While being chased by pitchfork wielding villagers a vampire (Dieter Eppler) abandons his mistress to the horde and hides out in an abandoned castle in Austria. Eventually the castle is purchased by Marquis Wolfgang (Walter Brandi) and his wife Louise (Graziella Granata). The couple refurbishes the house and holds a grand ball for all their friends. The vampire awakens from his coffin hidden in the wine cellar and crashes the ball. Locking eyes on Louise he sets his sights on wooing her.
Louise becomes faint and is taken to her room to rest. The vampire enters her bedroom and bites her on the neck. Louise’s health begins to decline. Wolfgang has his doctor friend surreptitiously check her out. He says she is anemic but can’t find a cause for her malady. He recommends that Wolfgang contact Dr. Nietzsche (Luigi Batzella) in Vienna. Wolfgang rushes off to Vienna.
Dr. Nietzche asks Wolfgang many questions on the way back to the castle. Eventually he determines that Louise’s malady is caused by a vampire. Vampires are his specialty. By the time Wolfgang returns with the doctor he finds out his wife is dead but when they enter the bedroom Louise is gone. They search the grounds. In the meantime the vampire is in the castle sucking the blood from Corrine (Gena Gimmy), the maid.
That night when Louise shows up Wolfgang gets bitten. Dr. Nietzche gives him a transfusion and goes out looking for Louise. By now Corrine is a vampire and takes over biting Wolfgang while Nietzche kills Louise. When Corrine shows up in the vast labyrinth of cellars, sporting fangs, Nietzche has to once again dispatch a vampire. Wolfgang is now in need of more transfusions. Dr. Nietzche is worried whether or not it is too late for Wolfgang to be saved, plus he still needs to find the original vampire and prevent him from making any more vampires.
“Slaughter of the Vampires” AKA “Curse of the Blood Ghouls” was released in 1962 and was directed by Roberto Mauri. It is a low budget Italian gothic horror story. The film was retitled “Curse of the Blood Ghouls” when it was released to the U.S. in 1969.
The movie really doesn’t have a lot going for it. The acting is so-so, the dubbing bad and the story nondescript. The most exciting thing about it is the title. The film has the look of a “B” movie Hammer wanna be but without the fabulous sets that Hammer is known for.
As far as vampires are concerned Dieter Eppler is less than impressive. He has none of the magnetism of Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi or any of the other dozen or so movie vampires that have bloodied up the screen. His appearance is closer to Max Schreck than Brad Pitt.
To its defense it does have an interesting music score and some nice cinematic touches. The exterior shots using the castle as a background are nicely atmospheric. It’s not a horrible movie by any means, just average.
The film was shot in Castle d'Aquino in Monte San Giovanni Campano. Built in the eleventh century Ducal Castle is located in central Italy. It is a medieval fortress. The castle is where Saint Thomas Aquinas was imprisoned by his family in the thirteenth century. The imprisonment was an attempt to prevent him from joining the Dominican Order.