Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Public Domain Flick: Grave of the Vampire

Hello there again everyone. Well I have been checking my Rotten Reelz Reviews Facebook page and the gmail account, (rottenreelzreviews@gmail.com) and I haven't seen a complaint, compliment or crass comment. So I suppose I can just take down all the above and just review whatever the hell I feel like. Let me know either way, people.

Now then I decided to hit up some good old fashioned public domain movies. Why you may ask? 1.) I am not required to hit up more than archives.org to find a copy. 2.) It is less hassle than dealing with commericals of Hulu and broadband issues of Netflix and Amazon. 3.) There is almost certainly a title that makes me blink more than twice after reading it. So howzabout a vengeful vampire searching the Earth for the one that killed his mother and made him into this abomination in the eyes of man and God? No I am not talking about Saya from Blood, D from Vampire Hunter D or even the Daywalker Blade. This is a precursor to all the above. This is Seed of Terror a.k.a. Grave of the Vampire a.k.a. The Tomb of the Vampire.

Sorry but I had to flap away a 400 year old fart.

Created in 1972 ( A whole year before writers Gene Nolan and Marv Wolfman pushed Blade into the Tomb of Dracula comics) and based on the novel The Still Life, writer/novelist David Chase (The Magician, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Switch, The Rockford Files, Moonlight and Almost Grown) and writer/director John Hayes (The Kiss, Shell Shock, The Cut-Throats, Sweet Trash, Dream No Evil, Jailbait Babysitter and Pleasure Zone) concoct a delightful tale of a day walking hybrid of human and vampire searching for his father...to drive a stake through his heart or maybe to do a father/son potato sack race. Who can truly say.

Our story begins in a cemetery, with a young couple making out by the headstones. Yeah that always goes well after dark. The grave of 1930s rapist/murderer Caleb Croft rumbles the ground so and the murderer has risen from beyond the grave attacking the lad defending his lady's honor and well the rape is implied. Caleb (Michael Pataki of Star Trek, Easy Rider, Side Hackers, The Cut-Throats, The Flying Nun, The Amazing Spider-Man TV series, Zoltan, Hound of Dracula and Rocky IV) is kinda scum, folks. Also hot on Caleb's trail is a detective that took Vampires 101 I guess who seems to have seen too many Bela Lugosi movies (Seriously, this is a line) Lieutenant Panzer (Eric Mason of Days of Our Lives, Scream Blacula Scream, Kiss of the Tarantula and The Love Boat) thinks the impossible is happened and the dead have returned from the grave and then...yeah he gets gacked and there doesn't seem to be any follow-up. Guess Panzer was not loved at the station. Tank jokes a plenty left in his locker, the wife is seeing the milkman on the sly and the family dog pees in his slippers.

Scrawny and Chunky.  They're cops.

The girl carries the child to term, believing it is her boyfriend's offspring...until she has to bottle feed him blood to strengthen him to manhood. That by the way we commonly call, a clue. 30 years later the infant is a man name of James (William Smith of Laredo, Gunsmoke, The Ultimate Warrior, Blood & Guts, The Frisco Kid, Hawaii Five-O, B.J. And the Bear, Hell Comes to Frogtown, Platoon Leader and Warriors of the Apocolypse) who has one mission, to avenge his mother (Kitty Vallacher of Deathmaster, To Hell You Preach, Savage Abduction, Soul Hustler and The Legend of Frank Woods) and slaughter pappy. A bit myopic I grant you but it keeps him going. James is also a vampire but can easily move around during the day without a lethal tan.

Hmm, like that Blade guy. Yeah, I figured that was still a comparison. James is convinced the deaths around the campus that Caleb under the guise of Professor Lockwood is no boating accident. The tox screens point out that all victims have died of extreme blood loss whether or not their throats were slashed or not and it isn't on the ground where they lay. The killer could have just propped the bodies too but hell I'm no detective with Vampire 101 training. Stake or be staked was a good chapter.

Will James get his revenge? Will he be no better than his father? Will Tiny Tim be allowed to walk again?

Well the overall vibe is commercial 1970s showing mild hedonism, flat partying and hints at sex. The cinematography is very precise, very little handheld and a bit static. The rumble between Caleb and James looks damn impressive. Think Roddy Piper and Keith David in They Live without so many shots to the balls of course. There really isn't explicit gore, sex or even that much blood in our vampire movie which was kind of surprising really. With a budget under a half a million, this give a decent feel to a film in spite of some of the content. I think it would have gotten a wider audience with a bit of the old T &A with some blood but all in all not a bad film. This marks the second vampire movie I have seen Michael Pataki in. The other being Zoltan: Hound of Dracula. I just wanted Pataki to quote from Sidehackers. You think I didn't love the boy??!! MY OWN FLESH I DON'T LOVE AS MUCH!!!

Anyone else get a laugh the sound editor is a guy named James Cheap? I just envision the foley stage made up in someone's garage but he has to hurry because the wife wants to park the station wagon and bring in groceries.

I don't have ADD, in fact I...Look a bunny!