of the Vampire
AKA: Vampires of Prague Das Zeichen des Vampirs
1935, black and white, 85 min
Karel is dead! He was obviously the victim of a vampire, as a servant
finds him bled white and with two bite marks on his throat. But
nevertheless, Inspector Neumann, who arrived from Prague and is
investigating this case stays sceptic and asks the experienced Professor
Zelen to help him. But the vampire theory seems to be confirmed
when the dead Baron begins to walk in the chapell of the castle.
Furthermore Irena, the daughter of the Baron is often visited by
a misterious young lady. Then a diabolical man appears in the castle.
There's no doubt - it's vampires.
the end, it is discovered that Otto von Zinden, a friend of the
family is the murderer. It's him who poisoned the Baron and cunningly
emptied him from his blood. Being responsible for the assets of
the count, he wanted to hunt the family's inheritance. The vampires
as well as the undead Baron Karel turn out to be actors hired by
the inspector in order to unmask the murderer
final gag of the movie brought Tod Browning quite some criticism,
as everything turned out to be a masquerade of a number of actors,
far away from real vampire spook. O.K., the one or the other element
of the movie is not that logical, sometimes even unvoluntarily comical,
for example when Bela Lugosi plays the Horror-Vampire, when he is
alone in a room, a thing he as an actor doesn't need to do.
nevertheless, the movie is very atmospheric and captured in wonderful
images by camera man James Wong Howe. Furthermore, Carol Borland
as Luna Mora is THE vampire bride of movie history. Tod Browning
and Bela Lugosi already worked together successfully five years
before when making the first Dracula movie.
in all, "Mark of the Vampire" is a very atmospheric movie,
typical for the Columbia gothic horror movie of the 1930s. We think
the outturn of the movie, the actor-story, is quite O.K. as well,
that's something new for a change. The movie was made in 1935, at
a time when the Idea was quite original and we think, even today,
nearly 70 years later, it still works very well.