Grave of the Vampire aka Seed of Terror – USA, 1972

‘Father and son related by blood!!! Everyone’s blood!!’

Grave of the Vampire – also known as Seed of Terror – is a 1972 American horror film directed by John Hayes (Dream No Evil; Garden of the Dead; End of the World) from a screenplay co-written by David Chase (Kolchak: The Night Stalker).

Main cast:

William Smith (Invasion of the Bee Girls; Moon in Scorpio; Zombiegeddon), Michael Pataki (The Bat People; Mansion of the Doomed; Graduation Day), Lyn Peters (Fear No Evil), Diane Holden, Lieux Dressler (Kingdom of the Spiders), Eric Mason (Scream Blacula ScreamKiss of the Tarantula), Jay Adler, Jay Scott (Kiss of the Tarantula), William Guhl, Carmen Argenziano (When a Stranger CallsGraduation DayHellraiser: Inferno).

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Plot:

Several years after his death by electrocution in the late 1930s, ghoulish rapist/murderer Caleb Croft (Michael Pataki) rises from his crypt and brutally assaults young Leslie Hollander (Kitty Vallacher). Leslie becomes pregnant by Croft and delivers a baby boy, whom she nurses with bottles of blood.

The child matures into the ruggedly handsome James Eastman (William Smith), who sets out on a mission to find and kill his diabolical father. Eastman enrols in a college, where his father is teaching as Professor Lockwood. Following a séance hosted by the professor for his students, James confronts his father in a showdown between good and evil…

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Reviews:

“This is one of the great blood-sucking pictures coming in the wake of Count Yorga. It is perverse, interesting, and exciting in concept and presentation.” Richard Myers, For One Week Only

“The film has a wide reaching mythology, but much of this expository potential is drained of its life’s blood leaving a few questions unanswered. As Drive In/Late Night fare goes, you can’t go wrong with a film that features both Michael Pataki and William Smith as co-stars.” Cool Ass Cinema

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” … overall Grave of the Vampire experience is one of alternating boredom and disappointment… Aside from bits of blood, there are a few seconds of silhouette nudity. It all leads to an untricky trick ending.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers

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“A mixture of savagery, compelling strangeness and dumb exploitation.” Dr. Cyclops, Fangoria

“Grim and unusual.” Kim Newman, Nightmare Movies

“Instead of a nothing entry in what was by then a pretty moribund subgenre, Grave of the Vampire rises above its generic origins. Rather than playing the vampire for camp amusement … it finds fresh and interesting nuances, nurturing hybrid possibilities that were perhaps only later embraced through the New Wave horror fiction of Clive Barker.” Stephen Thrower, Nightmare USA

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“The soundtrack is cheesy throughout and the scenes when James attends a party thrown by Anita were worryingly reminiscent of Dracula A.D. 1972 – which is no good thing. Yet the story, the hints of lore, the subtle and yet palpable brutality and Pataki’s performance raise this film up into a flawed gem.” Taliesin Meets the Vampires

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Wikipedia | IMDb | Image credits: Critical Condition | Zombo’s Closet

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