This frightening movie is plenty of thrills, chills, high body-count and an expressionist photography with phenomenal results . The picture is set in Paris, France, where a mad scientific captures and kills various young girls and draining their blood for her illicit use . He drains their blood , in order to keep alive an ancient, nasty duchess (Gianna Maria Cannale who starred ¨Teodora¨ directed by her husband Freda) . While a smug reporter (Michaelis) and a Police Inspector (Carlo D'Angelo)seek out clues for the so-called 'vampire murders' and links to the case a local drug addict (a junkie well played by Paul Muller , usual of Italian B series) whom is connected to the evil scientist and at the same time kidnaps a beautiful young woman (Wandisa Guisa who starred various Peplum).
Freda's first great success is compellingly directed with startling visual content . This film, also known as "The Devil's Commandment", was the first Italian made horror film of the sound era and inspired a wave of Gothic Italian horror films . The picture was sadly censored in Italy and other countries . Strong on visual style and plenty of thrills, chills and suspense . The movie belongs to Italian Horror genre , Riccardo Freda (¨Secret of Dr. Hitchcock¨ , ¨Il Vampiri¨) along with Mario Bava (¨Planet of vampires¨, ¨House of exorcism¨) are the fundamental creators . In fact , both of whom collaborated deeply among them , as Bava finished two Fedra's films , this ¨Il Vampiri¨ and ¨Caltiki¨ . These Giallo movies are characterized by overblown use of photographic effects , usual zooms and utilization of images-shock . Later on , there appears Dario Argento (¨Deep red¨, ¨Suspiria¨,¨Inferno¨), another essential filmmaker of classic Latino terror films . ¨The vampires¨ packs a good acting from Gianna Maria Canale , directer's wife , as a crazed duchess, obsessed with retaining her youth. There also appears a cameo director , Riccardo Freda as autopsy doctor . The movie has a splendid cinematography by the terror genius , Mario Bava , while working with Freda on The vampires (1956) , the director left the project after an argument with the producers and the film mostly unfinished , then Bava stepped in and directed the majority of the movie, finishing it on schedule.
The motion picture was well directed by Riccardo Freda who used a number of aliases during his career, including Robert Hampton or George Lincoln and as screenwriter Riccardo Fedra . His artistic spirit led him to a strong belief in the importance of visual composition in filmmaking . Freda worked in many popular genres, including viking films, Peplum, spaghetti westerns, action, and even Softcore, but it is his horror films and Giallo mystery films which stand out and for which he is best remembered . Freda along with Vittorio Cottafavi continued to realize films in the historical-spectacular style , at which he developed a considerable skill and mastery . From the mid-50s Freda's liking make for atmospheric and colorful scenes of shock began to itself apparent , especially in such Musclemen epics as ¨Teodora¨ , ¨Spartacus¨ , ¨Giants of Thessaly¨ , ¨The seventh sword¨ , ¨Maciste all's inferno ¨, the latter a gripping/horror Peplum and of course ¨Maciste in the court of the Great Khan¨, one of his best films . In the early 60s , he was a pioneer in Italy of horror-fantasy films frightening audiences the world over , especially with ¨I Vampiri¨ and ¨L'Orrible Segreto del Doctor Hitchcock¨ as he combined with that wide-staring of actress , the British-born Barbara Steele . He also made adventures as ¨Black Eagle¨ , ¨The son of Black Eagle¨ , ¨White devil¨ , ¨Son of D'Artagnan¨ , and uncredited ¨Daughter of D'Artagnan¨ ¨. From there he went to melodrama and spy films as ¨¨Mexican Slayride¨and ¨Coplan FX18¨ and even made some western as ¨No killing without dollars¨ with Mark Damon and signed under pseudonym as George Lincoln . Freda's movies had popular appeal , and were usually commercial hits . Several were French/Spanish/Italian or other European co-productions . He has been called a filmmaker "who brings some style to exploitation pictures", and has something of a cult following . Rating : 7 , better than average horror movie .
12 out of 12 found this helpful