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Atom Age Vampire

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1960; vt Seddok, l'erede, di Satana Italy; vt Seddok UK). Leone Films/ Manson Distributing. Directed by Anton Giulia Majona; English language version directed by Richard McNamara. Written by Gino De Santi, Alberto Bevilacqua, and Majona. English dialogue by John Hart. Cast includes Roberto Bertea, Sergio Fantoni, Susanne Loret, Alberto Lupo, Franca Parsi and Andrea Scotti. 107 minutes; usually cut to 87 minutes for video, although prints of varying lengths exist. Black and white.

There is no vampire in this film. Professor Alberto Levin (Lupo) has been researching cellular Regeneration in hope of curing radiation scarring in survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, and possibly developing an anti-cancer vaccine, Derma 28. Learning that stripper Jeanette Moreneau (Loret) has been terribly disfigured in a fiery automobile accident, he sends his assistant and lover Monique Riviere (Parsi) to bring her to him, feeling she will be the perfect test subject. The treatment works, but only temporarily. Levin realizes he must use glandular transplants from young women to make the effects permanent, and starts by killing Monique, who has grown jealous of his infatuation with Jeanette. Unable to continue killing without remorse, Levin – now a typical Mad Scientist – uses his earlier failed serum Derma 25 to transform himself into a Monster without scruples, and then obtains the glands needed for the transplants.

Jeanette briefly escapes; her sailor boyfriend Pierre (Fantoni) returns to Italy and encounters her at the docks before Levin attacks him and recaptures her. By now the treatments have worked a permanent cure, and Levin wishes to take Jeanette away with him; but the police, after exhuming Monique's body and discovering the true cause of her death, have finally realized he is the killer. They pursue Levin and corner him in his greenhouse, where he has dragged Jeanette. He decides to kill her, but his gardener/henchman (Scotti) turns on him and stabs him to death with gardening shears. Jeanette and Pierre leave together as the deceased Levin reverts to human form.

This Horror in SF film has considerable similarities to Les Yeux Sans Visage (1959), but is much inferior. A 2009 remake exists. [GSt]


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