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Noroi no Yakata: Chi o Suu Me

Lake of Dracula
Bloodthirsty Eyes / Bloodsucking Eyes / Japula / Dracula's Lust for Blood / Lake of Death

Japan 1971
produced by
Fumio Tanaka for Toho
directed by Michio Yamamoto
starring Midori Fujita, Choei Takahashi, Sanae Emi, Shin Kishida, Tadao Futami, Mika Katsuragi, Setsuko Kawaguchi, Tatsuo Matsushita, Yasuzo Ogawa, Haruo Suzuki, Fusako Tachibana, Kaku Takashina, Michiyo Yamazoe, Wataru Omae, Hideji Otaki
written by Ei Ogawa, Masaru Takesue, music by Riichiro Manabe, special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano

Bloodthirsty Trilogy

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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As a kid, Akiko (Midori Fujita) had a dream about her dog running away and her tracking him down - to the lair of a vampire. Now she's grown up though, but the memory doesn't only refuse to let go of her, it becomes more vivid then ever, especially when she finds her dog killed, and the caretaker (Kaku Takashina) of her house, a normally peaceful man, tries to rape her. At first, her sister Natsuko (Sanae Emi) and her boyfriend Saeki (Choei Takahashi) try to convince her everything is nothing but illusions - but then of course, Natsuko is already under the native vampire's (Shin Kishida) spell while Saeki is flooded with work at the hospital he's a doctor at. It's only when a girl is brought to the hospital who shows signs of vampirism that Saeki believes Akiko's side of things might be accurate. But the girl dies and is cremated before being properly examined. Now, Akiko and Saeki start to investigate, but while they're at it, the vampire sucks Natsuko dry, and Akiko and Saeki's attempts to bring her to hospital in time only lead to her dying on the way and reawakening as a vampire later on ...

With nothing else to do, Saeki tries hypnosis on Akiko and finds out that her dream from when she was five wasn't a dream at all but an actual event her mind just wouldn't accept - and now the two of them head for the vampire's lair to find out what has actually been happening all these years back and to find a way to deal with the vampire in the now. Thing is, the vampire's prepared ...

 

Probably more related to vampire movies from the West, especially the vampire flicks Hammer put out at the time, than anything of Asian descent, Lake of Dracula, despite its relative popularity in the West, will probably never be considered as a milestone of Japanese horror cinema - but that said, it's a very robust, deliberately slow-moving vampire flick that's sure to creep one out, thanks to a solid if not overly original script and a directorial emphasis on atmospher and mystery.

In all, first and foremost a really likeable piece of vintage genre cinema. No masterpiece perhaps, but a must-see for nostalgic horror afficionados (like me).

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
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the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD