Top 5 Vampire Kills – Memorable vampire deaths in film


Top 5 Vampire Kills in film

I think it’s safe to do a vampire post without attracting the attention of a bunch of fan girls swooning over team Edward. It’s quite possible that we can even see some vampire stories showing up in books and film again. No?

The subject for today’s post…Vampire Deathsvampires

No bursting into digital flames and flaking glowing embers, here.  You kill a creature that sucks the blood from its victims and there’s no blood when it dies? Give me a break! Those sparkly glowing embers are just a cop out – a way to PG everything. This powerful demon of the night, that has perhaps lived for eons, gets cornered and all of a sudden ‘poof’ it’s gone. Sorry, but that seems lame to me. Ever since those CGI flame-outs became easy to master on film, there are barely any bloody vampire deaths anymore. A good vampire death has to include blood, guts, and gore; and take longer than a split- second. We are looking for gruesome vampire deaths here. If you have some in mind that I may have missed, please add them to the comments and I’ll find some photos to add to Honorable mentions.

First, let’s take a look at the tools of the trade: If you’re going to kill a vampire, it would be best to have an easy-to-carry kit with the best weapons against the night creatures.

vampire-kill-kit vampire-kill-kit

Items should include: a Mirror (for detection), Holy water, Garlic, a Crucifix, a large knife for decapitation, and a Wooden Stake and Mallet to drive through the vampire’s heart.


1) Fright Night 1985 – Jerry Dandridge vs Peter Vincent

The battle between vampire, Jerry Dandridge and Vampire Hunter, Peter Vincent is one of the iconic monster vs human battles in film. It lasts about 25 minutes starting with Vincent’s initial attack where he draws his crucifix upon the steps in the Dandridge home and hits Dandridge with sunlight through the stained glass window. During the battle Dandridge turns into a large vampire bat, calls on his underlings to do battle, is staked inefficiently in the heart and finally goes up in flames (real fire) in the final death as sunlight is flooded into the room.



2) Interview With a Vampire

Louis with a scythe dices and slices his way through his fellow vampires. Blood splatters everywhere!


3) Bram Stoker’s Dracula – Lucy’s un-Death

A brutal stake through the heart and decapitation at the hands of Van Helsing (Anthony Hopkins). This was one violent and bloody vampire death made all the more pronounced because Lucy was wearing white.


4) Dracula Has Risen From the Grave

Christopher Lee – Impaled by a giant golden cross, it takes him several minutes to die as he struggles to dislodge the massive weapon.


5) Dracula – Andy Warhol’s Dracula

Hack attack – the young farm hand having discovered Dracula’s identity hacks off his limbs, one by one, as Dracula runs for shelter. Arms flying, blood gushing, legs severed…it’s a scene man! (very comical)




Honorable mentions:

a) The Lost Boys

The garlic and Holy water bath – glub, glub…


b) From Dusk ‘til Dawn

the table-leg foursome stake. Can’t find a traditional stake? Just turn over a wooden table. A body slam, a blood splash, a little wiggling, and behold, the vampire dies. Repeat 3 more times.


c) Dracula 1972 AD – Christopher Lee

Impaled with a broken stage coach wheel at the very beginning of the film. Hammer sure knew how to grab your attention in gory fashion.


Gallery of gruesome vampire deaths!

Did I miss something? Give me your top choice(s) and I’ll add them to the list and include a link to your blog…

Parlor of Horror’s “best of…” and Top 10 lists

Extraordinary Tales (2015) – movie review

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Extraordinary Tales (2015)

