Friday, January 19, 2018

Fangs of the Living Dead, Vampire Lusts for Anita Ekberg

Anita Ekberg. Many will remember her as Sylvia, the babe in the fountain, in 1960's "La Dolce Vita." I saw that film...which makes me sound smart, probably because its an artsy-fartsy film with subtitles. In an even more gratuitous role, in 1969, Ms. Ekberg again plays Sylvia, this time in Amando de Ossorio's (the "Tombs of the Blind Dead" director) "Fangs of the Living Dead" (aka "Malenka").  This Italian horror work is best known for campy acting, vampire carnage, and cleavage.
Swimsuit model Sylvia has just learned that she has inherited a castle due to her mom's death. She leaves her fiance, Piero (Gianni Medici) temporarily to travel to rural Italy and claim the estate. Once she arrives she is met by her uncle, Count Wolbrooke (Julian Ugarte). Unbeknownst to the sultry super-model, the Count is a vampire. Uh oh...Sylvia is a spitting image of her grandmother, Malenka. Malenka was burned at the steak after dabbling in the occult and creating vampires. Townspeople can be so judgmental. The Count brainwashes Sylvia to believe she must succomb to the family curse and become a bloodsucker, herself. The count has pretty good taste and intends to bite Sylvia. In the meantime, the Count drinks the blood of the beautiful barmaid, Bertha (Diana Lorys).
Forced to send a letter to Piero breaking off the engagement, the cleavage queen...I mean Sylvia seems to be defeated.  But wait!  Sylvia may have a friend. The beautiful Blinka (Adriana Ambesi) is willing to help her escape, as she does not want a rival for the Count's affections. Now Piero rushes to the castle to help save his buxom swimsuit model, as well.  The Count is smart and won't be easy to deal with. As Sylvia seems increasingly under the spell of The Count, Blinka and Bertha may also spell doom for her.  By the way, in true Italian exploitation fashion, the buxom Blinka and buxom Bertha will spar in a rather nice cat-fight.
Will Sylvia fall victim to the century old family curse?  What does The Count plan to do with three buxom vampire babes? Er...okay...that's an easy one.  Can Piero fight off the vampire vixens and get a stake through the heart of his nemesis?  Anita Ekberg is wonderful in this and has some great one-liners. With gratuitous carnage, living and undead, lots of fangs, and Gothic castle terror, "Fangs of the Living Dead" will please any vampire film fan.


  1. Good review, Christopher. Anita Ekberg used to do things with Bob Hope back in the day. Didn't know she was in a vampire flick.

  2. Nice Review. I will add it to my list.