AMANDO DE OSSORIO WEEK: Fangs of the Living Dead (1969)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here’s to an entire week of the movies of Amando de Ossorio. This was on the site originally on May 17, 2022 but this post has expanded writing.

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 as always) 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!”

Also known as Malenka, the Vampire’s Niece, this also has Diana Lorys (Blue Eyes of the Broken DollSuperargo and the Faceless Giants) and Paul Muller (Lady FrankensteinShe Killed In Ecstasy) appearing in the cast. Ugarte was making his name as a vampire actor, as the year before he played Dr. Janos Mikhelov, the vampire opposite Paul Naschy in The Mark of the Wolfman, the aforementioned Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror.

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