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HARD TIMES FOR VAMPIRES
June 19, 2015 10:00pm
Dr. H. Owll helms his last pre-X-Day podcast, resurrecting the dead
and gone hours with his usual competency, such as it is. Moments
on deck include phantoms and shadows of the long-ago, far away
Indianapolis DeVival of 2002(!) among other crumbling historical
relics...
Then, another narrated film ends the podcast, this time UNCLE WAS
A VAMPIRE (1959), in its original form titled TEMPI DURI PER VAMPIRI
("Hard Times for Vampires")...
Thanks to Puzzling Evidence, this moldering curiosity is exhumed
and brought back to a shambling counterfeit of life.
An EXTREMELY un-funny comedian plays a cash-strapped Baron
forced to sell his ancestral castle to a hotel chain. Becoming a hapless,
Jerry-Lewis-like bellhop in his former home is one of many indignities
he, not to mention the audience, is forced to undergo...
But then, salvation arrives (from our perspective) as he turns out to
be related to vampire aristocrat Christopher Lee, who arrives for a
(just-in-) timely visit.
Our unlikeable protagonist is made a vampire himself by the usual
procedure. He occupies much time biting the necks of Italian bikini
starlets, until the curse is lifted from him by a kiss from ravishing Sylva
Koscina.
Well, that worked in NOSFERATU, too, both versions. Love can,
apparently, release one from life-in-death, which we have to take as a
theoretical possibility, though indeed greatly longed for, in our own case.
Just after his magnetic performance in Hammer's style-setting DRACULA
(1958), known to Americans as HORROR OF DRACULA, Lee has never been
more charismatic, magnificent or thanatotically glamorous, radiantly
inhabiting his freshly decanted vampire persona. This poor film, though it
boasts Lee and Koscina, both so highly watchable, isn't fit to kiss the feet
of, say, Polanski's great and occasionally even profound vampire comedy
DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES (1967). But here Lee (and lovely Koscina) give
this otherwise nearly unwatchable programmer a major boost.
You'll have to take our word for it as we narrate the picture, unless you
can follow along in approved digital fashion.

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