The Playgirls and the Vampire (1960) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

You old guys will understand, but for you young bucks, let me put this movie into perspective.

Perspective is critical to understand the past. For example, Rembrandt existed long before the impressionists started to add light and pastels to paintings. He existed in a word where paint-mixing skills were different. He existed in a world where interiors were lit only by windows during the day and and candles at night. He existed in a time when people work dark clothing, and in which the nobility avoided the sun. You have to know those things, and not view him from today's context, or was he's just a guy whose entire pallette seemed to consist of various shades of dark brown. 

Same with some of these old flicks. Try to see them with my eyes.

This was made in 1960, when I was in elementary school. In those days, 11 year olds had no idea what a tit even looked like unless you either spied on your mom and sisters, or read National Geographic. There was no HBO, or nudity in PG-13 movies, or internet. In the mid 60's, we could sneak into art house stuff or European movies, but in 1960? - Ike was still president, for heaven's sake. We didn't have jack. 

Looking back from today, it seems that Europe has always had grade-z horror films, and that they have always been available in cheesy dubbed versions, in which the dubbing was done by virtual non-actors. Well, tain't so. Between 1910 and 1957, there really were no Italian horror films, and even the respected I Vampiri bombed miserably at the box office in 1957. So, a vampire movie from Italy was news enough, but when the vampire's first victim was exhumed from the grave and spent the movie naked, and when the other women in the cast were showgirls who even did stripteases - well, that was some pretty hot news in 1960. Of course, the naked woman was self-censored by camera angles, and the strip was just getting good when the menacing housekeeper interrupted the rehearsal, and .... well, you know. This is about a PG movie today, but in those days ..... Well, our older brothers would talk about this kind of crap for weeks or months, and we 11 year olds could only dream. 


Lyla Rocco is seen in a see-through nightie

Maria Giovanni is seen topless, albeit briefly. She is naked throughout the last half of the movie, but her naughty bits are otherwise hidden by camera angles and darkness.

 Gee, I'll bet you'll never guess the plot. Let's see. Five exotic dancers, their manager and their rehearsal pianist are driving through the Hungarian mountains when ..........

Surprise, they can't drive any further

They are in danger from a flooding river, the bridge is out, and they must take refuge in ......

Surprise, a spooky old castle where everyone is named Gabor, Laszlo, or Zoltan.

One of the showgirls looks exactly like ......

Surprise, the original countess whose picture is on the wall.

And therefore, she must become the bride of .......

Surprise, the original count, who is still alive as one of the undead.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • no widescreen 

  • no features

  • Black & white

But she is constantly fooled because the original count looks exactly like the current count, who is also alive and un-undead, and is a scientist trying to find a way to give his ancestor peace. But the ancestor sees some tasty strippers and his dead wife again and .....

Surprise, he's filled with spunk and vitality once more, and doesn't want to die now.

yadda, yadda, yadda

Also in this movie, as the comic-relief (the girls' manager), is Alfredo Rizzo, who became famous as the chauffeur for Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. 

The Critics Vote

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 5.8 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a D. It is not the worst movie ever made, by any means, but there is simply nothing to make it worth the time invested in it, unless you are curious about the movies of this period.

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