Crypt of the Living Dead (1973)

An archaeologist (Andrew Prine) visits Vampire Island to bury his father, who has died under mysterious circumstances. He ignores the warnings of a schoolteacher (Patty Shepard) and, prodded by an historical novelist (Mark Damon), he opens the tomb of the 13th-Century vampire Queen Hannah (Teresa Gimpera).

This routine but decent little import benefits from a colorful Mediterranean location, good photography and an engagingly casual performance by the slumming Prine. Despite a tedious midsection and poor dubbing of minor roles, the film has a mildly distinctive flavor, like a failed Euro-Trash Count Yorga, Vampire (1970).

Of the cast, Gimpera played the Crying Mother opposite Christopher Lee in Jesus Franco’s El Conde Dracula/Count Dracula (1970), and Shepard (Spanish cinema’s answer to horror star Barbara Steele) was Paul Naschy’s co-star in the cult classic La Noche de Walpurgis/The Werewolf vs. the Vampire Woman/Werewolf’s Shadow (1971). Damon (House of Usher, 1960) had faced vampires before in Il Plenilunio delle Vergine/The Devil’s Wedding Night (1973) and in Mario Bava’s I Tre Volti delle Paura/Black Sabbath (1963). (Today a Hollywood producer, Damon faces a different kind of vampire.)

Originally titled La Tumba de la Isla Maldita, the completed film (directed by Julio Salvador) was reworked for American release with new scenes shot by former actor Ray Danton, whose horror films as director include Deathmaster (1972) and Psychic Killer (1975).