BLOOD OF THE VAMPIRE (1958) Reviews and Scream Factory Blu-ray news



Blood of the Vampire – the 1958 British horror film scripted by Jimmy Sangster will be released by Scream Factory in a limited edition Blu-ray on February 22nd 2022.

The film has been newly restored in high definition from the uncensored original vault materials with a 1.66:1 aspect ratio. No special features are included.

Just 1,500 units are available for $26.98 direct from Shout Factory.

Meanwhile, here is our previous coverage of the movie:

Blood of the Vampire is a 1958 British horror film directed by Henry Cass (The Hand) from a screenplay written by Jimmy Sangster (Horror of Dracula; The Curse of Frankenstein; and many others).

Produced by Robert S. Baker and Monty Berman (What a Carve Up; The Flesh and the Fiends; Jack the Ripper (1959); The Trollenberg Terror).


Transylvania, the 19th century: A young doctor John Pierre (Vincent Ball) and his fiancee Madeleine Duval (Barbara Shelley) are terrorized by Dr Callistratus (Donald Wolfit) who was executed but has returned to life with a heart transplant.

Along with his mute and hunchback assistant Carl (Victor Maddern), the ‘anaemic’ mad scientist, believed to be a vampire, conducts blood deficiency research on the inmates of a prison hospital for the criminally insane to sustain his return to life…


” …Blood of the Vampire is surprisingly unapologetic in its gruesomeness, considering how famously squeamish about such things producers Monty Berman and Robert S. Baker were. There may not be much here that will shock a modern audience, but in 1958— especially in England — Callistratus’s ghoulish experiments were pretty strong stuff.” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

“Besides Wolfit, the best reason to see this is Barbara Shelley, one of the most accomplished actresses to appear in Hammer Films, particularly Dracula Prince of Darkness (1966) and Quatermass and the Pit. She hasn’t much of a character, but ably endures many difficult scenes, being ravished and ogled by the bad guys.” Black Hole Reviews

“The film can be sluggish at times, but anyone who enjoys this sort of British goth will most likely find it absorbing enough. Sangster’s script does not have much at all to do with vampires (although an animated bat is suspiciously seen fleeing a coffin at the beginning) but more so with diseases of the blood, and he tosses in enough mad scientist and Frankensteinan elements to keep things lively.” DVD Drive-In

“Wolfit – who was more at home on the Shakespearean stage at the time than on the screen – is often dismissed as a bit of a ham here but in truth, he sees rather disinterested in the whole affair. His half-hearted turn throws Barbara Shelley’s customary much better performance into sharper relief though Vincent Ball makes for a bland hero and poor Victor Maddern is half-hidden under Jimmy Evans’ makeup effects…” The EOFFTV Review

“Carl is horrifying to look at, and he’s willing to kill at his master’s orders, but he ends up being a softie. There are intermittent shots of manacled prisoners and skeletons and the mad scientist’s creepy laboratory, but Callistratus himself is more reminiscent of a stout burgomeister from a Universal or Hammer movie than a sinister menace. He does, however, sport some pretty rad eyebrows and vampirish widow’s peak.” Films from Beyond the Time Barrier

“Director Henry Cass does a generally good job with the production, and although without any fancy touches, he lets the film tell itself. The production itself is very nice, with some impressive looking laboratory scenes, surprisingly realistic-looking human organs in jars, and a plausibly grimy asylum, with rats scurrying around in the background.” Mondo Esoterica

blood of the vampire DVD


“The uneven Blood of the Vampire is certainly not a cheapie. It will please most fans of oddball horror even if it’s not made with much artistic conviction or purpose … ‘horrible content’ doesn’t in itself make a good horror film, and what we get instead is a standard menu of cruelties. The screenplay doesn’t define Dr Callistratus particularly well.” Trailers from Hell

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x-cert british independent horror film 1951-1970 john hamilton hemlock film

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Cast and characters:

Donald Wolfit … Callistratus
Vincent Ball … John Pierre
Barbara Shelley … Madeleine
Victor Maddern … Carl
William Devlin … Kurt
Andrew Faulds … Wetzler
John Le Mesurier … Judge
Bryan Coleman … Auron
Cameron Hall … Drunken Doctor
George Murcell … First Guard
Julian Strange … Second Guard
Bruce Whiteman … Third Guard
Barbara Burke … Housekeeper
Bernard Bresslaw … Tall Sneak Thief
Hal Osmond … Small Sneak Thief
Henry Vidon … Professor Meinster
John Stuart … Uncle
Colin Tapley … Commissioner of Prisons
Muriel Ali … Gypsy Dancer
Max Brimmell … Warder
Dennis Shaw … Blacksmith
Otto Diamant … Gravedigger
Milton Reed … Executioner
Richard Golding … Official
Theodore Wilhelm … Emaciated Prisoner
Yvonne Buckingham … Serving Wench
Jack Carter … Man in Court
Sylvia Casimir … Laughing Woman in Tavern
Arthur Dibbs … Tavern Patron
Jack Hetherington … Tavern Patron
Gordon Honeycombe … Stretcher Bearer

Filming locations:

Alliance Film Studios, The Barons, St Margarets, Twickenham, London, England (also used for Victor Frankenstein; World War Z; Burke & Hare (2010); An American Werewolf in London; Repulsion).

Technical details:

1 hour 27 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1


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