The World of the Vampires (1961 Mexico)

El mundo de los vampiros (1961 Mexico)
The World of the Vampires

During the first minutes of the opening sequence, when the vampire (Guillermo Murray) emerges from his coffin and descents further down to the catacombs of his sinister castle, you'll inevitably think that this is the typical opening of just another routine Gothic vampire movie with a textbook storyline and an overuse of all the dreadful clich├ęs of the genre. However, you're promptly forced to think differently, because "The World of Vampires" introduces a handful of ingenious new themes and unusual gimmicks before the same opening sequence is even finished and the credits start to roll! "The World of Vampires" is a very interesting, albeit slightly ridiculous, variation on the good old fashioned topic of vampires, as the ambitious script presents an entirely new (and goofy) method to kill malicious vampires! The key element in "World of Vampires" is music! Music to control the acts and movements of vampire-slaves, music to wake the dead and music to destroy them! So forget about wooden stakes through the heart, stinking garlic and dull natural sunlight! Just play some rhythmic tunes. The plot may be a little unusual and slightly experimental, but director Alfonso Corona Blake nevertheless remains faithful to the Gothic style and atmosphere of other contemporary Mexican horror-highlights. This means the film is literally stuffed with fog-enshrouded cemeteries, mentally disabled & hunchbacked servants, loud and eerie thunderstorms and much, much more! To get back to the plot: Count Subotai isn't just any random vampire, he's a vampire with a mission! More than 300 years ago, vampires tried to wipe out the human race and take over the earth, but one man named Colman prevented them from doing so. Now Subotai has to complete the mission, but not before he eliminated the last three descendants of the Colman family, namely an elderly man and his two ravishing nieces. Unfortunately for him, one of the girls' lover researches the influence of various tunes played on the piano and discovers an interesting sound. Okay, the plot is pretty stupid if you think of afterwards, but at least it's compelling as long as the film lasts and it's finally something different! Guillermo Murray is probably one of the least menacing vampire ever, but his organ made of skulls & bones is spooky and especially his army of docile slaves are genuinely creepy! They all wear identical masks and walk even slower than the zombies in "Night of the Living Dead", but damned they scared me! He also has a collection of gorgeous vampire wenches, but they mainly just serve to decorate the cavern beneath his castle. There are probably too many weird scenes and absurd twists to really call "The World of Vampires" a great piece of Mexican horror, but it's definitely an admirable and entertaining effort.  (IMDB  Coventry)

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