Hannah, Queen of the Vampires, Mediterranean Vampire Bites Islanders
Horror fans are quite fortunate. When many of our friends gather to watch a light, witty comedy about a group of sisters feeling their way through adulthood (gag me with a spoon), we do the same to watch a babe vampire conquer the Mediterranean. They have Woody Allen's "Hannah and Her Sisters" (barf!) and we have 1973's "Hannah, Queen of the Vampires" (aka "Crypt of the Living Dead"). Shot in Turkey and starring the intriguing Teresa Gimpera, this film has an eerie and Gothic feel that is not for everyone.
Entrance to Hannah's tomb
In the 13th Century, the crusaders storm Vampire Island and slaughter all the vampires. Well, not all. The sultry Hannah (Gimpera), before being a toothy menace, was the king's mistress and he can't bare having his men drive a stake through her heart. Instead, Hannah is sealed in a tomb with plenty of warning adorning it stating "DO NOT OPEN OR YOU WILL DIE." Warning signs are for the little people, though. Seven centuries later, an archaeologist (Mariano Garcia Rey) finds the tomb...to his misfortune. In a weird set of events, he ends up crushed to death underneath it, where he will spend the rest of the film. His grieving son Chris (Andrew Prine) arrives to collect his dad's body. This won't be easy as his dad lays decomposing beneath Hannah's tomb.
In Chris' efforts to lift the tomb off of his unfortunate father, he unseals it. The islanders are horrified as they believe Hannah still lives as a vampire...and they are right. Now loose, the exotic beauty not only grows fangs but can change into a wolf. Slowly Chris begins to believe the legends about Hannah. Our naive hero also falls for the ravishing Mary (Patty Shepard). The two then engage in pre-marital sex. Uh oh, the hypnotic queen of the vampires has many under her spell including a wild man (Ihsan Gedik). As she bites her way through the island's population, the wild man abducts Mary. Now Chris is a believer and seeks to destroy Hannah and save his precious damsel. This won't be easy as everyone on the island is terrified to go near the tomb. His only ally, Mary's brother Peter (Mark Damon), is actually a Satan worshiper seeking immortal life...don't you hate that?
Will Peter save his new love Mary before either Hannah or her brother make her their bride? Will shapeshifter/ vampire Hannah make the same mistakes she made 700 years ago which allowed her to be entombed for centuries? Would we have enjoyed "Hannah and Her Sisters" more if the witty siblings had their throats ripped out by the undead? Low budget and many might say underwhelming, "Hannah, Queen of the Vampires" is a weird tale with a very creepy ending. Instead of witty comedies, enjoy a vampire tale with a touch of eroticism and forbidden love.