Directed by Raul Garcia

Stories by Edgar Allan Poe screenplay by Raul Garcia

Christopher Lee
Bela Lugosi
Guillermo del Toro
Roger Corman

This is an animated collection of five Poe stories. For the most part modern animation styles take a back seat and the styles of more intrinsic art are brought to life for the tales. They each carry theirExtraordinary Tales 2015 - poster own distinct visual flair applied to Poe’s source material. We have the squared-off and skewed shapes in The House of Usher, the stark black & white imagery and cutting lines for The Tell-Tale Heart (in artist, Alberto Breccia’s style), and the graphic novel/Creepy magazine style of The Masque of Red Death. Voice overs and narration are done by Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi, Guillermo del Toro, Roger Corman and Julian Sands, amongst others, who each provide their unique expression to the benefit of the atmosphere. Lugosi is here courtesy of an old recording/reading remastered for the Tell Tale Heart segment. The wrap around concerns a crow in a graveyard talking to Death. The conversation between them leads us into the stories. Everything is backed by classic musical compositions by Sergio de la Puente with additional music from Javier López de Guereña. I’m surprised this has such a low rating, but with its gothic origins and gloomy mood, I guess that should be expected.  The stories are edited into shorter form than Poe’s original works but they work well with the animation. Also included are The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar and The Pit and the Pendulum to round out the best tales from the gothic master. For someone who grew up reading horror illustrated comics such as Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella, and Heavy Metal Magazine, this is a pleasant throwback to a similar storytelling and visual style. Revisit Poe’s most popular tales with animation worthy of artistic merit in this fine collection.

Extraordinary Tales 2015 - pic 11

This gothic animated film heralding the work of Edgar Allan Poe provides gloomy, yet interesting entertainment.

I give it 3.9 cringe inducing, caterwauling, death wails out of 5 on the gothic haunting horror scale.

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parlor of horror – horror movie reviews

Count Dracula (1970) – Movie review


Count Dracula 1970 pic 3

“Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make.”

Count Dracula (1970)

Directed by Jesse Franco
Christopher Lee
Herbert Lom
Klaus Kinski
Soledad Miranda
Maria Rohm

This is one of Jesse Franco’s more coherent films. It’s a somewhat faithful version of Bram Stokers Dracula, dripping with gothic atmosphere. It’s artistically lit with vibrant orange and blue tones contrasted with black shadows like a noir film. Suitably dramatic music score layers the mood, although the harpsichord main theme gets a bit monotonous. It is filmed and edited in Count Dracula 1970 jesse francolate 60’s Euro style which portends its slow pacing.

It’s amazing how Lom’s portrayal of Van Helsing is mirrored by Hopkin’s version some thirty years later. Christopher Lee is gray-haired with a distinguished mustache in his portrayal of an aged Dracula. As he is inspired by a modern London (1800s) and feeds, he grows younger as the film progresses. This version spends more time with Renfield than others, but in an attempt to also be faithful to Stokers story, Klaus Count Dracula 1970 pic 16Kinski doesn’t have much substance to his part.

A few exceptional scenes break up the sluggish pace. The early scenes of Harker traveling the haunted woods of the Carpathian Mountains by stagecoach are as creepy as any film version. In one scene Dracula appears from the shadowed corner of Nina’s bedroom with Van Helsing as her guard. When Van Helsing makes the sign of the cross upon the floor, Dracula moves backward dissolving into the shadow.

It’s slow pacing and abrupt ending keep this from being a recommended vampire film. However, Dracula film aficionados and Lee completists will enjoy this for a few well crafted scenes and it’s gothic atmosphere.

City of the Dead (1960), aka: Horror Hotel – movie review

 city of the dead pic 27

City of the Dead (1960)

aka: Horror Hotel (US)
Directed by John Moxey

Produced by Seymour S. Dorner, Max Rosenberg, Milton Subotsky, Donald Taylor
Screenplay by George Baxt

Story by Milton Subotsky

Venetia Stevenson
Christopher Lee
Dennis Lotis
Betta St. John
Valentine Dyall
Patricia Jessel

Although this film is listed under Vulcan Productions, it was the first film in which Subotsky and Rosenberg worked together and is often considered the first Amicus Film.

The storyline is a bit choppy but not hard to follow. At the behest of her college professor, Driscoll, (Christopher Lee), Nan Barlow, agrees to do an extra assignment to boost her grade. Nan takes a road trip to Whitewood, a town with a history of witchcraft. When she gets there she finds the town barely changed in the past two hundred years. She arrives at night to eerie city-of-the-dead-1960-postersurroundings. The townsfolk are unfriendly and odd. A continuous fog and mist further cloaks the town in mystery. There’s some strange weirdness that adds to the creepy mood, like the hitchhiker ghost. There’s townsfolk that are often standing in the streets, shadowed in darkness, and /or standing completely still.

