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October 17, 2018, 11:37:54 AM
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Author Topic: Curse Of the Undead(1959)  (Read 39 times)
Ticonderoga 64
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« on: October 14, 2018, 04:01:37 PM »

Unusual for it's time, Universal went with a vampire film that had nothing to do with Count Dracula or any of his family members for the first time since 1931. CURSE is a Western horror film that is pretty entertaining all things considered.

Women are falling prey to a fatal "illness" in an old West town and the town's doctor(John Hoyt) has no explanation for what is causing the deaths. The doctor himself and his family, are stuck in a dispute with a neighboring rancher(Bruce Gordon), who seems hellbent on claiming as much of the doc's land as he can anyway he can. The local preacher(Eric Fleming), who is sweet on the doc's daughter(Kathleen Crowley), gets involved when the doc is murdered and his family thinks that their neighbor had everything to do with it. Add to this the arrival of killer-for-hire Drake Robey(Michael Pate), who answers Crowley's ad for justice after Gordon kills her brother in a gunfight, and you get all of the boxes checked for a Western showdown..with one exception: Robey cant be killed because he is a vampire as a result of his suicide many years before. He has returned to the land his family once owned before the US obtained it as part of a Mexican land grant and seeks to get his due in what he was denied in life.

This is a fast-paced thriller that was released during Universal's final years of churning out classic horrors and sci-fi films during their heyday of 1931-1960. The cast is more than capable and the plot itself is an odd but welcome setting as opposed to gothic castles and crumbling mansions that usually host vampire stories.

I find this one of the more entertaining low-key Universals of the classic era. This was released in 1959 on a double-bill with Hammer's THE MUMMY(1959)..an odd, but interesting pairing for sure.



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