The Vampire (1957)

the vampire poster 1957 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting : 6/10
Visual: 6/10

Very modern vampire film

Some cliche plotlines, vampire make-up

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Vampire

Studio:  Gramercy Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  June 14, 1957

the vampire john beal daughter

No honey, I”m not mad…because you didn’t read a label, lots of people are going to die and I’m damned to hell…not mad at all.

Widower Dr. Paul Beecher (John Beal) is in trouble.  When he accidentally takes an experimental pill by researcher Dr. Matthew Campbell (Wood Romoff) he finds himself driven by a bloodlust that will not let him go.  With more and more deaths occurring and the hunger becoming unstoppable, Paul worries that he will kill everyone around him he cares about.

Directed by Paul Landres, The Vampire is a low-budget horror thriller and is sometimes called Mark of the Vampire.  The movie was released as a double feature with The Monster That Challenged the World in 1957.

Vampires from the premiere of Dracula in 1931 have generally been Bela Lugosi knockoffs at this point.  The Vampire took a different approach to the horror, and with that different approach, The Vampire is a different vampire film.

the vampire wood romoff scientist

I’m a mad scientists because I wear sunglasses in the dark!

The Vampire is a very modern horror film.  Vampirism is a virus (something commonly used in vampire films and stories now) and the science behind the disease is interesting.  While the basic concept is good, the surrounding movie is a mix of cliché storylines and predictable results.  The fact that Paul knows he’s a monster does help propel the story, but essentially turns it into a werewolf movie instead of a vampire movie.

John Beal plays the doctor out of control.  He plays the role as an addict which once again is a bit different than most vampire movies at the time and essentially he is someone out of control.  Coleen Gray is the romantic lead, and character actor (and Little House on the Prairie vet) Dabbs Greer plays a fellow doctor.

the vampire john beal make-up monster

SPF 15 wasn’t enough for the UV rays

The visuals for the movie are a mix of bad sets and some decent moments.  The “vampire” make-up is rather weak along with the transformation scene, and I wish that he really didn’t transform and that it was more psychosis.  There is a rather nice and tense moment with Coleen Gray being chased by the vampire outside of her home at night (and reminiscent of Cat People), but the movie resorted to normal horror set-ups.

The Vampire is an interesting early post-modern approach to the vampire mythos.  The movie is a bit more violent than some other horror films at the time and the danger feels a bit more real since it is based in science.  I wish that The Vampire had a bit bigger budget and some finessing of the script, but it is still worth seeking out to see how vampires “advanced” over the years.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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