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A serial killer is loose in Paris, & he has already sucked 4 girls dry
of their blood - so is it any wonder he is dubbed Vampire in the media ?
of all those nosy journalists only Pierre (Dario Michaelis) seems to have any
interest in investigating the case, & he soon digs up some clues that even
police inspector Chantal (Carlo D'Angelo) has overlooked, however every time he
wants to show his new discoveries to the inspector (& by that way help his
own reputation as investigative journalist), the vampire killer(s) have found a
way to elude him & make him look a fool.
But who are the vampire killers
Why, the head is professor Du Grand (Antoine
Balpêtré), a mad scientist who needs female blood for some
ghastly experiments, & his right-hand-man, the actual killer, is Joseph
(Paul Muller), a drug addict who was willing to help Du Grand because he can
provide him with drugs ... but behind it all there's Duchess Margherita, a
woman always veiled because she could never come to terms with her age.
though they realize they are on the verge of being discovered, so they kill
Joseph & Du Grand fakes his own death ... with the Duchess, who can't
possibly be traced to the killings, crying at Du Grand's funeral.
meanwhile is suspended from the vampire killer story & is instead sent to a
society event of Duchess Margherita (not knowing how close he is to the truth),
a woman who he is remotely related to & whose niece Giselle (Gianna Maria
Canale) desperately tries to get him into her bed ... with little success.
sidekick Ronaldo (Renato Tontini) on the other hand is fascinated by Giselle,
so much so that he decides to force his way into her house the next night -
which causes Giselle to stress out & age rapidly before his very eyes,
& he guesses (correctly) that she must actually be her own aunt, Duchess
Margherita, who, with the help of the blodo of young girls, has regained her
youth ... this however would be the last thing he ever did guess.
meanwhile, thanks to the drugs the professor gave him, did rise from the dead,
& to get back at the professor & the Duchess he decides to spill the
beans to Pierre & the police, & now Pierre can persuade the doubting
inspector to search the Duchess' house ... but to little avail, as Du grand
& the Duchess seem to have been very dilligent in removing all treacherous
traces, & the inspector prepares to leave, having been made a fool ... when
he & his men witness Giselle turn into an old woman before their very eyes,
6 with that information traces they have formerly overlooked suddenly become
obvious, & soon they find the thought-dead professor (who during the
ensuing chase dies for real) & his secret lab as well as Loretta (Wandisa
Guida), Rierre's girlfriend who has been abducted by Du Grand as well, &
who was already on the verge of dieing.
The shock of being discovered proves
too much for the Dzuchess, & she dies for good, leaving Pierre &
Loretta to look into a brighter future.
A very early Italian
excursion into the horror genre (many sources quote it as being the first
Italian sound horror film altogether), I Vampiri relies not so much on
shock (there wasn't all that much one could show in the mid-50's anyways) or
special effects, but on creating an eerie Gothic atmosphere, that seems to
carry the somewhat stupid pulp-plot effortlessly.
Mario Bava directed large portions of the fim on his own without receiving
credit for it, according to several sources up to half of the film (but rumours
say that about every other Italian film of the 1950's). It wasn't
until 1960 (with La Maschera del
that Bava did become an acknowledged horror-director in his own