Iconic visuals such as the gathering of the coven and the back story sequence where they burn the witch Elizabeth Sewyn, further propel my enjoyment of this film. The horrifying sequence when they drag Nan into the depths of a hidden dungeon to sacrifice her at the 13th hour is a bold horror presentation for 1960. And only a half hour into the film our delightful main character, Nan (Venetia Stevenson), is sacrificed in ceremony. After some conflict with Professor Driscoll, Nan’s brother, Richard, and boyfriend, Bill, head to Whitewood to find her. They are joined by city of the dead pic 6Patricia, a Whitewood native who‘s father was a pastor in the town. Because of this format in story telling, (MC missing, loved ones go to find her) CotD is often compared to Psycho. But the similarity stops at that one point because to me they are completely different types of films.

What really makes this film stand out is the wonderful mood and atmosphere portrayed by the stark black & white contrast and fantastic cinematography. When I’m in the right mood, some of the scenes can still creep me out. It succeeds where other films of the same ilk have not with me, such as The Wickerman, The Devil’s Reign, and The Blood On Satan’s Claw. It is films like this that endear me to the b&w image and artistry of yesteryear. I really feel this is an underrated horror film and one of the best witch/satanic themed films ever made.

Amicus Films Overview – a master list of Amicus films reviewed at Parlor of Horror.

The Skull (1965) – Amicus Films – movie review

the skull pic 4

The Skull (1965)

Amicus Films

Whenever you get Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in the same film it is a treat. Add to that, a screenplay based on a story by Robert Bloch and director Freddie Francis, you have the trifecta of old-school British horror goodness.

The film concerns the accursed skull of the Marquis de Sade. Christopher Maitland (Cushing) and Sir Matthew Phillips (Lee), are The Skull 1965collectors of occult artifacts. Maitland is offered the skull by a shady dealer and recognizes it as part of Lee’s collection. Knowing it must have been stolen he turns down the offer to purchase the skull. He contacts his fellow collector about the stolen item and Phillips tells him, he is happy to be rid of the accursed skull. He warns Maitland to stay away from it however, Maitland soon develops an obsession with the skull. When he re-visits the shady dealer, he finds the man dead and steals the skull. Once in his home the artifact haunts and torments Maitland, driving him to insanity and provoking him to kill.

The film is subtle, relying on atmosphere and mood to relay the psychological conflict between Maitland and the skull. The silent battle is brought to the screen superbly by Cushing. The visuals are dated and may be considered hokey by today’s standards, but none-the-less effective as the skull floats through the the skull pic 1rooms of Maitland’s abode, taunting him to evil deeds. The gothic atmosphere provides a visual appeal that I find interesting. The Skull is quite different than most horror of the time, relying on the psychological horror rather than blood and gore, and the battle of wills rather than the usual perversions associated with the Marquis de Sade. It is a fantastic film for those who like old-style horror.

This review is part of a series I am doing to review all the Amicus horror films.
You can check out all the reviews from links at this page:
Amicus Films – overview



The House That Dripped Blood (1970) – Movie review

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The House That Dripped Blood (1970)

the house that dripped blood posterThis is the third anthology by Amicus Films and features both Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in separate segments. The stories and screenplay were once again written by Robert Bloch. The film was directed by Peter Duffel and features an interesting and unconventional soundtrack by Michael Dress. It opens with scenes of the house itself, a sufficiently creepy but real dwelling. The camera passes through black iron gates to see the brick façade with Ivy crawling up its surface, cathedral windows and jutting turrets. Inside the home is furnished with antiquities from bygone eras and dated design. We cut to Inspector Holloway (John Bennett) from Scotland Yard questioning a local officer, Sergeant Martin about the disappearance a of film star. Paul Henderson was last  seen in the home he had rented in the countryside. Martin pulls out a case file on the house and its strange history. He goes into stories about the inhabitants and how they all came to untimely demise. So we enter each segment:

Method for Murder
A writer, Charles Hillyer (Denholm Elliott), looking to finish his latest murder/horror novel moves into the home with his wife, hoping the isolated country surroundings will give him the peace he needs to create. Once moved in, he immediately conjures his main protagonist, a brute psychotic named Dominic, who likes to strangle his victims with his bare hands. However, soonHouse-That-Dripped-Blood-6 Charles is seeing the strangler in the house; in the dark corners of the hallway and outside in the garden. Will reality prevail of will the writer be strangled to death by his own character?

