I have no idea why some of us yearn to get a good scare as a kid watching movies on the late, late show but I sure did. I’d scour the TV guide looking for horror flicks and the words Dracula or Vampire in a movie title had me hoping, nagging would be a better word, that my parents would let me forgo the 9:30 curfew to hang in there for the horror flick that usually never started before 11 p.m.
I can still recall seeing Lee’s Horror Of Dracula and the follow-up Prince of Darkness for the first time before I was a teenager. They/Lee left me terrified and wanting more. Titles with the key word Vampire that I recall at an impressionable age include Hammer’s The Vampire Lovers and The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires. Both in heavily edited versions at the time. Interview With the Vampire at the theater and James Woods kicking vampire ass in John Carpenter’s Vampires was a no brainer for a trip to the movie theater. Some titles took me years to track down and finally see. Mark of the Vampire, Vampire Circus and The Fearless Vampire Killers being prime examples. Thank God for the success of the VHS tape to help the hunt.
The vampire films of Franco and Rollin were still yet to come but books like The Seal of Dracula, The Vampire Cinema and magazines such as Famous Monsters were helpful in my journey to discovering the many vampire films of the horror genre.
Following one vampire flick watched this past week I’ve gone on a blood sucking frenzy so to kick off a vampire film fest here at Mike’s Take, let’s have a look at some classic poster images and one from my own collection.
With all due respect to Lionel Barrymore, I’d wager this half sheet would be worth more money of it had the image of Bela Lugosi as Count Mora on the paper. “There is no more foul or relentless enemy of man in the occult world, than this dead-alive creature spewed up from the grave. “
“Buck, you can’t go around diggin’ up people’s graves.”
Here’s one poster I’d love to have in the private collection. “I am a night bird. I am not much good in the daytime. “
“A vampire, in ancient belief, was a malignant spirit who when the earth lost its sunlight rose nightly from its dark grave to suck blood from the throats of the living.”
“Goodnight, gentlemen. Don’t let the vampires get you. “
Bela returns as …….. Armand Tesla???? ” I sleep… during the day. I am not to be disturbed… during the day. “
A fang gnashing nod to the studio that dripped blood.
“Death is not the worst. There are things more horrible than death. “
“Oh. The script girl. I’ll eat her later. “
Foreign titles always catch my eye when the word Vampiro appears.
Let’s not forget Mario Bava. “One entire crew lost; two of our own crew gone. Bert dead, Eldon disappeared. And this unknown enemy keeps getting closer! “
And a cheesy looking one sheet from the vault here at home. The 1979 North American release of The Satanic Rites of Dracula under it’s newly christened title starring those old bat mates Lee and Cushing. “At this, the Sabbath of the Undead, I call upon you to witness my supreme triumph. “
And here’s the big (non) surprise… you’re actually a vampire yourself! Don’t worry, I won’t tell a soul…
If we’re talking 25 years ago when I worked that 11-7 nightshift for about 5 years at the meat packing plant then yes there might be some truth to that rumor….
Love that warning for ‘The Vampire Lovers’: “CAUTION: Not for the mentally immature!” And my favorite poster of the bunch would be ‘Planet of the Vampires’…some very cool artwork there.
I wish I had a bunch of these posters here in the vault but even if I did have the chance to purchase some of them, the price probably puts me on the sidelines.