Sunday, September 16, 2012
Atom Age Vampire (1960)
Who's in it?: Alberto Lupo (The Agony and the Ecstasy); Susanne Loret (The Minotaur)
What's it about?: A stripper (Loret) is disfigured in a car accident and approached by a scientist (Lupo) who promises to restore her looks. Unfortunately, his feelings for her may be driving him...mad!
How is it?: The "vampire" in the title is purely metaphorical, and so (along with the bat on the poster), completely misleading. There's a reference in the dialogue to the monster's being like a vampire, but only in the sense that he's stealing some kind of precious life-force from people. Plotwise, the movie has a lot more in common with The Corpse Vanishes (a movie we'll get to later) than Dracula: the mad professor has to kill women to keep his beautiful love-interest looking flawless.
It was originally an Italian-language movie, so there's some dubbing to get past, but I do like Loret's character. She's vain enough to be miserable when her face is horribly scarred, but human enough to be horrified by the professor and his solution for healing her. It's an interesting conflict.
The monster is pretty gratuitous though. The professor uses radiation (it's the Atom Age!) to intentionally transform himself so that he can avoid being recognized on his killing sprees. That seems like a pretty extreme solution, but he is mad, I guess, so I shouldn't judge.