El Vampiro (1957)

The horror boom in Mexican film can be attributed to this movie, one that takes Mexico’s love for the Universall monsters — indeed, there was even a Spanish language version filmed at the same time as Dracula with an entirely different cast and crew — and gives them their own vampiric villain, Conde Karol de Lavud (German Robles).

Marta (Ariadna Welter, El Barón del Terror) is our heroine, back home to plan the funeral of her aunt. Soon, she learns that her home is infested with vampires and they plan on taking the life of her other aunt as well.

While many consider El Vampiro to be the first film to have a vampire with elongated fangs – -a full year before Hammer’s Horror of Dracula — the Finnish movie Valkoinen Peura has a vampiric reindeer woman who has huge fangs. You can also look to Dracula In Istanbul and, of course, Nosferantu for two other canine fanged bloodsuckers before this movie. That said, Robles took the inspiration of Lugosi and created his own take on a vampire that would influence films all over the world.

Director Fernando Méndez also made The Black Pit of Dr. M and Ladrón de Cadáveres, two classic Mexican horror films. It was written by Ramón Obón (Cien Gritos de Terror) and Ramon Rodriguez. Like all great vampires, Conde Karol de Lavud would return soon enough in El Ataúd del Vampiro.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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