Movie Diary 10/14/2018

elvampiroEl Vampiro (Fernando Méndez, 1957). Full-on Mexican vampire tale, ticking off all the boxes: crucifixes, bats, fang marks. When you realize this came along during the doldrums of the vampire movie – it was a year before the Hammer Horror of Dracula – the film deserves credit for being a jump ahead of the coming boom. The opening credits are accompanied by a flash-forward to a big neck-biting scene, because spoilers be damned, you’ve got to get the audience interested. One startling scene: The vampire targetes a little boy and swoops down to do some blood-letting. Lots of atmosphere, a stylish tuxedo-wearing lead vampire (Germán Robles), the usual comic relief – all things considered, a satisfying night at the movies. Saw this at a screening at the Edinburgh Film Guild, which is going into its 90th year – the oldest continuously running film society in the world.

Bad Times at the El Royale (Drew Goddard, 2018). Great opening sequence, and it gets close to being something at times. (Review here.)