The Vampire (1957)

Movie Title: The Vampire

Year Released: 1957

Rated: Approved

Runtime: 1h 15min

Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Director: Paul Landres

Writer: Pat Fielder

Starring: John Beal, Coleen Gray, Kenneth Tobey, Lydia Reed, Dabbs Greer, Herb Vigran, Paul Brinegar, Ann Staunton, James Griffith

Review: When a small-town physician (John Beal) accidentally swallows experimental bat serum pills, he'll soon get overtaken by blood-thirsty cravings. Transformed into an undead fiend, the doctor will try to save his unsuspecting patients from his nocturnal noshes.

What starts off as your typical B-movie, with a ridiculous story, establishes interesting characters and steadily builds suspense for a creepy, shocking, and tension filled romp that will surely entertain creature feature fans far and wide.

John Beal plays Dr. Paul Beecher, our tragic lead, and must come to terms with his monstrous cravings and murderous behavior. He's fantastic and makes the premise work. You feel for him, his predicament, and the guilty that he carries. The Vampire seems very much like The Wolfman (1941). Dr. Beecher is Larry Talbot-esqe as he is transformed into a hideous beast that is more animal than man and can't control himself or his blood-lust. Kenneth Tobey (The Thing from Another World) is great as Sheriff Buck Donnelly tasked with investigating a series of strange deaths that have plagued his sleepy town.

After Beecher's transformation the monstrous look he has is quite startling and his performance as the monster gives him a very unsettling, eerie quality that really works! The Vampire is certainly one of the better B-movies that I've seen and I'd recommend it to fright-fans that are looking for a creepy cult classic that's sure to feed your need for blood-curdling horror.

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: Director Paul Landres apparently liked the character name "Dr. Paul Beecher" so he used it twice - as the main lead in this film and as a small supporting character in his follow up "The Return of Dracula" (1958) starring Francis Lederer.


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