THE HORRIBLE SEXY VAMPIRE (1970) Reviews and overview

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‘It’ll rock you in your seats!’

The Horrible Sexy Vampire is a 1970 Spanish horror film about an inhuman maniac that is murdering young women in Germany. Meanwhile, a doctor is convinced that the killings are the evil workings of a reclusive odd baron who died many years ago.

Written and directed by José Luis Madrid (The Crimes of Petiot; 7 Murders for Scotland Yard; From the Other Side).


The movie stars Wal Davis [as Waldemar Wohlfahrt], Barta Barri (Monster Dog; Horror Express; Doctor Jekyll Versus the Wolfman), Anastasio Campoy (The Crimes of Petiot), Susan Carvasal, Victor Davis, Kurt Esteban, Luis Induni (The Werewolf and the Yeti; Ricco) and Patricia Loran (The Crimes of Petiot; 7 Murders for Scotland Yard).

A rash of murders leads the local coroner to believe the person responsible is connected with a deceased eccentric Baron. The manner in which the killings were performed indicates the murderer to be an inhuman sadist. The closer the coroner comes to the truth behind the murders puts him and the Chief of Police in great danger…

“The action is restricted to the vampire’s endlessly repeated attacks on anonymous women as they come out of the shower, go to bed, and so on – in fact, as soon as a woman undresses, an attack can be expected. The castle’s atmosphere is largely provided by the repetition of a hollow-laughter track at regular intervals. The rest consists of static, overwritten dialogue scenes.” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror, edited by Phil Hardy, Aurum Press, 1993

” … the film is hamstrung by laborious direction and particularly dim-witted writing, the product of which is several almost static dialogue scenes elaborating on an already illogical plot. The sole redeeming feature is the lighting, which produces a suitably Gothic atmosphere.” David McGillivray, British Film Institute’s Monthly Film Bulletin, May 1976

“The pacing of The Horrible Sexy Vampire is on par with most European trash-horror films from the seventies. Meaning it is languid. It is slow. It is plodding. It doesn’t have enough character, violence, or plot to make it engaging. There are exactly zero twists. It even lacks atmosphere, which is a shame because this movie takes place in Stuttgart, which I imagine is a place that only has atmosphere and nothing else.” Bleeding Skull!

“Pacing is very slow and many scenes are too long but there is an enjoyable understated spooky score to keep you going. Exteriors make nice use of winter snow. The script is simple and the ending is traditional.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers

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“Fetchingly shot in the thick snow that carpeted Stuttgart in December 1969, the result is a clumsy, charmless bore that ensures all the victims are bathing and bare-breasted at the moment of attack. The film retains some historical curiosity, however…” Jonathan Rigby, Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema


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“There’s very little horror in The Horrible Sexy Vampire, and although the girls on display are a welcome sight (after all these are the days when women were shaped like women, rather than either skin-and-bones or plastic-on-bones), these scenes often feel awkward and voyeuristic at best. The invisibility and other special effects are done on the cheap and the whole film feels tired and languid. Acting is horrendous…”

“The plot does seem rather thrown-together, but there’s some odd touches here as well; the vampire hunter is a heavy drinker who is generally considered by others to need a psychiatrist, and there’s an odd but interesting ironic note to the ending. Oh, and did I mention there’s a lot of topless women? These somewhat compensate for the uninspired direction and the hangdog feel of the whole affair…” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

“The scenes of Davis in combat with himself are really something to see. He’s as bland as they get but is so fascinatingly inept that he actually helps bring the film some entertainment value. The nudity quotient is considerably high […] It’s all pretty mediocre and surprisingly, unexciting.” Monster Mania

” …the film is hamstrung by a series of directorial choices that seem baffling. The most ridiculous of these is the decision to have the vampire attack scenes played out by an invisible vampire, something that is as ridiculous as it sounds. Every female characters that turns up throughout is required to take her clothes off either in her introductory scene or a couple of scenes later.” Moria

“José Luis Madrid’s direction seems to grow more dilatory as the film goes on. A simple action, like getting out of a car and looking at a gate, takes seven shots. When the entire plot was explained in the first ten minutes, I wondered how they would manage to sustain interest for a feature-length running time, but now this becomes clear.” Mubi

“The film is awful, a little flesh and a story that drags on and on… but, strangely, it is Wohlfahrt’s performance – as bad as it is – that keeps you watching. He hasn’t the skill or presence to pull off one character, never mind two, but somehow he manages to keep an interest going in between the gratuitous booby shots.” Taliesen Meets the Vampires

” …we have a ton of scenes with the German detectives going on and on about who-cares-what. A shame. This could have been a cult favorite, but I think those boring bits are too often and too long to hold the attention of an audience. Still, I enjoyed it – and the sleaze was that cheesy silly kind of sleaze that made it all the better…” Video Zeta One

“As a prime example of the boring and under-achieving co-produced European horror cinema of four decades past, 1970′s The Horrible Sexy Vampire is, well, boring and under-achieving … The only noteworthy aspect of the production is its own inherent awfulness, for which the title gets things at least partly right – it’s certainly horrible.” WTF Film

Released in the UK in 1976 by Border Films with Italian Giallo thriller The Crimes of the Black Cat (1972)


Cast and characters:

Waldemar Wohlfahrt … Count Oblensky
Barta Barri … Police Inspector
Anastasio Campoy … Coroner
Susan Carvasal
Victor Davis
Kurt Esteban
Luis Induni … Chief of Police
Antonio Jiménez Escribano … Mayor
Patricia Loran … Marianne
José Marco … Police Commissioner’s Assistant
Luis Marugan
Antonio Ramis
Adela Tauler … First female victim
Mary Trovar

Filming locations:
Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany in December 1969 (exteriors)
Spain (interiors)

Technical details:
1 hour 31 minutes
Eastmancolor – prints by Telecolor

Original title:
El vampiro de la autopista “The Vampire of the Highway”

Thanks to VHS WastelandVampyres Online, Gav Whitaker, and Mike Mariano of The Latarnia Forums for some of the images above.


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