director Herschell Gordon Lewis
I don’t know if it’s really true that this was Herschell Gordon Lewis’s favorite of his own films or not, though it’s hard not to notice that it runs nearly 2 hours and that it shows flashes of ambition. One note in imdb suggests that Lewis made this film in response to Roger Corman, and whether he did or not, it does sort of feel like a half-assed attempt to make a more serious picture a la Corman’s Poe films.
It’s a vampire flick, in which it starts with drinking some aged brandy from an ancestral home and then goes full-on vampire.
It’s not bloodless, but it’s a lot less crazy gory than other films from “the godfather of gore”. And even with more apparently invested in the movie, it never rises above the schlocktacularly and lovably terrible acting. A real highlight of which is Lewis himself turning on a wonderfully awful Cockney accent as an able bodied seaman.
Some of the attempts are cinematic artistry here aren’t awful, per se, but the whole thing winds up being more of a slog than it should be. Surely another of his films is truly his best.