Marta returns to her ancestral home of Los Sicomoros to visit her sickly aunt, but upon arrival, she learns that has aunt has passed away. Her remaining family members welcome her to stay, though an eerie curse has fallen upon the village which has driven many of the villagers away. It seems that a bloodthirsty vampire may be in their midst, and the only woman who knew the truth has been cast into an early grave! EL VAMPIRO (or THE VAMPIRE) is a masterpiece of Mexican Horror cinema, with all of the grand Gothic allure of the classic Universal and Hammer pictures. Fernando Méndez applies a painterly finish to the film, from the mist-filled pathways that line Los Sicomoros to the vampire's venomous strike. The inspired special effects include a number of ambitious transformation sequences and lapse dissolves, which allow the otherworldly creatures to take flight in animal form. The mirror trick from Tod Browning's DRACULA is also used for a much greater effect. Ariadna Welter is as beautiful as she is talented playing the part of Marta. She never gives in to despair despite the frightening circumstances that surround her. Abel Salazar joins her as the skeptical Doctor Enrique, who has been called upon by Marta's uncle to investigate his sister's supernatural claims. His charm and charisma set him apart from the rather stern and boorish Doctor Van Helsing. Germán Robles delivers one of his greatest performance as the mysterious Count Karol de Lavud. His dark, handsome features are as ensnaring as they are deadly. Méndez owes much to the original DRACULA, but he has made this his own through a spectacular display of character, mood, and atmosphere that would rival the Italian masters. THE VAMPIRE is essential viewing for the Gothic Horror fan.
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