It came from the 70s…and ended up in my horror collection

Time to look at four flicks from the 1970s that have found their way onto the horror movie shelves in my Dan cave. It’s a blend of vampires, zombies, and crazed killers. Yay!

LUST FOR A VAMPIRE (1971)

The last of the Hammer Films trilogy that also includes The Vampire Lovers and Twins of Evil, Lust for a Vampire focuses on a count (played by a virtual Christopher Lee impersonator) who does a satanic ritual to bring his daughter back to life.

But the count really isn’t the star here…the resurrected daughter is. Would you believe it’s a vampires in a finishing school horror film?

Women start turning up with holes in their necks and the headmaster is on to them. A dude researching for his occult books at the count’s castle falls for a new female student.

The authorities and a priest begin to think vampirism is running rampant at the school. They plan on hunting down the vampire to take care of her. The dude who fell in love with her plans to save her.

The most memorable thing about this film is the fairly scandalous sex scene.

VENGEANCE OF THE ZOMBIES (1973)

I don’t even know that I could recommend this sloppy movie, but it is such an early 1970s mess of Euro horror weirdness starring horror hunk Paul Naschy that I found it undeniably entertaining.

Paul is some sort of Hindu cult leader, and a young woman becomes enthralled by his teachings, so she goes to stay at his house. At the same time, there is a masked killer that is also resurrecting dead women. If you ask me, wouldn’t it just be easier to keep them alive to begin with?

I’m telling you, there is so much shit going on here you’ll have no idea what is going on. The zombie women—a trio of them—is a lot of silly fun. They always approach their victims in slow motion and get right up in the camera to add to the trippy feel of the film. At one point they even smile joyfully and it’s just odd. It feels more like an outtake in which they couldn’t get into character.

The main woman has surreal, nightmarish dreams of Paul in devilish attire (complete with horns), with his undead cult members performing sacrificial rituals…on her!

At the same time, she is drawn to Paul when she’s awake, considering he’s so mysterious and dangerous. Lucky her, because there are three different versions of Paul battling it out by the final satanic ritual of the film.

Meanwhile, the masked killer likes variety so doesn’t always wear the same mask, and also takes various approaches to killing victims, including wax voodoo dolls, an axe, draining blood in a slaughterhouse, and even leaving the dirty work up to the zombie women. The best is when the slow mo zombie women kill a guy with a soda can. As they walk away in slow mo, one of them tosses the soda can over her shoulder like she’s totally too cool for school. All this scene needed was a song by The Cars playing to set the mood.

Unfortunately, as with many Euro horror flicks of the 1970s, particularly Paul Naschy horror flicks, the creepiest scenes are hindered—I’d say virtually ruined—by the use of the most horrendous, tone deaf jazz music as the score.

BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL (1974)

Another film starring Paul Naschy and featuring an awful score, Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll is a provocative, weird and sexual murder mystery horror thriller that is considered a giallo, although it didn’t quite feel totally like one to me.

Paul is at his sexiest here, playing an ex-convict drifter who gets picked up by a woman with a prosthetic hand. She hires him as caretaker at her home where she lives with her two sisters, one a horny bitch that wants Paul’s bod, the other a woman in a wheelchair.

Paul shows off his sweaty bod as he chops wood, Paul makes the ladies drool, Paul bangs the horny sister, and Paul has visions of strangling women to death.

And someone is killing women and gouging out their eyes, so detectives on the case immediately suspect Paul.

The film is disjointed and meandering (okay, so maybe it is a giallo), and aside from Paul’s sexiness permeating the progress of the plot, most of the excitement is packed into the final act when the killer finally targets the sisters in the house.

THE DAY IT CAME TO EARTH (1977)

It’s astounding to me that this obscure flick doesn’t get more recognition for pioneering some major modern horror tropes—ironically all while appearing to be poking fun at sci-fi/horror flicks of the 1950s!

The plot is perfectly basic. After a shootout, gangsters dump a dead guy in a lake. A meteorite then crashes to earth and lands in the lake. As a result, the dead mobster comes back to life as a zombie and terrorizes a bunch of college kids. But only at night!

During the day he goes back to nap in the lake, making me wonder if he was the inspiration for Jason’s bottom of the lake dwelling in later Friday the 13th movies.

We get two funny college boys (who are shirtless quite a bit), and one of them does a pretty good gay impersonation.

They spy on girls from their window with binoculars. They play pranks on the girls.

When one of them parks in the woods at night with a girl, they get attacked by the monster, and he’s forced to do the penguin walk. They even work with a scientist when they suspect something fishy is going on in the water.

And eventually, the kids are chased by the monster at a sorority house after the guys sneak in to have some fun with the girls.

This film really needs a Blu-ray release.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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