Vampire Hookers (1978)
Yes this is a real movie and no it isn’t an adult porn feature from the seedy seventies. It’s just one of the many exploitation titles put forth from director Cirio H. Santiago (Hustler Squad) featuring the head of the Carradine clan and horror film icon, John Carradine. Trivia buffs should note that John is playing an age old vampire named Richmond Reed. I’ll unveil the significance of that name towards the end so please “reed” on.
On the Town this ain’t and Trey Wilson and Bruce Fairbairn are no Frank and Gene in sailor get ups when the duo hit the nightlife of Manila on the prowl for ladies that want to be your friend for the right price. The two rowdy sailors in white find a tutor in the art of locating attractive ladies in aging sailor Eddie. This after the boys found themselves thrown out of a transvestite bar where they didn’t quite get what they thought they were bargaining for. One of the many failed comedic scenes within.
Eddie is quick to walk out of a nightclub with an attractive escort who promptly takes him off to a local cemetery for what he imagines is some rather kinky fun leading to a trip below the altar into the catacombs beneath the old church. Enter a Shakespearean spouting John Carradine in full white suit with a red bowtie.
“What the hell is this?” says Eddie.
“That my friend is not a question. To be or not to be. That is a question.”
Do you really believe I’m making this up? No sir! John is in his splendor here as he continually quotes poems and lines from the stage.
“Doesn’t anyone understand poetry anymore.”
Poor Eddie becomes the dinner meal for John’s three brides played by the not so well known Karen Stride, Lenka Novak and Katie Dolan. Naturally a prerequisite to landing their roles was the willingness to go topless in the various feeding scenes with the unsuspecting men they would bring to their personal chamber of horrors. Serving as some lousy comic relief is the always present Vic Diaz. By that I mean it seems as if Vic appeared in two of every three exploitation titles filmed in the Philippines during the seventies. Diaz is playing the mortal man servant to Carradine and his beauties and protects them from those who would harm them while they sleep.
While the ladies go about seducing their prey, John plays it for the camp that it is and is frequently seen with a champagne glass in his hand filled with that red nourishing concoction that sustains his existence.
By the time Trey and Bruce track their sailor pal to the lair of vampires, old Eddie will be drained of life and the two boys on the town will be next if John and his brides have their way.
STOP! I can’t go on so you’ll just have to figure out the rest for yourself as it’s available on DVD.
Know that Carradine had seen better days and when one looks over his career, he just might be the number one actor at appearing in a large number of classic titles only to have as many trashy ones to his name. But how can one deny him with what had to be lines he scripted for himself.
“Don’t you read Shakespeare you imbecile!”
Like all exploitation movies, the title lends itself to the genre and the necessary amount of flesh is exposed for the drive in crowds. Far from a star making film for the cast, Trey Wilson did go on to a few roles in the ensuing years while the man of the hour and head vampire, Carradine was nearing the end of his iconic run of varying degrees of movies that saw more and more appearances in low budget fodder towards the end of his lengthy career.
Hard to recommend this one and it’s jazzy score with the cheesy title song but John does get plenty of screen time and hams it up the way only he can. As for that name Richmond Reed? It’s John’s birth name so don’t try to tell me he didn’t wing it or not have a hand in writing his own lines.
Care to brave that theme song?