The movie that inspired a sequel and a TV-series has Darren McGavin as an
annoying newspaper reporter hot on the trail of a ladykiller in Las
Vegas who preys on prostitutes, draining them of their blood. As he
digs deeper into the situation he discovers the killigns to be the
work of a vampire, not a crazed maniac, which of course no one
believes. City officials likewise gasp at the thought and struggle
to keep rumors of a Western Dracula played down, for fear of what
effect it will have on tourism. Not one to play politics, the
reporter goes after the bloodsucker himself and stakes him. He has
proven his point, proven a vampire existed in Sin City and plans to
write the scoop of a lifetime, only to have the story killed and be
blackmailed into silence. In the end he is seen heading back East,
fired from his job, worse off than in the start and not all that
surprised about what City hall did to him.
Little known actor Barry Atwater makes a creepy and convincing
vampire in this tale, which caused rave reviews when it was first
aired on TV.
Suspiciously, a lot of the original material showing Las Vegas as a
corrupt city and politicians more worried about an election year
than in a killer all ended up being taken out of the script entirely
or watered down. Art imitating life, perhaps.
Good photography, good special effects for a TV film, an unsettling
performance by the vampire, a good cast and a creepy score make this
movie work as well now as it did when it made its debut.