Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Young Hannah is lookin' to neck with you

Young Hannah, Queen of the Vampires
(aka "Crypt of the Living Dead" and "Vampire Woman") (1972)
Starring: Andrew Prine, Patty Shepard, Mark Damon, Frank Branya, and Teresa Gimpera Director:
Ray Danton
Rating: Five of Ten Stars

A young engineer (Prine) is tricked into unleashing a vampiress (Gimpera) who has been trapped in her tomb for 700 years. Will he be able to undo his mistake and save the inhabitants of a small island before it becomes a land of the undead?

"Young Hannah" is sluggish film, with a script that offers very little that hasn't been done in countless vampire movies before (and it doesn't do anything unique with the much-used elements; in fact, the film feels so much like an offering from Hammer Films that I half expected to see "Shot on location in Scotland and at Shepperton Studios" as the end credits ran out.

If you like the classic Hammer stuff for the acting and stories, this might be a movie you'll enjoy; the cast is attractive and they act well enough. If you liked them either for the beautiful use of colors, or the creative use of light and shadow in the black-and-white films, this is not a film for you... it's shot in black-and-white, and the cinematographer really wasn't good at handling that medium.

This isn't a bad movie... just thoroughly mediocre. The cast does decent job, the comings and goings of Hannah the Vampire Queen are well done, and the story is okay, if a bit too slowly paced. There are just movies of this type that are better.

(By the way, for those wondering about the credit given to Ygor at the top... that's just me razzing the movie for a really odd bit of costuming. There's a character (played by Ihsan Gedik) who looks exactly like Ygor from Universal's "Son of Frankenstein" that it contributes unintentional comedy to the film for film buffs. But still not enough hilarity to lift the film above mediocre.)

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