“Oh, the dead don’t bother me. It’s the living that give me trouble.” Join this episode’s Grue Crew – Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr – as they take a trip to an American west populated by a vampire gunslinger and a passel of excellent character actors to experience Curse of the Undead (1959).
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 73 – Curse of the Undead (1959)
A mysterious gunslinger-for-hire, Drake Robey, is really a vampire, and it’s up to Preacher Dan to save the town and girlfriend Dolores Carter.IMDb
- Director: Edward Dein
- Writers: Edward Dein, Mildred Dein
- Selected Cast:
- Eric Fleming as Preacher Dan Young
- Michael Pate as Drake Robey/Drago Robles
- Kathleen Crowley as Dolores Carter
- John Hoyt as Dr John Carter
- Bruce Gordon as Buffer
- Edward Binns as Sheriff
- Jimmy Murphy as Tim Carter
- Helen Kleeb as Dora
- Jay Adler as Bartender
- Eddie Parker as Henchman (as Edwin Parker)
Universal’s Curse of the Undead is unique to American cinema as one of, if not the first vampire western. Nothing else pops up until Billy the Kid vs. Dracula in 1966. The Decades of Horror Classic Era Grue-Crew are impressed with the film even though it has the feel of a TV-western of the era with minimal blood and no gore.
Whitney keys in on the character arc of Dolores Carter (Kathleen Crowley) as she goes from a protective daughter and sister to head honcho of a cattle ranch. This film develops its own vampire mythology, an aspect Chad appreciates. Joseph likes director Edward Dein’s use of light and shadow to increase the impact of some of the scenes and Jeff delves into the background of the male leads Eric Fleming and Michael Pate.
The obvious effort put into this film by the cast and crew leads the Grue-Crew to recommend Curse of the Undead. If you’re into westerns or 1950s to 1970s television, the recommendation is even stronger as you will most definitely recognize most of the cast.
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era is part of the Decades of Horror 3-week rotation with the 1970s and 1980s. In three weeks, the next episode in their very flexible schedule will be the Hammer classic The Devil Rides Out (1968), directed by Terence Fischer, written by Richard Matheson from a Dennis Wheatley novel, and starring Christopher Lee.
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