Next up, Phillip Grayson (Peter Cushing) is a retired theater actor, looking for a quiet place to call home. We soon see that he is distraught over a long lost love named Salome. Wandering aimlessly through the local town he comes across Jacquelin’s Museum of Horror where he finds a beautiful figure that looks exactly like, Salome. The proprietor explains she was cast from real life and relays the story of how she was murdered. Mr. Grayson leaves in a flustered state and is soon having strange dreams surrounding this figure in the museum and her alluring beauty. The dream sequence is a fantastic piece of shock horror visuals. He is awakened by a visiting friend, Neville, who had also courted the beautiful Salome. the house that dripped blood pic 2While in town, Neville also discovers the wax image in the museum. Quite strangely the competition between the two old friends is reignited. Only one can be with her and the winner gets his wish!

Sweets to the Sweet
In the third story, John Reid, (Christopher Lee) is a single father raising his daughter Jane. Jane is about 6 or 7 years old with long blonde locks and innocent blue eyes. He moves into the country home to be away from the town and populous. He hires a teacher for Jane, unwilling to let her go to public schools. The teacher, a widowed Mrs. Norton, soon learns the strange parameters of the father and daughter relationship. Jane is strangely fearful of fire, is withdrawn and angry. Mr. Reid will not let his daughter play with other children and will not permit toys in the house. Mrs. Norton soon realizes that Mr. Reid is terrified of his daughter. The reasons become clear one night when a black out leads Mr. Reid to discover missing candles and Mrs. Norton discovers that Jane has been reading books on witchcraft.

The Cloak
The final story concerns the missing actor, Paul Henderson (John Pertwee). In town for a low budget film production of Dracula, he searches out his own wardrobe to replace the unauthentic clothes the film production has given him. He finds a cape in a small costume shop. When he puts it on, he is empowered with the powers of a real vampire. This tale has comedic elements as Mr. Henderson is dumbfounded by not seeing his reflection in the mirror and accidentally bites his co-star, Carla, played by the lovely, Ingrid Pitt. There is even a scene that mirrors The Lost Boys as Henderson begins to float at the strike of midnight and is stunned by the incident. Henderson states that he wants to play his role like Bela Lugosi, not that new guy, in an obvious referencethe-house-that-dripped-blood-08 to Hammer films. This is my least favorite of the stories but not bad for campy entertainment.

The film wraps up with Inspector Holloway finally visiting the House and discovering Henderson and Carla in the basement. They are now full-fledged vampires and asleep in their coffins, that is, until they are disturbed by the investigator. This is another good Amicus anthology with well-written stories and convincingly acted parts. It is not scary like more modern films (none of the Amicus films or films from that age are) but the stories are interesting tales of the macabre.



This review is part of a series I am doing to review all the Amicus Anthologies and horror films.

Related articles:

Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors

Torture Garden

Amicus Films Overview – the Studio That Dripped Blood

Ingrid Pitt career overview by Robbinsrealm

Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965) – movie review

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Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965)

dr_terrors_house_of_horrors_dvdAlthough the stories may seem a bit simplistic and dated, this film has the distinct importance of being the first anthology film by Amicus Studios, a format that will become synonymous with the companies name for years to come.

The film opens with several strangers finding seats in a train car as the train idles at a station. Christopher Lee plays a skeptical businessman agitated with the commotion while trying to read the evening newspaper. Several men enter and take their seats, including a very young Donald Sutherland. The last seat in the car is filled by a barely recognizable, bearded and hat wearing, Peter Cushing. As the train departs, the bearded stranger begins to nod off and drops his suitcase, spilling tarot cards across the train car. When questioned, the doctor explains their purpose, much to the disgust of Lee’s character who calls him a Dr-Terrors-Housepic 4charlatan. Nevertheless, Dr. Terror asks who wants to see their future and as each passenger takes a turn at the cards, we see their tales unfold. The werewolf story is well written, wrapped in mystery and family secrecy. Next, a killer plant surrounds the home of a young scientist. In the 3rd story, voodoo music is stolen by a young musician but the pilferage is avenged through magic. Next up, an art critic is stalked by an artist’s severed hand in the Christopher Lee segment. Lastly, a newlywed realizes he has married a vampire woman. The film also stars, Michael Gough a familiar name to horror fans as well as, Roy Castle, Alan Freeman, Peter Madden and Neil McCallum.

