Vintage Pulp Aug 7 2013
VAMPIR'S KUSS
Oh, don’t be silly, my dear—there’s no such thing as the undead.

Here’s the basic idea of Der Kuss des Vampir: “Well, it’s too bad our newfangled horseless carriage broke down in the middle of this creepy moor, but at least we found an inn, though it’s oddly vacant—well, except for that one guest we never see—but in any case things are looking up, because the mysterious gentleman who lives in the hilltop manor has invited us for dinner tonight.”

If you were to accept this invitation and your host Dr. Ravna soon explained, “I like to be surrounded only by beautiful…”—very long pause as he looks at your new bride—“…things,” it would be an indication that he’s ravna for your wife’s neck. But you can’t pick up on these clues. You’re so rational you’re irrational. “Oh, don’t be silly, darling, Dr. Ravna is just a little odd is all. Well, I don’t know why we only see him at night—perhaps days he’s part of the crew trying to repair that washed out bridge that keeps us stuck in this Godforsaken hamlet.”

Okay, we made up the washed out bridge bit, but only to indicate that Der Kuss der Vampir is old-fashioned, late night, bats on strings style vamp horror, courtesy of Hammer Studios. We’ll stop there because amateur movie reviews are boring and we really only comment on the films so we can say something more than “isn’t this poster amazing?”

Incidentally, isn’t this poster amazing? It was designed by Klaus Dill, and it's a lot better than the movie. Not to say the movie is bad. It’s adequate, at the very least. But we like to spend our time on more entertaining…—very long pause as we think of better ways to use ninety minutes—…activities. Der Kuss des Vampir, aka Kiss of the Vampire premiered in West Germany today in 1963.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
October 22
1926—Houdini Fatally Punched in Stomach
After a performance in Montreal, Hungarian-born magician and escape artist Harry Houdini is approached by a university student named J. Gordon Whitehead, who asks if it is true that Houdini can endure any blow to the stomach. Before Houdini is ready Whitehead strikes him several times, causing internal injuries that lead to the magician's death.
October 21
1973—Kidnappers Cut Off Getty's Ear
After holding Jean Paul Getty III for more than three months, kidnappers cut off his ear and mail it to a newspaper in Rome. Because of a postal strike it doesn't arrive until November 8. Along with the ear is a lock of hair and ransom note that says: "This is Paul’s ear. If we don’t get some money within 10 days, then the other ear will arrive. In other words, he will arrive in little bits." Getty's grandfather, billionaire oilman Jean Paul Getty, at first refused to pay the 3.2 million dollar ransom, then negotiated it down to 2.8 million, and finally agreed to pay as long as his grandson repaid the sum at 4% interest.
October 20
1947—HUAC Hearings Begin
The House Un-American Activities Committee begins its investigation into Communist infiltration of Hollywood, resulting in a witch hunt that destroys lives, ruins careers, and makes Senator Joseph McCarthy the most feared politician of the era.
1968—Jackie Kennedy Marries
Former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy marries Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis. The marriage comes as a total surprise to the American public, and results in a terrible backlash against her and also makes her the number one target of paparazzi for years.
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