DECEMBER 20, 2007
Maybe it’s because I was so happy to watch a budget pack film shot on actual film and with actual actors, or maybe it was all the rumballs I ate while watching it, but I really enjoyed Atom Age Vampire (aka Seddok, l'erede di Satana), despite the lack of vampires and a fast pace. Hell, it was even letterboxed (sort of), the only film across any of my three Mill Creek sets that wasn’t entirely full frame (so far).
As this is an Italian film, some things are a given. There will be bad dubbing. There will be nonsensical translation errors (my favorite, from one man to another - “You know professor, I’d say I know you intimately.”). There will be an alternate version listed on the IMDb that runs another 15 minutes, yet they won’t provide any details or useful information concerning what is different (it’s the IMDb’s own version of “I know something you don’t know!”). Etc. As a bonus, there’s even a guy named Mario Fava in the credits. The legendary Italian horror bean.
On that note, I can’t imagine that the film would be longer. Even in this version, which runs just shy of 90 minutes, it seems like there’s a lot of padding. For example, late in the film, some cops go to a theatre to investigate the seat where the bad guy was seen sitting. For what seems like 5 straight minutes, they discuss where he was sitting, where the witnesses sat, what he wore, etc. It’s all pretty pointless, since they find him through other means a few scenes later anyway.
But there’s something sort of alluring about the film. Maybe it’s the cute little bat animation at the beginning, or the out of nowhere Casablanca homage, or the hero who says things like “Am I wrong or are you getting fatter?” to a girl who actually seems flattered by his remark (remind me to try this on a woman)... or a combination of them all!
Plus, you know, the actual horror movie elements. The mad scientist guy is killing folks to use their vital... whatever in order to heal a beautiful woman who was badly scarred. But he sort of gets sick of doing that and goes nuts. That’s cool, and some of the murder scenes are pretty stylish, particularly one about halfway through at a university. The finale seems lifted out of any old Universal horror movie, with the monster and hero punching one another and knocking over tables while a woman screams, but that’s OK. No one ever watches an Italian horror movie and expects total originality.
What say you?