Atom Age Vampire is a classic. This comes – as many of this year’s movies will – from a selection of double-feature DVDs made by PC Treasures, Inc. They’re all public domain films, and Atom Age Vampire comes poorly-dubbed and full-screen, although the audio and picture are fairly decent. The other film on this disc (entitled “Tales of the Undead”) is Revolt of the Zombies, and we’ll get to that tomorrow.
This flick, though – wowie. Lots of sharp notes on the soundtrack. It seems like every sentence is punctuated with “DUNH!!!” It certainly succeeds where the dialogue fails. Case in point: “It seemed like you were performing some sort of sacred ritual.” That line? It’s in response to the doctor putting something in a cabinet. Yes, the “DUNH!!!” certainly says more. The dubbed dialogue might be overly emotive, but it’s perfectly paced with the histrionics present on the actors’ faces. There’s so much scenery getting gnawed upon, it’s amazing there’s any sort of set left.
There are more holes in the plot than a colander, but chockablock with cheesy goodness nonetheless. How the fuck does a car accident cause “a cancer – like leprosy”? There’s so much wrong with that statement, I’d go mad trying to justify it rationally. Italian horror always seems like it was made under the influence of some really stellar drugs.
Oh, and of course there’s a mute, ugly manservant. I believe that’s de rigeur for any horror movie prior to 1969. He has to be hideous, he can’t speak, and at some point, he’ll either be the focus of the investigation, the scientist’s wrath, or both.
For those expecting a vampire picture, get ready to be let down. What you’ve got with Atom Age Vampire more akin to a modern-day update of Jekyll and Hyde, albeit if Jekyll turned himself into Hyde in order to make a stripper love him. Honestly, when you phrase it like that, you’ve got something remarkably similar to the BBC’s recent Jekyll series. Far less salacious, though – and more’s the pity. This flick could’ve used a little peeling to liven up the strangulation murders.