Feo's Stuff

CURSE OF THE UNDEAD

REVIEWS FEO AMANTE THEATER SCIENCE MOMENT SCARY TOP 10 UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
FEO FEED BACK?
NEWS?
SUBMISSIONS?

Read:
SUBMISSION
GUIDELINES
ARCHIVE NEWS
WHO IS FEO AMANTE?
SPECIAL REPORT ARCHIVE

MOVIES
FEO AMANTE THEATER
My Short Films
LAST CALL

THE NIGHT MY MONSTER DIED
SCIENCE MOMENT
TOP TEN SCARY MOVIES
UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
RACIAL CLICHÉ RESPONSE
INTERVIEWS

STORY TIME
FEO TALES

COMICS

CONS
ROAD TRIP TIPS

HORRIBLE NEWS
ARCHIVE

 

Movies Paul V Wargelin Review by
Paul V. Wargelin
Curse of the Undead
Bookmark and Share
SHOULD YOU?
TIP JAR
CURSE OF THE UNDEAD - 1959
Universal Studios
Rated: Finland: Banned / USA: No rating

If you're willing to overlook the extreme acting performances ranging from wooden to melodramatic, you'll find CURSE OF THE UNDEAD to be a fun and unique story categorized into the subgenre of the weird western.

In an unnamed common 19th century frontier town, an epidemic has stricken several young girls. Doc Carter (John Hoyt), his daughter Dolores (Kathleen Crowley), and her beau Preacher Dan Young (Eric Fleming, the wooden performer I referred to in the first paragraph) have their hands full healing the infirm, both physically and spiritually. When a girl who appears to be making a recovery suddenly dies, Preacher Dan notices two puncture marks on her neck.

After this teaser, the film drifts into a typical western tale. Doc, his sensible daughter, and his hothead son Tim (Jimmy Murphy, the melodramatic performer) refuse to sell their land to greedy rancher Buffer (Bruce Gordon), whose men have been harassing the Carters by damning up the brook and rustling their cattle. Without proof, Bill, the town Sheriff (Edward Binns) can only strut around and warn Buffer to back off.

Enter Drake Robey (Michael Pate) a gunslinger watching the growing Carter / Buffer feud and waiting for a chance to ply his trade. When he does get into a gunfight, he's always outdrawn - and even shot - yet he's always able to defeat his opponent unscathed. Later we learn that Robey has an aversion to crucifixes, likes to sleep in coffins, and that he cannot tolerate sunlight.

Preacher Dan, none to happy that Dolores is interested in employing this shootist, uncovers his true identity as a vampire. Unable to convince Dolores, Dan can only watch as Robey mesmerizes her, but Robey cannot hurt her because he has fallen in love with her. Eventually this love triangle, and the fate of the town, is decided in a showdown between preacher and bloodsucker.

Although they employ the usual western movie clichés, co-writers Edward and Mildred Dein broke some vampire ones with their unique creation of Drake Robey. Instead of being bitten by a vampire, Robey committed suicide and this original sin caused his soul to return as a nosferatu. Despite his stated aversion to sunlight, Robey is out by day quite a bit. He also enjoys cigars and whiskey (remember Bela Lugosi's Dracula? "I never drink . . . wine.")

Michael Pate gives an understated performance compared to the rest of the cast, and probably the best. His Robey is a sympathetic, tortured soul, rather than the demon Eric Fleming's preacher will have us believe he is. In a scene where the antagonists argue faith and morality, Robey pleads his case: he never wanted to be a vampire, but he must drink blood in order to survive. To redeem his soul, he's willing to put down his guns and become a ranch hand to win Dolores's love. Robey is an early example of the anti-hero - out for himself, yet willing to defend those who cannot defend themselves.

Filmed in black and white, director Edward Dein effectively plays with shadows during night scenes (ala Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau's NOSFERATU). With minimal gore (some bloody necks) and no visual supernatural effects (Robey doesn't even sprout fangs), CURSE OF THE UNDEAD is far from horrifying, but it is entertaining. Universal Pictures deserves credit for attempting something new rather than revisiting their classic movie monsters (DRACULA, FRANKENSTEIN, THE WOLF MAN, THE MUMMY, THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON) in more sequels.

I give this film three Shriek Girls.


This review copyright 2000 E.C.McMullen Jr.

Curse of the Undead (1959) on IMDb Bookmark and Share

Return to Movies

FEO AMANTE'S HORROR THRILLER Created by:
E.C.MULLEN JR.
COME FOLLOW ME -
AMAZON
DEVIANT ART
FACEBOOK
IMDB
PANDORA
PORTFOLIO
ROTTEN TOMATOES
STAGE32
TWITTER
BLOG
YOUTUBE

 

TRIVIA
The synopsis written on the box of the 1996 MCA Universal
Home Video release of
CURSE OF THE UNDEAD
refers to the vampire as Dracula, but Bram Stoker’s creation is never mentioned in the film.

 

E.C. McMullen Jr.'s
short story
CEDO LOOKED LIKE PEOPLE
appears in the anthology
FEAR THE REAPER


ALSO FROM
E.C. McMullen Jr.
a collection of previously published short stories in
PERPETUAL BULLET
Perpetual Bullet
"E.C. McMullen Jr's 'Some People' ... may be the standout story in the book."
- John Grant, Infinityplus

AVAILABLE AT
Amazon,
Barnes & Noble
,
Diesel
,
iTunes, KoboBooks,
Smashwords, and
WHSmith
Feo Amante's Horror Home Page, Feo Amante's Horror Thriller, and feoamante.com are owned and copyright 1997 - 2014 by E.C.McMullen Jr.
FAIR USE - PRIVACY POLICY - OWNERSHIP - CONTACT
All images and text belong to E.C.McMullen Jr. unless otherwise noted.
All fiction stories belong to their individual authors.
I will take you home...