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.
June 03
1968—Andy Warhol Is Shot
Valerie Solanas, feminist author of an anti-male tract she called the S.C.U.M. Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men), attempts to assassinate artist Andy Warhol by shooting him with a handgun. Warhol survives but suffers health problems for the rest of his life. Solanas serves three years in prison and eventually dies of emphysema at San Francisco's Bristol Hotel in 1988.
June 02
1941—Lou Gehrig Dies
New York Yankees baseball player Henry Louis Gehrig, aka The Iron Horse, who set a record for playing in 2,130 consecutive games over the course of fourteen seasons, dies of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, two years after the onset of the illness ended his consecutive games streak.
June 01
1946—Antonescu Is Executed
Ion Antonescu, who was ruler of Romania during World War II, and whose policies were independently responsible for the deaths of as many as 400,000 Bessarabian, Ukrainian and Romanian Jews, as well as countless Romani Romanians, is executed by means of firing squad at Fort Jilava prison just outside Bucharest.
1959—Sax Rohmer Dies
Prolific British pulp writer Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward, aka Sax Rohmer, who created the popular character Fu Manchu and became one of the most highly paid authors of his time writing fundamentally racist fiction about the "yellow peril" and what he blithely called "rampant criminality among the Chinese", dies of avian flu in White Plains, New York.
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