoned mine shaft. While what was once blind "Jennie Blake" returns to her coffin as the amazed Sheriff and his men look on in disbelief. 

Next, a large crucifix is placed on "Jennie's" body to hold the woman vampire in place. 

At the mine shaft, "Rachel" meets "Dracula".

Switch to the men surrounding "Jennie Blake's" coffin. As the movie uses a little gimmick being used at the time on the audience. "Meierman" drives a stake into the vampire bride, the black and white motion picture momentarily turns into color, as the blood comes up and around the stake.


At this exact moment, "Dracula" collapses breaking his trance on "Rachel" as "Tim" arrives, having followed her.

"Rachel" is in a hysterical state as "Tim" attempts to help her, but "Bellac" now blocks the only way out of the mine shaft.

"BELLAC/COUNT DRACULA" momentarily is able to put a trance on "Tim", but he breaks it by using "Jennie's" crucifix, that was protecting "Rachel". Facing "Dracula", the vampire backs away and falls into the shaft, driving one of the sharp pieces of rotting wood through his heart.

As the two teenagers walk out of the mine shaft.


"Woman Vampire" was directed by Nobuo Nakagawa, who started directing motion pictures in 1934, but is known for his "Folk-Tale" influenced horror movies he made during the 1950's and 1960's. This was the first western-style horror movie made in Japan and some of its influence comes from a motion picture released in that country nine-months earlier, "Vampire Dracula", "Hammer Films Productions", 1958, "Dracula", starring Christopher Lee.

The screenplay was based upon a novel by Soto-o Tachibana. He passed away four-months after this movie's release.

Shigeru Amachi portrayed "Shiro Sofue/Nobutaka Takenaka". Between 1952 and 1985, Amachi, portrayed 165-roles. 

Takashi Wada, billed as Keinosuke Wada, portrayed "Tamio Oki". Between 1953 and 1961, his total on-screen appearances were 37-roles.

Junko Ikeuchi portrayed "Itsuko Matsumura". She had co-starred in the Japanese super-hero science fiction film series about "Supa jaianrau (Super Giant)" portrayed by Ken Utsui.

Above, all three-actors at the art museum.

The Female Vampire

Yoko Mihara
portrayed "Miwako Matsumura". Mihara started on-screen acting in 1952 and at the end of her film career in 1977, had 136-roles to her credit. 

"Miwako Matsumura" disappeared 20-years ago, journalist "Tamio Oki", brings his girlfriend, "Itsuko Matsumura" to an art museum to show her a painting. The painting is of her mother from 20-years ago and the two start to seek the artist. Meanwhile, "Miwako" turns up in the village she disappeared from, but not looking a day older.

The main vampire is "Shiro Sofue" and the screenplay takes the viewer back to Feudal Japan for his back story. Which is a version of the backstory of "Count Dracula", as written by Bram Stoker.

My article that contains this motion picture, mentions the legendary Japanese edit of Christopher Lee's "Dracula", and the Japanese vampire, "BLOOD THIRTY TRILOGY", is entitled "Bram Stoker's Dracula as Inspiration for Japan's Toho Studios", available to sink your fangs in at:

I now return to Sheridan Le Fanu and his classic "Carmilla".


For my non-French speaking readers, the title translates as:
--- And die of pleasure (The blood and the rose)

The English language version of the picture was entitled:



The motion picture was directed by Rodger Vadim. Some men collect cars, or sport's memorabilia, Rodger Vadim collected wives, five to be exact, and one domestic partner. This movie starred his second wife. I look at her, and Vadim's first, Bridget Bardot, and his third, Jane Fonda, in my article "Rodger Vadim: Three Wives and Three Motion Pictures" at:

Mel Ferrer portrayed "Leopoldo De Karnstein". He had co-starred in director Fritz Lang's, 1952, Western, "Rancho Notorious", with Marlene Dietrich, portrayed "King Arthur" in 1953's, "Knights of the Round Table", co-starring with Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner. Ferrer was in director King Vidor's, 1956's, version of Russian author Leo Tolstoy's, "War and Peace", co-starring with Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda and Samuel Bronson's, 1964, "The Fall of the Roman Empire", starring Sir Alec Guinness, Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, and Christopher Plummer.

Elsa Martinelli portrayed "Georgia Monteverdi". Italian actress Martinelli's third motion picture was the American made, 1955, "The Indian Fighter", starring Kirk Douglas, in 1962, the actress was in her second American made motion picture, "Hatari", starring John Wayne, and followed it with her third American feature film co-starring with Charlton Heston, in the Second World War comedy, "The Pidgeon That Took Rome".

Annette Vadim portrayed "Carmilla". Her first on-screen appearance was in Rodger Vadim's, "Les liaisons dangereuses". When the production started for the Jeanne Moreau film, she was Annette Stroyberg, and halfway through production she was engaged to Roger Vadim. 

From my article:

The original French film as shot by Roger Vadim runs approximately 87 minutes and begins with a doctor discussing Carmilla's strange case. This was dropped in the English language cut "Blood and Roses" and some narration is used to explain certain sequences. The English language cut, which is very good, runs approximately 74 minutes. Apparently there are DVD versions with running times between that of the original French release and the American release by Paramount Pictures.

The reason for the Doctor in the French version, and the narrator at times in the English language cut, is because Roger Vadim uses a lot of imagery and dream sequences without dialogue. The question for the audience, is  which is real, which is not, or is everything reality? This technique works very well and Vadim's use of monochrome color with suddenly sharp color against it works exceedingly well. As the scene below of Carmilla shows.

Image result for images of 1960 motion picture blood and roses

There is a legend in the Karnstein family of a female vampire who supposedly has lived forever. Leopoldo's younger sister Carmilla looks exactly like her ancestor.

That question comes to the forefront when Leopoldo is to marry Carmilla's best friend Georgia. Vadim's use of dream sequences leaves the viewer not completely sure of his sister.

Vadim stages a grand masquerade ball to celebrate the upcoming marriage. Leopoldo appears at one point dressed as a vampire. Carmilla has chosen to wear a dress worn by the Karnstein vampire as her costume.

Image result for images of 1960 motion picture blood and roses

While the ball is in progress there is a fireworks display. It accidentally sets off some munitions left from the second World War. As if in a dream Carmilla leaves the ball and goes to the tomb of the Karnstein vampire. It has apparently been disturbed by the munitions blowing up. Is she being possessed, or is this the vampire returning home ?

Image result for images of 1960 motion picture blood and roses

Carmilla returns to the estate of her brother and starting the following morning is not herself as a series of vampire like killings start occurring. She also continues her affair with her brother's future wife.

Image result for images of 1960 motion picture blood and roses

Image result for images of 1960 motion picture blood and rosesImage result for images of 1960 motion picture blood and roses

More strange events unfold and Carmilla has been roaming the estate. She returns to the area of the tomb and the damages caused by the munitions explosion. As she wonders there is another explosion and she falls forward impaling herself. Did she do this on propose?  Is the Karnstein vampire dead?

Image result for images of 1960 motion picture blood and roses

The film ends with Georgia and Leopoldo together in happiness aboard a passenger airplane, but has the vampire found a new body in Georgia?

There is an Italian/Spanish version of "Carmilla" entitled "La cripta e l'incubo (Crypt of the Vampire) from 1963 starring Christopher Lee during his Italian movie period. In 1970 Hammer films released "The Vampire Lovers" the first of their "Karnstein Trilogy". It was followed in 1971 by "Lust for a Vampire" and "Twins of Evil". The first and third films feature Peter Cushing playing two different roles. The Hammer trilogy changes Carmilla in to Marcilla.

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