Monday, October 24, 2011

"The Vampire Goes West!"

You'd think the American West would be the most unlikely place to find a vampire...
...and you'd be wrong...dead wrong!
"Silver bullets work on vampires as well as werewolves?" you ask?
There are many methods to kill vampires in the folklore of Europe and Asia.
One of the lesser-known is the use of silver instead of wood to penetrate the vampire's vital organs.
This vampire/Western story is not from a Western comic, but the final issue of Tales of Horror (#13 from 1954)
The writer is unknown, but the penciler is Medio Iorio and inker is Sal Trapani.
Oddly, every comic story Iorio penciled, Trapani inked!
Weird, eh?

What's really weird is that there are several Western vampire films, all quite dissimilar to each other!
The earliest one is 1959's Curse of the Undead, starring Eric Fleming of Rawhide fame as a vampire hunter!
(There might have been an earlier flick had Bela Lugosi lived longer!
Ed Wood had a script entitled The Ghoul Goes West in preparation when Bella died!)
The 1960s gave us the ultra-low budget Billy the Kid vs Dracula, starring John Carradine as the Lord of Vampires.
Though there wasn't a 1970s vampire Western, the 1980s had a contemporary take on the concept with Near Dark, starring Aliens cast members Lance Henriksen, Jenette Goldstein, and Bill Paxton as vampires wandering the Southwest in a van.
But my personal favorite, from 1988, is Sundown: the Vampire in Retreat, a tongue-in-cheek flick starring a host of genre vets including David Carradine, Bruce Campbell, M Emmett Wash, Elizabeth Gracen, Dabs Greer, and John Ireland.

Next Week:
Our Halloween Special...
The Original Ghost Rider
(real ones, not crooks pretending to be zombies!)

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