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Kiss Of The Vampire

AKA's: Baiser Du Vampire, Le / Beso Del Vampiro, El / Kiss Of Evil / Kuss Des Vampirs, Der / Mistero Del Castello, Il

Release date: 1962 UK
Running time: 88' (cover 88') - Source: DVD (RC1/NTSC)
Rating: Germ.: 16; UK: 15; US: NR
Main Crew: Director: Don Sharp (What Waits Below 1984; The Thirty-Nine Steps 1978; The Brides
               Of Fu Manchu 1966; Our Man In Marrakesh 1966)
Producer: Hammer Film / Universal Pictures
Score: James Bernard
Writer: Anthony Hinds (as John Elder)
Director of photography: Alan Hume


Summary: Lost on the way to their honeymoon, a young couple stumbles upon a mysterious family of vampires and their unspeakably evil leader.
A wrong turn leaves Marianne (Jennifer Daniel) and Gerald (Edward De Souza) stranded in a remote Bavarian forest where they have no choice but to accept the hospitality of the hypnotic Dr. Ravna (Noel Willman), distinguished lord of the local castle.
Ravna uses his "children" to lure the newlyweds to his lair, and soon, they are plunged into a nightmare of horror and deception from which there may be no escape. Their only hope is Professor Zimmer (Clifford Evans), who calls upon an ancient ritual in a desperate attempt to destroy the vampires and free Marianne from Ravna's power.
Note: - As Christopher Lee refused to reprise his famous role from Dracula (1958), fearful of being typecast (he did not return until Dracula: Prince Of Darkness), the film offers neither Lee nor Peter Cushing's Van Helsing.
- The film, known in pre-production as "Dracula 3", exists in two different versions: the original cinematic release and the cut-for-TV release, titled "Kiss Of Evil". Universal trimmed the original film for its U.S. release so much that they shot more footage with additional characters that didn't appear at all in the original release, creating a whole new subplot. On the other hand, they edited out every scene with blood in it (e.g. the pre-credits scene in which blood gushes from the coffin of Zimmer's daughter after he plunges a shovel into it (even her scream is cut from that scene), or, when Harcourt frees his hands after being clawed by Tanya, the TV version has him escape by running across the room untouched by the vampires, who just watch him get away. As originally filmed, Harcourt, after freeing his hands, immediately smears the blood on his chest into a cross-shaped pattern). Furthermore, the final scene where the vampires are attacked by hordes of bats - a sequence that had originally been intended as the climax of The Brides Of Dracula - was cut for being too violent.
- The scene where the Harcourts attend a masked ball, with everyone except them being vampires, was used again in Roman Polanski's Dance Of The Vampires.

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