Plot: What’s it about?
Eduardo Escodero (Eddie Garcia) is a man obsessed with blood, he loves to see it, smell it, and yes, he even loves to drink it. This is because he is a vampire of course, but he isn’t the kind that feeds alone, not even close. And who better to stalk human victims with than one’s own family, especially when they’re all vampires too. So he and his kinfolk prey upon the countryside, taking down whatever mortals that happen to cross their paths, sucking every last drop of the red stuff before moving on once again. But Eduardo is not this kind of creature by his own choice, as he was born into the vampiric lifestyle, thanks to his mother’s infection. The family curse haunts him and while he does feed on humans to satisfy his lust for blood, he also manages to cause them some trouble, to be sure. As he tries to battle against his urges, he finds himself becoming more violent and destructive, even toward those he loves. So while he throws his family’s lives into chaos and even causes some problems for his extended relatives, will Eduardo be able to find some kind of comfort from his terrible curse?
Also known as Curse of the Vampires, this movie is a sequel of sorts to The Blood Drinkers and if you liked that one, you should be pleased here. As a super low budget production from the Philippines, Blood of the Vampires lacks the resources to compete in terms of production values, but it has some good atmosphere and a fair share of effective sequences. I especially like to watch Eddie Garcia (Beast of Blood, Savage Sisters) as a lustful vampire, as he puts a lot of energy into his performance, as he often did, even in these low rent schlock efforts. The rest of the cast is forgettable, but Garcia is fun to watch and in these kinds of movies, we need that one outrageous performance at least, which what he supplies. As resources were very limited, you won’t see much in terms of dazzling special effects or what not, but the filmmakers were able to conjure up some good atmosphere and eerie tension. This is thanks to some great locations, such as real dungeons and some terrific use of the visuals, including unique camera angles and lighting work. The story is solid as far as vampire cinema is concerned, with a few nice twists thrown in, but don’t expect a complex kind of plot in this one. I found this to be a bad, but entertaining picture and if you’re a fan of low budget vampire flicks, then give this one a spin.
Video: How does it look?
Blood of the Vampires is presented in a full frame transfer, which seems to be an open matte edition. As I expected, the print has a lot of small nicks and flecks, but looks pretty clean, with minimal serious flaws to mention. There is some grain and it causes some softness, but given the age and low budget involved, I think it looks better than most would expect, without question. The colors are bright and acceptable, but have faded over time, though not enough to raise much of a ruckus over. As I said before, some softness is evident and that means black levels have weaken a little, but remain stable throughout. All things considered, this is a more than solid treatment for a three decades plus old low budget flick.
Audio: How does it sound?
The mono soundtrack offered here is solid in all respects, though it is a low budget flick, so don’t expect THX level stuff here. The vocals come through well, but prepare to laugh a lot, as the voice work is simply hilarious in Blood of the Vampires. I heard some crackles and slight hiss, but the materials have held up well considering the nature of the movie, with no serious concerns to be raised. The music and sound effects also come through well enough, but this is a 1970 mono option, so let’s be realistic in our expectations.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc has a solid array of extras, including an audio commentary from Sam Sherman, master bad movie producer. Sherman admits he isn’t too informed on the film’s production, so he talks about the production company a lot, telling the story of Hemisphere. But he also discusses the cast and crew somewhat, so it balances out to be a solid session. This disc also includes an interview with filmmaker Eddie Romero, some still photos, and the film’s theatrical trailer.