Friday 14 December 2012

The Vampire, his Kith and Kin

Being yet another possible film season idea for the Edinburgh Film Guild's Friday night slot...

Everyone knows the vampire film, don't they? Max Schreck and Klaus Kinski as Nosferatu, Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee as Count Dracula, all down the way (down being the operative term) to Twilight.

With this mini-season we try to fill in some of the gaps: I Vampiri, Riccardo Freda's modern-day, scientific take on Countess Bathory, notable for being the first Italian horror film of the sound era and for preceding Hammer by a couple of years; Zinda Laash, a Pakistani version of the selfsame Hammer Dracula, but in an Islamic rather than a Christian context and with some song and dance numbers; Spanish maverick Jesus Franco's admirable, if perhaps misguided, attempt to faithfully adapt Stoker's novel to the screen on a decidedly limited budget; Count Yorga, Vampire, with its self-deprecating yet deadly title character taking advantage of the apparent  absurdity of the notion that an actual vampire could be at large in contemporary California; Martin, George A. Romero's tale of a young Pittsburgh man who may be a 80-something vampire from the old country, or just mentally disturbed; and the Hong Kong Mr Vampire, a martial arts-horror-comedy combination that showcases Chinese traditions of the living dead, along with the former colony's answer to Peter Cushing, the late great Lam Ching-ying.

  • I Vampiri
  • Zinda Laash/The Living Corpse
  • Count Dracula
  • Count Yorga, Vampire
  • Martin
  • Mr Vampire

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