Kiss of the Vampire

Kiss of the Vampire

In the history of film Hammer studios will be remembered for two things more than anything else: their take on Dracula and incredible looking women. Though in my opinion, the Dracula films were hardly the best things in the Hammer history. The women, maybe, but not the Dracula films, I actually prefer most all of the other Hammer vampire films to the Dracula ones.

"Kiss Of The Vampire" has to be one of the studios best efforts. The film is a standard tale of Vampires. A couple, on their honeymoon, meets with a problem and ends up in a mysterious village. In this case the problem is with the coach they ride in. Come to think of it, that is always the problem. Anyhow, they end up meeting up with the local rich guy in the village, and things go bad.

This is more or less your typical vampire tale. Vampire meets people, gains the trust of the people, falls in love with the female of the people, turns the female and the male sets out on revenge. So just what the heck makes this thing any better than any other vampire tale out there? Well, this one has Clifford Evans, for starters in the Peter Cushing role. I love Mr. Cushing, but Clifford Evans works perfect in this film as the revenge-seeking father, Professor Zimmer. His first appearance is one of the most memorable scenes in the history of Horror films. His appearance is also the beginning of the film and it is a way that grabs the viewer and lets you know that the film is going to move very briskly.

The pace of the film is the other nice thing. It never has a moment of meaningless dialogue or scene shots. Everything in the film is used to good measure. The story just flows in a nice way. Plus it is full of that old legendary Hammer atmosphere! God how I love that word and what it means a film will have in it!

This is a pure "bare-bones" DVD. You get chapter stops, and that is it! No liner notes, no trailer, no TV spots, nothing!!! But it is one heck of a great buy none-the-less. I picked it up for $10.00 USD in a stores clearance bin. It has gone out of print, but still, you should be able to find it. I have seen many copies around town and in many stores. Grab it!

The transfer here is, I believe, the same one that was used for the VHS release a few years ago. This might sound bad, but that tape was letterboxed and it was a very nice transfer. If this is the same print, I see no reason why there should be any re-mastering, it is a beautiful looking picture. The colors are all strong and the blacks are all deep. There is some slight grain, but none that gets in the way. There are no flaws with the print as a whole that would distract one from enjoying this DVD.

The sound on this disc is a mono-track. Here is my stance on this. I love it. I really don't like films dumping their old soundtracks and getting upgrades to 5.1 Dolby surround and that sort of thing. Sometimes it works, but more times than not you hear complaints of the sound being ruined. That was a major complaint about the recent "Jaws" DVD. I had no problems with it, but many did. I did, however, have a huge problem with sound that was on the Godzilla DVD's that Simitar put out a few years ago. The new tracks were so bad that you could tell exactly when the new sounds were going to be coming into play! Luckily they also included the original mono tracks. But this is not the case here. Here we get the good ol' mono track. It is clear, crisp, and effective! Hooray!

So, if you are tight on money but are looking for a great disc, this is the one to get. A little gore, a lot of atmosphere, some good-looking women, and a good time for all! Oh yeah, if you have money to burn, this film will also work for you!

Review by Carl R Isonhart

Directed by Don Sharp
Released by Image Entertainment
Unrated - Region 1
Running Time : approx 88 mins
Ratio : letterbox - 1.66:1
Audio : Mono