Directed by Emilio Vieyra
Starring Rocardo Bauleo, Susana Beltran, Gloria Prat, Rolo Puente
"What do these marks mean?"
"They mean you need to rest."
Emilio Vieyra, the genius/madman behind legendary pervo-grindo sex monster flick The Curious Doctor Humpp (1967), presented Argentina with this, it's very first home-grown vampire flick, in the very sexy year of '67. The Argentine government promptly banned it for 7 years. Sonsabitches. Not that Emilio cared all that much, since he went on to become one of the most successful directors in the country anyway, but by the time the ban was finally lifted, Argentine audiences were quite over Hammer-style blood n' tits vamps. So, this 'un never really got it's due. That is, until the fine freaks at Mondo Macabro blew the dust off the reels and re-released it for your retro-rockin' amusement.
Many films from the swingin' 60's have got to be watched with a historical perspective in mind to really enjoy 'em, ya know, cuz things can get pretty anachronistic when yr dealing with hippy chicks and flower power and an inflated sense of moral outrage, but not this one. This one I would've enjoyed the hell out of it was released yesterday. Sure, it gets a little talky (well, it's in sub-titles, so...read-y, I guess) in it's whodunit styled mid-section, but for the most part, this is a slambang grindhouse classic, with tons of naked Latinas and blood and funky outfits and vamp chick freakouts. Hell yeah.
In the film's prologue, angel faced curve-queen Ofelia (Susana Beltran) has to choose 'tween boring ol' Eduardo and Brando lookalike Gustavo (Walter Kliche). As Gus only seems to want to hang out with her in the woods, she goes for the other cat, and they get married. She wears a crazy space-chick dress and has a look on her face like she just swallowed a bug. Then they run off to some undisclosed location for their honeymoon.
Now, the reason that I usually hate vampire movies is because said bloodsuckers are always these fancy-pants, erudite, metrosexual jerks, ya know? Not our Gustavo, tho. Gustavo is an entirely different breed of vamp. Gus is the kinda vampire that does not fuck around. Nope, when, he blows in to his ol gal's bedroom to find her in the arms of snooze-worthy Eduardo on their ill-fated wedding night, Gus simply sticks a big fuckin' knife through the guy's neck. That'll teach him to sleep around with Drac's girl. Then, Gus squeezes her tits a little (this is a recurring bit of strangeness throughout the whole move- guys are always pawing at the actresses' breasts, even when it's completely uncalled for) before sinking his teeth into her translucent neck, damning her forever. Roll credits. Now, we got us a goddamn vampire film!
Gus resurrects his bride in a creaky graveyard scene and splits for parts unknown. Then, for the next 15 minutes or so, a buncha party-hearty Spanish twenty-somethings dance. They dance on a boat and on the ski slopes and everywhere. Dance, dance, dance. Who are they? Dunno. No dialogue, no exposition, just dancing in tight pants and fruit-colored sweaters. Oh, and there's a topless chick frugging at some point, and one of the couples makes out in the woods. Ah, but their idyllic vacation is about to take a nasty turn, as their car breaks down on an old road late one night and they are forced to seek shelter at the "Old Lodge", where "People see things, at night". Cue the howling wolves and screeching violins.
At first, there doesn't seem to be anybody at the remarkably well-kept old lodge, but when one o' the party dudes goes searching for food, he runs into a stone-faced manservant in the kitchen. They have a creepy exchange -
Hippy dude: "I though there was no one here!"
Creepy manservant: "There isn't."
Hippy dude: "I thought this place was deserted?"
Creepy manservant: "It is."
And then he leads them all to a table fulla food. Then he drugs their wine. Then they get loaded. Then Ofelia fucks one of the guys- same guy that ran into the manservant- while Gus vamps up all the chicks. And squeezes their tits.
In the morning, the girls are gone, of course. The fellas eventually get their car going and head down to the police station. The cops are, of course, no help. Then a buncha stuff happens, and Laura (Gloria Prat), one of the newly vamped girls, points at the holes in her neck. How'd they get there? Her boyfriend just thinks she needs a nap.
Then Ofelia gets naked some more. Then, as in all vampire flicks, the long dark night gives way to morning, and all hell breaks loose.
I'm leaving out a buncha stuff, cuz I don't wanna ruin yr viewing experience. Suffice to say, if you dig vintage sleaze, yer gonna love this supremely cartoonish, breast-obsessed vampire potboiler. It's bad ass. And don't forget to stick around for the great mini-doc on Argentine exploitation flicks. It's a fun, informative piece that really makes me wanna dig up the other pioneering sex/horror cheapos by Vieyra, as well as his rivals. Good, raunchy, stupid fun here. Viva los Vierya!
- Ken McIntyre