Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kiss of the Vampire: A Close look at a Classic Horror Movie

See why you never break down in the woods! See why you never stay at the creepy inn! See why you never, ever, go up to the castle! See..." Kiss of the Vampire (1963)
Who? Director: Don Sharp.
Producer: Anthony Hinds.
Screenplay: John Elder.
Cast: Clifford Evans, Edward de Souza, Noel Willman, Jennifer Daniel, Barry Warren, Brian Oulton, Noel Howlett, Jacquie Wallis, Peter Madden, Isobel Black, Vera Cook, John Harvey.
How? Hammer's follow-up to Dracula (1958)  and Brides of Dracula (1960) was such a success on both sides of the Atlantic that James Carreras quickly put in motion with Universal plans for a Dracula 3. Anthony Hinds was tasked not only with producing the film, but also with writing a screenplay, which he did so under his usual John Elder pseudonym. The eventual result, however, was far removed from the previous Dracula pictures and Kiss would become a stand-alone vampire film in its own right. Rather than use Terence Fisher (whose last three Gothics had fared poorly at the box-office to direct, Hinds brought in a completely new face - the Australian Don Sharp (who would later go on to direct The Devil Ship Pirates (1964) and Rasputin (1966) for Hammer). Sharp and Hinds cast Clifford Evans from Curse of the Werewolf (1961), Edward de Souza from Phantom of the Opera (1962), Hammer newcomers Noel Willman and Jennifer Daniel (who would both feature only once more for Hammer in The Reptile (1966)), and Barry Warren (later in Devil-Ship Pirates (1964) and Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)) for the film. After the usual struggles with the censors over the sex and violence in the draft screenplay, shooting took place at Bray Studios and on location in Black Park.

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