Fangs of the Living Dead (1969)

When this played a triple bill with Curse of the Living Dead (Kill, Baby, Kill!) and Revenge of the Living Dead (The Murder Clinic), anyone upset by these three films was offered free psychiatric care. Amando de Ossorio did more than just create the Blind Dead and direct The Loreley’s Grasp. He cared about your mental health.

Sylvia (Anita Ekberg, perfect) learns that she’s now a countess and has inherited a castle, even if the locals are horrified by the very mention of its name. Yet things get strange when she arrives, as both her uncle Count Walbrooke (Julián Ugarte) and the maid Blinka (Adriana Ambesi) claim to be vampires. There’s also some non-consensual whipping.

The entire family is cursed and Sylvia must remain at the castle — she’s the reincarnation of the witch Malenka — and she must stay unmarried or the curse will get worse. Her fiancee still comes to save her and stabs the count in the heart. If you saw it in Spain, it’s all a hoax but the bad guy dies anyway. In other countries, there’s an ending where he really was a vampire. I can hear Americans saying, “If I’m gonna come see Fangs of the Vampire, there better be vampires. Them Spaniards already fooled me with Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror, a movie that had no Frankensteins in it!”

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