Vintage Pulp Feb 3 2010
VAMPIRE BITES
We liked it, but we didn’t like it.

It was bad, but not quite bad enough to love. We’re talking about 1960’s Seddok (el heredero del Diablo), aka Atomic Age Vampire, which we watched last night. The promo art, above, is quite nice. But the movie suffers from a lack of, firstly, vampires. Don’t get us wrong. It wasn’t as bad as Blood Beach. After that bomb we seriously considered organizing a worldwide expedition to root out and destroy every surviving copy. Few films could be Blood Beach bad. Let’s be clear. But Seddok (el heredero del Diablo) was just… It was so… Our descriptive powers fail. We can only show you:
 
When Susanne Loret neglects to observe the classic 10-2 steering wheel position she careens into a ravine and goes up in flames like she had phosphorous munitions stashed under her seat.
 
The fire should have burned her badly enough to leave her smoking like a Webber grill for the rest of her life, but instead it somehow results only in facial scarring.
 
Rather than be at least a little philosophical about miraculously surviving to see the sun again after almost being charbroiled, she instead adopts a generally shitty outlook on life. She contemplates suicide. She cries a lot.
 
But then a brilliant doctor takes her to his eerie lab, restores her beauty with an experimental treatment and, in the process of looking deep into her large and soulful nostrils, falls in love with her.
 
But the doc is a tortured genius, which is made abundantly clear when he sits in the dark of his office dressed like Johnny Cash, muttering like the old guy camped at the end of our block who rattles a cup of centavos all day.
 
We soon learn that the doc is prone to transformations that make him look like he has a turducken stuffed in his collar. If he’d left the girl disfigured, they’d have been a perfect match, but he screwed the pooch on that.
 
He begs her to overlook his hideous deformity, and she explains that she thinks he’s a really nice guy, and she’s really grateful for his friendship and support and he’s smart and funny and she likes him—but she doesn’t like him. Plus, she already has a boyfriend.
 
The plot thickens, finally, when said boyfriend begins to suspect the doctor is some kind of monster. But when he speaks to the local cops about it, the police captain gives him that skeptical look cops everywhere are so good at, the one that says, “Are you yanking my dick, son?”
 
Before long the doctor meets up with the boyfriend. They dance a tango. The first number is Ravel’s smoldering classical piece “Bolero,” which isn’t a pure tango, but works fine for getting-to-know-you purposes. The second piece is the less-acclaimed “Choke Your Bitch Ass Out” by… well, we’re not sure on that.
 
The doctor fails to kill the boyfriend, and for unclear reasons (we admit we made popcorn and somehow neglected to pause the movie) the doc goes around town accosting random women like he’s Rick James, scaring the wits out of everyone who sees him.
 
By now even the doc’s loyal assistant is like, “Dude, you’re starting to creep me out, and I’m the guy who oils your pendulum.”

But in the end the doctor just would not chill, and his assistant was forced to kill him. And we sat there thinking about the freak in that Cher movie Mask, and how mellow he was about his deformity, and that Powder dude, who was fully stoic, and we wondered why not the doctor? Was it nurture or nature? We'll never know. We'll also never know where the vampires were in this flick. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is we’ve done the hard work of watching Seddok (el heredero del Diablo) for you, and now you don’t have to bother. The 80 minutes you might have pissed away, never to be regained, can instead be directed toward loftier endeavors. Put them to good use—cure cancer, find a Sasquatch. Just make sure to mention us in your Nobel acceptance speech.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 10
1919—Zapata Is Killed
In Mexico, revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata is shot dead by government forces in the state of Morelos, after a carefully planned ambush. Following the killing, Zapata's revolutionary movement and his Liberation Army of the South slowly fall apart, but his political influence lasts in Mexico to the present day.
1925—Great Gatsby Is Published
F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby is published in New York City by Charles Scribner's Sons. Though Gatsby is Fitzgerald's best known book today, it was not a success upon publication, and at the time of his death in 1940, Fitzgerald was mostly forgotten as a writer and considered himself to be a failure.
April 09
1968—Martin Luther King Buried
American clergyman and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., is buried five days after being shot dead on a Memphis, Tennessee motel balcony. April 7th had been declared a national day of mourning by President Lyndon B. Johnson, and King's funeral on the 9th is attended by thousands of supporters, and Vice President Hubert Humphrey.
April 08
1953—Jomo Kenyatta Convicted
In Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta is sentenced to seven years in prison by the nation's British rulers for being a member of the Mau Mau Society, an anti-colonial movement. Kenyatta would a decade later become independent Kenya's first prime minister, and still later its first president.
1974—Hank Aaron Becomes Home Run King
Major League Baseball player Hank Aaron hits his 715th career home run, surpassing Babe Ruth's 39-year-old record. The record-breaking homer is hit off Al Downing of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and with that swing Aaron puts an exclamation mark on a twenty-four year journey that had begun with the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro League, and would end with his selection to Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame.
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