The Kiss of the Vampire (1963)

kiss of the vampire poster 1963 movie
5.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Nice looking

Story has no direction

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Kiss of the Vampire

Studio:  Hammer Film Productions

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  September 11, 1963

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

kiss of the vampire jennifer daniel noel willman

Thank you for inviting us to your weird orgy party

Gerald and Marianna Harcourt (Edward de Souza and Jennifer Daniel) are a young married couple on a honeymoon in Europe.  When their car runs out of gas in a small mountain village, they discover mystery in the small empty inn where they are staying.  When Gerald and Marianna find themselves the honored guests of Dr. Ravna (Noel Willman) and his family, the danger begins to grow.  Marianna is kidnapped by Ravna and his cult of vampires, and Gerald must not only convince the authorities that Marianna exists but rescue her from the clutches of Dr. Ravna’s cult.

Directed by Don Sharp, The Kiss of the Vampire was a Hammer Film production and sometimes goes by the name of Kiss of Evil in the United States.  The film was originally intended to be the sequel to The Brides of Dracula and part of Hammer’s official Dracula line, but plans were scrapped.  The Kiss of the Vampire was originally released as a double-bill with Paranoiac, and film is often available with other Hammer Horror films in multipacks.

kiss of the vampire cult

Wait…are we vampires or a cult of vampire worshippers?

I like Hammer’s vampire films, but this film is a bit of a snoozer.  The movie lacks direction for much of the story and when it finally finds it, the movie’s “excitement” isn’t there.

I don’t really enjoy the story for this film.  Film just plods along after a nice opening which shows the slaying of a vampire at its burial (this scene was originally edited for the American version).  If the kidnapping of Marianna existed earlier in the film, the movie would have been a nice thriller about Gerald to convince everyone that Marianna existed like The Lady Vanishes (or it even could be a mystery about the cult).  There aren’t enough thrills and tension to make this movie exciting.  The ending of the film involving the vampire bats was actually taken from the original script for Hammer’s The Brides of Dracula when the makers felt witchcraft wouldn’t be used by Van Helsing.

The cast also is rather generic.  The movie doesn’t have any jump out stars and really lacks from the loss of both Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.  It was the lack of star power kept the movie from being an official “Dracula” entry and this lack of star power also hurts the film.

kiss of the vampire ending bats noel willman

Dammit…why did it have to be bat?!?!

Hammer does have a classy look.  This movie does have a style and as one of Hammer’s color pictures, the movie has that vibrant look that pops off the screen.  The sharp picture cannot save the plot however which falls flat.

Hammer was always a rather solid picture company when it came to horror, the movie (like in the case of this film) is still entertaining even if it isn’t the scariest or best plotted movie you’ve ever seen.  The rather light horror is good “intro to horror” material for younger kids and also brings back good memories for older viewers about the first horror they might have seen.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @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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