Thursday, October 8, 2020

October Horror Movie Challenge: Malenka / Fangs of the Living Dead (1968, 1969)

I am sure I had seen this one.  But like SO MANY Italian, French and Spanish horror films from the late 60s and early 70s plots, scenes and even whole movies were recycled.  I mean this one even has the same music as "The Night She Rose From the Grave" which I am getting too later and is on the same DVD as this movie.  Though that could even be because of the disk.

This movie has been known as "Malenka", "Fangs of the Living Dead" and "The Vampire's Niece" with various dates between 1968 and 1969.

Anyway, this one features Anita Ekberg, so that is a good reason to check it out.

The movie starts with a nice creepy, "Dracula's Guest", feel to it.  Sylvia Morel (Ekberg) learns she has inherited a fortune, a castle, and a new title.   Julián Ugarte plays the Count, Sylvia's uncle, Count Walbrooke.  Sylvia becomes the Harker stand-in and Walbrooke is Dracula.

I think I was getting this one confused with the Thirst from 1979. But while the beginnings are similar, they become quite different movies. This movie was the obvious prototype for Satan's Slave (also known as Evil Heritage) in 1976 and many Franco movies like A Virgin Among the Living Dead (1973).

We learn that Sylvia's grandmother was burned at the stake as a witch and she was able to turn her children into vampires.

The basic story cleaves very, very close to the Dracula tale. So nothing really new here.
Until the end, and there is a neat little twist. It really saved the movie for me.

Kind of a fun little flick really.

Watched: 9
New: 9


So many of these movies have old cursed families with a suspension of witchcraft and vampirism.  
I think what I need, both for NIGHT SHIFT and maybe even my various witch books is a family of witches, in decay, whose members become vampires after death.  Not all are powerful vampires, some are little more than ghouls really, but a few.  Take notes from the Karnsteins and movies like this.
In some ways the Montblancs in NIGHT SHIFT's "Ordinary World" can cover this. Maybe this is a direction I could take them.  The American Montblancs are an old family, but the European Montblancs are ancient and maybe a little more evil.  Combine this with my Byleth idea from last week.
Maybe that is how I separate them, the American Montblancs are featured in NIGHT SHIFT but the "European" Montblancs would be featured in my Witch books for Basic-era.   I would need to have a map for the run down, but still better than anywhere you have lived, Château Montblanc.

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