Oh no, it’s a vampire film! Uh ohhhhhhhhh. Well this one mostly plays things straight with the main guy not being very smart and the main heroine being super susceptible to mind control. None of them play things very smart here and the local vampire expert has better things to do than try to keep the heroes safe. Fortunately the villains aren’t very brave either aside from the main vampire but there’s not much to salvage here. It’s just a B grade vampire movie and most are at that level by default so that’s saying something.
So the movie starts with Gerald and Marianne hitting a speed bump on their travel destination. They have just been married recently and were looking forward to a lot of fun but now that’s not going to happen. Gerald tells Marianne to stay in the carriage in this unknown place that they have never been before while he goes around and searches for help. Fortunately nothing happens her and they find a nearby inn of sorts. It’s kind of empty and the owner Bruno and his wife are a bit odd. Bruno seems happy enough but the place is empty and nobody wants to talk about it.
Ah well, they just need to be here for a day right? Well, apparently the damage to the carriage is extensive and it will take several days to fix but fortunately the rich Dr. Ravna has invited them over to his house. A cranky old guy named Zimmer warns them not to go but when asked why he basically shrugs and storms off. At Ravna’s house his son Carl overtly flirts with Marianne the whole time but Gerald barely reacts except for some half hearted remarks. Does he realize that they have just stepped foot into the vampire’s den?
I have a lot of problems with the film but it all starts with the main character. Now it’s good not to be too possessive. That’s a definite and jumping into action because Marianne is talking with Carl isn’t a big issue at first. Once Carl starts inviting Marianne to parties and such without including Gerald is where you have to draw the line. Instead he immediately lets a lady named Sabena get him drunk and while he says all the right things as she leads him up to her room you feel like it’s just bluster and he was already under her heel from the start. Not a good look for this guy….not a good look at all.
So yeah he’s a pretty bad main character and he spends the whole film getting absolutely devastated in every scene. Even when Marianne vanishes this guy can’t react properly because he’s so drunk and is slipping all over the place. Yeah the drink was spiked but that’s why you shouldn’t be drinking alcohol like that anyway. Especially when the situation seemed suspicious from the jump. Gerald still tries to help when he can but it’s often futile.
As for Marianne, my complaints are mainly the same as they are for Gerald. She lets herself be pushed around way too easily the whole time. She should have told Carl to back off after a while. Additionally the way she is tricked near the end is embarrassing. You’re telling me that she can mix up her husband just by having someone wear a mask? That doesn’t speak very well to their bond. It’s not like they look that alike and the whole being super silent thing should have raised some warning bells as well. The film doesn’t go over very well for her.
As for Ravna, well he’s less depraved than some of the other vampire villains that I’ve seen but there’s not much to him. He’s content to rub his victories in the face of the main character but what even are his goals beyond random destruction? He has a huge cult following him so why not just break into the inn and slaughter everyone at night? He goes through a lot of stealth and theatrics but when you have an army that all seems rather moot. Granted, his army was rather awful to be honest as they panicked about everything the whole time but the numbers advantage should still be enough. Instead he did not put himself in a position to win and squandered his super powers.
Carl and Sabena are basically just here to mess with the leads and none are particularly likable. If the main characters could stand up for themselves more then they’d be fine. Then there’s no way to like Bruno as the guy is so afraid of the vampires that he basically runs the inn as a way to get more sacrifices for them. Ever think about just driving away during the daytime when they can’t move? It’s really not that complicated here and taking a chance is better than being an executioner like this. In a way it makes him just as bad as the others.
Finally you have Zimmer and it’s great that he knows a whole lot but the guy couldn’t be more vague if he tried. Yeah he tells the heroes not to go but refuses to give any more info than that. He only finally helps a bit during the end of the film and it turns out that he knows magical ritual spells which is super handy. So it’s great to have him around as a result but really is that the best he can do? He waited until just about everyone was taken down so that was really late. There’s also a moment when the vampires visit the main duo in the daytime so Zimmer comes in to stir up trouble but why not just lock the front door or something? They only barely escaped with a few seconds left and that’s because Zimmer showed up and reminded them about the light. The whole scene was very questionable.
As always you have all the blood sucking and everything here too. Everyone is getting drained and the humans can’t do much to stop them. The film can be a little violent with the deaths as Hammer films like you to really see the stabs. The first scene while a bit funny with how everything played out definitely started the film out on a violent note with Zimmer taking one of the vampires down. The movie is quick paced and doesn’t waste a lot of time but the main characters being so unlikable in addition to the vampires not being very interesting made for a losing formula. I’d say to avoid this title.