Gerry de Leon is considered the godfather of Filipino horror and was also the most awarded film director in the history of the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences’ FAMAS Awards. Pretty good for a guy who was arrested after World War II, charged with treason for making anti-American propaganda films for the occupying Japanese forces and Japanese director Abe Yutaka. He was pardoned when it came out that at the same time he was secretly helping the Filipino resistance.
Throughout the 1960’s, he was paid in American money to make some horror films along with Eddie Romero. Terror Is a Man, Curse of the Vampires (AKA Whisper to the Wind), Brides of Blood and Mad Doctor of Blood Island. He was also the director of the Roger Corman produced Women In Cages, which is a movie that Quentin Tarantino brings up quite often.
Otherwise known as Blood is the Color of Night, this movie is all about Dr. Marco, who looks like a Filipino Telly Savalas. He’s a vampire who has lost his love and decides to bring her back with the heart of her twin sister (they’re both played by Amelia Fuentes). He has an entire group of maniacs to help him, like a somersaulting dwarf, a hunchback and a sexy lady named Tania. And oh yeah — a whole bunch of people he has brought back from the grave.
This is probably the most Catholic horror movie I’ve ever seen, as it stops dead to explain how the Church is the only way that this horror can be stopped.
Originally entitled Kulay Dugo Ang Gabi, this movie played the U.S. twice, first as The Blood Drinkers on a double bill with The Black Cat before it came back again as The Vampire People along with Beast of Blood.
The reason why I think everyone should watch this is that it starts out sometimes in color — which at the time was really expensive — and then goes to neon-tinted black and white. Throw in some fog and scenes where it goes from blue to red to color and you have the kind of movie that I get so excited about that I bounce all over our movie room. Also, the whole thing is dubbed, so it really feels like it didn’t come from another country, but an entirely different plane of existance so far beyond our own.
You can get this on a single blu ray from the awesome folks at Severin or go whole blood drinker and grab the Hemisphere box set. It’s also on Amazon Prime.