In this episode, the Castle of Horror team looks at the first film in the Bloodthirsty Trilogy, a tryptic of supernatural horror films from Japanese director Michio Yamamoto. This week: The Vampire Doll (1970), about a girl who goes looking for her missing brother at a spooky mansion haunted by a murderous vampire ghost. Yamamoto's series is a strange vision that mixes Japanese film and folklore with motifs, images and themes borrowed from American and British horror. The Vampire Doll kicks off with the plot of Roger Corman's House of Usher, borrows thrills from The Old Dark House, nicks a twist from Tales of Terror, and lifts a color scheme (and castle design) from Horror of Dracula. But where it goes is distinct and distinctly bonkers, giving us more than the sum of its parts.
But of the entire Bloodthirsty Trilogy, which has been released on Blu-Ray, The Vampire Doll is the one that feels the most folkloric and visually based in the vocabulary of distinctly non-western ghost stories, whereas the other two films (Evil of Dracula and Lake of Dracula) feel very much like Hollywood movies shot in Japan. This is a gorgeous, chilling, often disturbing film.
As we look towards the publication of another Castle of Horror Anthology, where authors deliver different horror stories inspired by themes from around the world, we'll be ranging far and wide for offbeat films to discuss. Join us!
Listen on YouTube:
Check out the Trailer:
The Team: Hosted by Jason Henderson, author of Young Captain Nemo and editor of the upcoming Castle of Horror Anthology; Featuring Drew Edwards, creator of Halloween Man; Tony Salvaggio, lead singer of the band Deserts of Mars, lead guitarist of the band Rise from Fire, and co-creator of Clockwerx from Humanoids; attorney Julia Guzman of Guzman Immigration of Denver; and Jamie Bahr, lead singer and upright bassist of the rock and roll band Danger*Cakes.