At the end Dr. Terror reveals his true self, a white skull and black cloaked, grim reaper.  He informs the passengers that the tales told had already transpired, they are indeed dead and he was just here to collect them. So sets up the format for more than half a dozen Amicus Film anthologies that will follow, a familiar format that kept horror fans coming back for more.

The film was directed by Freddie Francis who did over 20 horror films during his career for both Amicus and Hammer Horror. Francis later took on the role of, ‘director of photography’ through the 80’s and 90’s, for such films as; The Elephant Man, Glory, Dune, The Man in the Moon, and Cape Fear (1991).

related posts:
Amicus Films – The Studio that Dripped Blood

DrTerrorsHouse pic 6

Amicus Films – The Studio that Dripped Blood

Amicus Films – The Studio that Dripped Blood

A salute and overview

I am going to spend time reviewing most of the Amicus Films, horror and sci-fi releases. I am a big fan of Horror Anthologies and for years Amicus Films had been a name synonymous with that format of filmmaking. Before I delve into the film reviews, I thought it would be appropriate to post this history and overview of Amicus Films. Most horror fans probably know all the info max rosenberggathered here but it bares repeating from time to time, especially for younger horror fans looking to explore the roots of horror.

Amicus Films is a British film production company created by Milton Subotsky and Max J. Rosenberg in 1962. The two had previously worked together on The City of the Dead (Horror Hotel) in 1960. The first two movies by Amicus Films were teenage, rock-n-roll, drive-in style movies. Not having much success with either, they steered Amicus Films into the field of horror. Emulating the format of the popular 1945 horror film, Dead of Night, the studio produced their 1st horror anthology, Dr. Terror’s miltonsubotskyHouse of Horrors. They would follow that with more horror anthologies, horror and thriller movies, and sci-fi features. Some of the horror anthologies were written by, or based upon stories by Robert Bloch. Tales From the Crypt and Vault of Horror were based upon stories from the EC Horror Comics of the same names.

Many Amicus films are often mistaken for Hammer Films. The biggest difference in each studio’s productions (especially early on) was; Hammer Films production’s were gothic period pieces, but the Amicus film’s were set in present day situations. Both studios procured mutual actors (Lee, Cushing) and directors. Amicus Films Studio’s most successful film, Tales From the Crypt, would later spawn a series on HBO in the late 1980’s and several films baring the Tales From the Crypt moniker through the 1990’s.
I own all of the horror films on dvd, and about half the sci-fi films. There is also a documentary called, Amicus House of Horrors: A History…. The documentary is mostly interviews with the actors and directors.

Amicus Films: Horror

Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1964)
The Skull (1965)
Torture Garden (1967)
The House That Dripped Blood (1970)
Asylum (1972)
Tales from the Crypt (1972)
The Vault of Horror (1973)
From Beyond the Grave (1974)
And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973)
The Beast Must Die (1974)
Madhouse (1974)


Horror Hotel (1960)
The Uncanny (1977)
The Monster Club (1980)

Amicus Films: Sci Fi

Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965)
Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966)
The Deadly Bees (1966)
They Came from Beyond Space (1967)
The Terrornauts (1967)
The Land That Time Forgot (1974)
The People That Time Forgot (1977)
At the Earth’s Core (1978)


The Psychopath (1966)
Danger Route (1967)
The Birthday Party (1968) (Directed by William Friedkin)
What Became of Jack and Jill? (1971)


The Mind of Mr. Soames (1969)
A Touch of Love (1969)

Rock N Roll films:

It’s Trad, Dad! (1962) (aka Ring-a-Ding Rhythm)
Just for Fun (1963)