Mils Mascaras is traveling in a car with his assistant (Manuel Garay) when they are almost run off the road by another car. The other car crashes into a wall. When checking to see if anyone is hurt they find that no one is in the care but several rubber bats rush out of the car and fly away. Mils is perplexed but he has a match coming up with a wrestler known as the Black Man and doesn’t have time to dwell on it. At the arena the crowd is upset because the Black Man is late getting into the ring. Mils checks on him and finds the door to his locker room locked. When he breaks it down no one is there but several rubber bats fly out.
Mils tells police Lt. Garfias (Dagoberto Rodriguez) about the bats but gets scoffed at. While watching the news he hears about a reporter named Carlos Meyer (Pedro Armendariz Jr). Carlos witnessed a crash in Mexico of a stolen plane from Transylvania. When he checked to see if there were survivors he saw a small cauldron of bats flying away. He is then cut off when he tries to explain about the vampires.
Mils finds out that in 1712 a cemetery called Omega was closed due to it being taken over by bats. Mils finds out where the cemetery is and decides to check it out. Mils runs into Carlos Meyer at the cemetery. Carlos is also investigating. They decide to work together. When they break into the wall of a vault they end up releasing several bats. Mils now believes they were vampires since they survived centuries walled up in the vault without air and food.
All the rubber bats end up reunited. They are represented by their Queen, Aura (Marta Romero) the Countess of Alucard. Next to her is the widow of Count Dracula, Veria (Maria Duval). Also on hand is Branos (John Carradine). Branos was Count Dracula’s master, King of the vampires and the most powerful vampire of all time until his brain was impaled by an Oak splinter. Now he is an old babbling idiot that Aura keeps in a cage. Aura and Veria are fully aware of Mils and Carlos. An attempt to kidnap them doesn’t work.
Mils and Carlos arm themselves with silver bullets and go hunting the vampires.
“The Vampires” AKA “Las Vampiras” AKA “The Vampire Girls” was released in 1969 and was directed by Federico Curiel. It is a Mexican horror movie and a luchador film.
Despite the fact that Carradine’s voice is dubbed his performance as an old babbling idiot is quite convincing. His screen time is also less than some of his films but actually more than those later in his career. He has enough time to camp things up. There is only one ring fight in the film but that was enough. What there is a lot of is young women dressed like bats dancing. It slows the movie down considerably. There also aren’t a lot of fight sequences like you normally see in luchador films. The movie was OK but not really engaging.
This is one of several Mexican films that John Carradine made. In 1967 Carradine agreed to do several films for producer Enrique Vergara, the same producer that hired Boris Karloff to do a four picture deal for Mexico. As far as I know none of Carradine’s films were dubbed into English but at least some can be found with subtitles (mostly by fans). His other films were “Autopsia de un Fantasma” 1968, “La Senora Muerte” 1969, “Pacto Diabolico” 1969, “Enigma de Muerte” 1969, and a short called “Antologia del Miedo”. The last was supposedly part of a pilot for a 26 episode television series. What happened to the short is unknown at this time.