Vic’s Classics – “The Vampire’s Ghost” (1945) Review

“The Vampire’s Ghost”

Released by Republic Pictures

Directed by Lesley Selander

6 out of 10

By Vic

Director Lesley Salander (Lassie, The Lone Ranger) changes pace and style to helm a very Universal Horror style Vampire movie that is only 59 minutes long but seems more like 2 hours and 59 minutes long. It’s not all that bad though but for a horror movie steeped in some reliable, old school conventions it shouldn’t feel this slow. I suppose that Leigh Brackett (The Empire Strikes Back) does a capable job spinning a Vampiric tale that doesn’t really involve any ghosts and has a very lackluster Vampire as the lead.

The goofy looking but talented John Abbott (Gigi, Gambit, Star Trek) plays Fallon, a rougish and bored owner of a seedy and run down Bar in a distant African Plantation Port. It seems he loves the night life and takes just about every gambling customer for all their money. If you have a gripe with him and the crooked cards he plays then you’d better just let it go and say goodbye to your funds.  Fallon easily overpowers or mesmerizes any goon that has any beef with him and his ability to win every draw of the cards. Plain and simple. Adele Mara (Sands of Iwo Jima) plays his consort and companion who shares the saloon with him.

She supplies us with an complicated saloon dance that is enticing and sexy. It is one of the set pieces of a movie that is not very long at all. Mara is alluring in the role though and becomes a bit jealous with Julie played by Peggy Stewart whom Fallon has his eye on. Charles Gordon plays Roy who becomes entangled with Fallon during a bar brawl.

Fallon and Roy become friends (Somewhat) and when Fallon is attacked during an uprising by some of the native men he is forced to hypnotize Roy into keeping his immortality a secret and he uses Roy to help him recoup using the moonlight which I though was an interesting twist. Vampires and voo doo is another unique twist. The natives, it seems have the right idea about Fallon. He is an un-dead monster who has the village and plantation in his evil grip.

The equivalent of the internet at this Port seems to be the constant drums that are being banged on. It seems that everyone gets their news and information this way. By loud drums being banged on all the time. Oh well. Roy gets feverish but a trip to church with the local priest cures him of all his ills and his spell is broken. The story has to move quickly here since by now we have like, ten minutes left in the movie. So, Roy learns of Fallon’s plans for Julie and tries to stop him from his deadly intentions.

There are no bats, no vampire teeth, no fog just jungle settings, a nice large saloon set, some cliffs and an abandoned shrine at the end. The sets at times do evoke images of some of the more obscure Universal Horror titles like the post Karloff Mummy films. There is atmosphere and good camera work but it drags a bit whenever we have to listen to Fallon blab on about how immortality can suck and so on.

Plus it literally takes forever for Roy to fall under Fallon’s spell. So, for a quick fix of the old school supernatural you could do worse but the film, considered under-rated, seem more like an episode of the Twilight Zone or Thriller with Boris Karloff. In this regard the movie actually may seem like a notable entry. Unfortunately, the pace and lack of chills and suspense do it in but not terribly so. Is it under-rated? Maybe. Is it a unique and different take on vampires? Absolutely. Currently on Netflix Instant Streaming.

21 comments

    • Yeah, it is quite ordinary and way too brief. Republic did put out some decent b movies back then though. I’ll try to find some more and review them. Thanks for stopping by!

  1. I have probably seen some Rebuplic pictures since I watch a lot of films from that era. One day I will review some.

    From 2004-2009 Bride of Frankenstien was my Halloween night movie. Perhaps I’ll start that tradition again

    • Bride is an AWESOME halloween night movie. very cool. ours is Halloween for obvious reasons, lol 😀 I’ll get started digging up some Republic Pictures. now, I want to see more…

  2. Halloween used to be mine, but every year something would go wrong to keep me from viewing it lol. So I moved onto something different.

    Look forward to your other write ups. I’ll be back in October and be far more active. At least I hope lol. If you like my poster galleries you’ll love the one coming in October. Well 2 I’m gonna break it down

    • cool! can’t wait. I still have to do something with those Alien lobby card pics and posters you sent me. Maybe in October I’ll whip up something.

    • oh yeah. agreed. I’m going to review horror comics, classics and some TV shows as well like some episodes of TZ and Night Gallery. going to be wicked.

  3. Speaking of tv I really need to get back to watching Friday the 13th: The Series. I was supposed to review that, but got sidetracked. October lol I’ll get to it than.

    I was only 2 or so episodes away from covering 2-3 per season. But like I said got sidetracked

    • man, I used to watch that show religiously. never missed it and if I couldn’t catch it I’d set my VCR to record it then watch it late at night before passing out from my hi-jinks lol.

  4. Haha.

    Have you ever thought of doing simply DVD and or blu-ray reviews where you review more of the product than movie?

    I did that a couple of years ago, but stopped. I was thinking of fixing those reviews up and posting as well as writing new ones

    • I did at one point but I am just a casual student of things that entail getting very technical about blu rays and such. Like getting into how the picture looks and sounds. I would just say “Um yeah the picture looks great and it sounds awesome.” I don’t know all the cool techie buzz words much less know what they even mean. Sometimes reading a review on blu ray.com gives me a headache.

  5. The Vampire’s Ghost… never heard of this one. There were a lot of problems with all the sequels to Dracula, especially after the lawsuit(s) with Mrs. Stoker. Universal wanted to stay away from stories resembling the Stoker novel but was still in a rush to get films out after Dracula’s success. The films really suffered from weak & shallow scripts. Dracula’s Daughter was weak, too!

    • True. Speaking of Dracula’s Daughter, I have it lined up to review soon and it’s been a while but I do recall that it was a bit on the slow side and it suffered from being overshadowed by the first film.

    • Yeah, you are right about ways to get around having to get too technical. I guess I could swing it but I’d rather read your blu ray reviews instead lol.

  6. I’m gonna go through my files and see if I can find one good enough to post. If not I will do one in October if I find one ready to go I will post it tomorrow.

    As a writer I’m sure you go through times where your reviews aren’t coming out the way you want. Or perhaps you’re busy and can’t get the time to put into it. Disc reviews can be something simple to,write with limited time. That’s actually why I started them.

    Some disc reviews are quick and to the point some are a bit longer, but again can be good to be active with limited time or being unable to write reviews up to par

    • Ah, I see what you mean. When you are ready post the ones that you fix up. I’m curious as to how you handle those particular type of reviews.

  7. I’ll see what I have. I kinda stopped due to like,you not knowing the tech side, which can make them at times difficult. But it also can be simple and easy to,write when in a slump or just don’t have time.

    Regardless I,will post one in October for sure if none I feel are ready to go,up tomorrow

  8. Although I’m familair with the title I can’t say I remember seeing this. Judging from your review I don’t think I’m going to anytime soon either! I’m not too much of a fan of films from this era although I’ve seen more than a few. I generally find them to all be rather tepid & slow but there are exceptions.
    Great write up hermano!

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