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“I may be undead, but I‘ve never felt more un-alive!”

DVD Review: Cinematic Titanic: Blood Of The Vampires

Once again, the geniuses at Cinematic Titanic prove that they’re just as capable of thrashing a crappy movie as they were back in their Mystery Science Theater 3000 days. This time, our captive heroes and heroine (Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, J. Elvis Weinstein, and Mary Jo Pehl, respectively) are forced to sit through a real train wreck of a moving picture entitled Blood Of The Vampires, a film that just goes to show you don’t need talent to make a movie, just one set of plastic fangs to distribute evenly amongst your cast.

In a nutshell, Blood Of The Vampires is an appallingly dumb and dull 1966 Filipino vampire drama from director Gerardo de Leon (who also helmed several of Eddie Romero’s equally asinine Blood Island movies) that’s set in 19th century Mexico (“That’s always a good sign — when English is your movie’s third language!” quips Mr. Weinstein as the film is being introduced by the gang’s “captor,” Dave “Gruber” Allen, using his alias Todd Carlin), and stars Filipino cult actor Eddie Garcia (another Blood Island graduate) as Eduardo, the elder son of the wealthy but rather doomed Escodero family.

Life seems to be heading in the right direction for the Escodero kids: Eduardo has found the woman of his dreams and his sister Leonore (Amalia Fuentes) has found the man of her dreams in the dashing young suitor Daniel Castillo (Romeo Vasquez). All it would take now to ruin everything would be for old man Escodero to admit that his late wife isn’t dead like everyone believed her to be, but, in actuality, has turned into a soulless blood-sucking vampire whom he has imprisoned in the basement and whips into submission repeatedly when she starts getting hungry — and, wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly what happens, and this terrifying secret will serve as the cataclysm that will bring about the fall of the once-prestigious Escodero family like a bad little kitten thrashes and shreds a fresh roll of toilet paper.

First, mom bites Eduardo. Next, dad kills mom. Then, Eduardo kills dad, infects his girlfriend, the female servants, and his own sister (some serious shades of icky goin’ on here), but not before killing his sister’s beau first — who (wait for it) returns as a ghost to challenge the vampiric Eduardo to a swordfight! And the undead wuss is scared of a spirit! What the hell is going on in this movie?

Fortunately, as things go from bad to worse (and I refer to the movie itself, not the storyline), the ever-faithful Cinematic Titanic crew keep the hysterics high — and, whether they’re heckling mercilessly at the sight of Filipino actors and actresses running around pretending to be slaves in blackface (yes, it happens); taking some good-natured stabs at our neighbors to the south; taking some not-so-good-natured stabs at Catholicism (and God knows Catholicism needs it!); or even throwing in a reference to Count Floyd’s Monster Chiller Horror Theater (kudos to all of you for that), there’s no denying that Cinematic Titanic: Blood Of The Vampires is some damn funny stuff.

Oh no, they’re using a theremin — we’re doomed!

As with the previous Cinematic Titanic presentations, Blood Of The Vampires is presented in a standard 1.33:1 ratio (with our silhouetted heroes standing in front) and English stereo sound. The image of the movie itself is grainy and murky (and rightfully so) while the soundtrack comes through just fine. New to this DVD is the addition of trailers for the six previous Cinematic Titanic entries (a nice touch, and hopefully the start of more bonus goodies in the future).

Blood Of The Vampires was originally released in the States in the early '70s by Samuel M. Sherman’s Independent-International Pictures Corp. — the same company that released Al Adamson’s The Oozing Skull (aka Brain Of Blood), which became the first Cinematic Titanic outing when the series was launched in 2007. Both the new title and the older ones as well are all available at the Cinematic Titanic website on DVD (US$14.99) or via download (US$9.99) from EZTakes.com if you simply cannot wait to wet yourself silly from watching this. Heartily recommended.

You can also check out the Official Trailer for Cinematic Titanic: Blood Of The Vampires at YouTube.

About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the alter-ego of a feller who loves an eclectic variety of classic (and sometimes not-so-classic) film and television. He currently lives in Northern California with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.

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