Chapter 4
International Hollywood Vampires:
Cosmopolitanisms of “Foreign Movies”

After belated awareness of racism, specifically anti-Semitism within European fascism, not only did postwar US immigration policies change but so too did Hollywood’s vampire films. This chapter probes Hollywood’s international financing of films in the United Kingdom, runaway productions in Europe and the Philippines, and Mexican and Philippine films that were re-edited and dubbed for US markets. Deterritorialized from Los Angeles, Hollywood produces categories of foreign movies alongside domestically shot studio and independent films, evident in Horror of Dracula (1958), Samson Versus the Vampire Women (1962/1963) and Horror of the Blood Monsters (1970). Other films within this analytic parody in imperial-inflected cosmopolitanism of foreign movies, notably The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me, Your Teeth Are in My Neck (1967) and Blood for Dracula (1974). Since film circulation operates according to ethnic/racial and national hierarchies in immigration and naturalization law, postwar films unsettle assumptions.

El vampiro/The Vampire
(México 1957; dir. Fernando Méndez) 

Horror of Dracula
(UK 1958; dir. Terence Fisher)

The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me, Your Teeth Are in My Neck aka Dance of the Vampires 
(USA 1967; dir. Roman Polański)

Shot partly on location in Austria, MGM’s The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me, Your Teeth Are in My Neck aka Dance of the Vampires (USA 1967; dir. Roman Polański) calls attention to classical Hollywood’s systematic erasure of Jewish and queer identities, both on- and off-screen. The patriarch of the Shagal family (Alfie Bass) is costumed as an orthodox Jew. Shagal’s name evokes Russian artist Marc Chagall, whose paintings depict Russian Jewish folklore and suffering. Shagal’s bekeshe(long tailored coat), cap, and payos(sidecurls) resemble Chagall’s fiddlers, particularly when Rebecca Shagal (Jessie Robins) sees her husband’s corpse, frozen in a position resembling The Green Violinist(1918/1923–1924). Villagers dismiss his death as due to wolf attacks, but Shagal resurrects as a vampire and attacks his maid (Fiona Lewis), who reaches for a crucifix to defend herself. “Oy, have you got the wrong vampire,” jokes the Jewish vampire. The film comments on European anti-Semitism that Hammer largely ignored within its air of moral superiority. (112)

The denigrated position of dubbed Mexican films becomes clear when compared to Italian peplum (sword-and-sandal) films, such as Goliath and the Vampires/Maciste contro il vampiro (Italy 1961; dir. Giacomo Gentilomo). The peplum’s glorification of masculinity (wisdom, strength, love) is contingent on white-male bodies as spectacle, epitomized by US actor Gordon Scott. [...]  Maciste battles opponents in thirteenth-century Asia, seventeenth-century Scotland, and ancient civilizations and underworlds in Europe, Africa, and Central America. Narratives of Santo films are set in contemporary México. Santo’s body is massive, not one to win international bodybuilding competitions like the youthful body of Reg Park in Hercules at the Center of the Earth/ Ercole al centro della terra (Italy 1961; dir. Mario Bava). He lacks muscle definition. Huerta was forty-seven when the film was shot. Peplum films are shot and edited for the spectacle of posing in close-ups; luche libre, for wrestling in long shots. Luche libre films are largely devoid of the homoerotic charge of peplum films. Peplum films emphasize exceptional white-male bodies; luche libre, social interactions. (120–121)

Hercules at the Center of the Earth/Ercole al centro della terra
(Italy 1961; dir. Mario Bava)

El Santo y Blue Demon contra Drácula y el Hombre Lobo
(México 1972; dir. Miguel M. Delgado)

Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) version of
El Santo contra las mujeres vampiro (México 1962; dir. Alfonso Corona Blake) dubbed into
Samson versus the Vampire Women (México-USA 1963; dub dir. Manuel San Fernando) 

The Satanic Rites of Dracula/Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride
(UK 1973; dir. Alan Gibson)

Horror of the Blood Monsters (USA-Philippines 1970; dir. Al Adamson) 
appropriating footage from Tagani/Flight of the Crab Monsters (Philippines 1965; dir. Rolf Bayer)