Featured Post

Featured Post - The 2021 Halloween Marathon

It's that time of year again. When the weather starts to get chilly and the leaves change. I love Fall and everything that comes with it...

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The Curse of Nostradamus (1961)

I’ve had some success with Mexican horror movies in the past. Mostly those Santo flicks, but they made some other fun stuff as well. I saw this one and thought I’d take a chance. Before I jump in, I did want to say that this is the movie made by distributors from what was I think a serial that ran in theaters in Mexico. It has been cut up and dubbed for the U.S. television market. If my experience with this sort of thing is correct, I doubt it resembles the original story. Okay with that out of the way let’s get to it. 

This can get confusing so stick with me. The son of Nostradamus is a vampire who has been angry that people have been criticizing his famous father. The son is also named Nostradamus, but also goes by Ericson. He has been waiting four hundred years to get revenge on the men who were enemies of this father. Though I suppose they are all dead so instead he focuses on a Professor Duran. He just had a big conference where he debunked the supernatural and superstition. Our vampire visits him and picks some random mail off Duran’s desk. Seeing the name and address he promises to kill that man. A promise that he fulfills. 

He returns to the professor and shows his power. He won’t kill anyone else if the professor will just recant his position and admit that some superstition is real. Because there is a vampire in front of him that can do spooky stuff. He refuses and the vampire keeps on killing folks, each time asking for the professor to clear his father’s name by admitting the supernatural is fact. It all ends with a big showdown after Nostradamus gets mad and kidnaps Duran’s daughter intending to kill her. He ends up buried and everyone lives happily ever after. 

Of course, that is except for all the people that died because the professor wouldn’t admit what was in front of him! Seriously throw the vampire a bone! It isn’t like you are lying because you just saw a vampire killing people. That is the biggest issue that I have with The Curse of Nostradamus. Our supposed hero could have saved a lot of people if he had just swallowed his pride and admitted he was wrong. This really makes little sense and weighs down what is also a very slow movie with giant gaping plot holes. I’d like to think that the source material, the serial, made a bit more sense and it was whatever hack that reedited it which came up with this convoluted and downright dumb plot. 

On a positive note, the movie is very pretty. This black and white flick is gorgeous and shows that there was some skill behind the camera. Between the lighting and locations, it is pretty movie to watch. This is with me watching a beat-up old VHS rip. Not sure if there is a better copy or even if they original Mexican serials are out there somewhere. I certainly hope so. One of the highlights is a scene where the vampire steps out of the shadows seeming to appear from nowhere behind the professor. This is clearly all on set and in camera. I still can’t figure out how they managed it, but it was awesome. 

Sadly, I still can’t recommend this movie. The plot and pacing are so terrible that it was a chore to get thru. Though the fact that I found a new to me bit of Mexican horror after watching as many as I have gives me hope that there are more out there to find. Just not this one…


© Copyright 2021 John Shatzer

No comments:

Post a Comment