7 October 2019 | kevinolzak
Last of the Nostradamus quartet
1959's "The Blood of Nostradamus" marked the finale to the quartet of films starring Mexico's most famous vampire actor German Robles, preceded by "The Curse of Nostradamus," "The Monsters Demolisher" and "The Genie of Darkness." The narrative running through them all is that Nostradamus is the undead son of the original 15th century French seer, conducting a reign of terror against an elderly professor belonging to a society of non believers. Unlike his clean shaven Count Lavud from "The Vampire" ("El Vampiro") and "The Vampire's Coffin," the actor's Nostradamus cuts a dapper, striking figure in his goatee and homburg, and there's a measure of fun to be had whenever he's on screen, but the less said about his hunchback assistant the better, K. Gordon Murray's decision to use the dumbest, most grating voice possible destroying much of the atmosphere from every sequence in the crypt. Seeking vindication for his illustrious ancestor by proving his supernatural powers to the professor only results in everyone out to get the old bat, believing that by removing the ashes of his ancestors from his coffin they ensure his demise at sunrise, only to find that the ashes belonged to someone else that the vampire had killed. Like previous entries the choppy storyline is split into several parts, the chief of police targeted by Nostradamus, who needs only the darkness of an eclipse to ensure success, then a singer in an adult cabaret actually suffers the vampire's bite as witnessed by the professor's daughter, the next to die also resulting in the hunchback falling to his death. The final portion lurches into science fiction, a combination of power cells electromagnetically producing sonic waves that disable Nostradamus, but not before he drives the citizens on an all out assault on the laboratory to destroy both the professor and his work. The vampire is able to escape his adversaries in bat form but finally meets his doom at the end of the sword cane belonging to his deceased enemy Igor, which was used to destroy a zombie/vampire servant at the conclusion of "The Monsters Demolisher" (played by Jack Taylor, his back broken in "The Genie of Darkness" by the hunchback wearing a Bob Denver/Gilligan sailors cap). Certainly the end was a long time in coming if indeed it was intended as a 12 chapter serial, later refuted by Robles, and also the longest of the entire series at 83 minutes. Most viewers opine that this is the weakest of the four but that's a matter of conjecture, none are truly outstanding and for the most part Nostradamus doesn't get much to do besides make pronouncements like his real life namesake, but Robles cemented his reputation as one of the screen's most indelible vampires, never to play another due to the shady nature of these productions (he does turn up in "The Brainiac" and "The Living Head," however). One misses Jack Taylor, yet it's a genuine surprise that his character laid the groundwork to finally dispose of the pesky bloodsucker, while Domingo Soler as the dogged old professor died in June 1961, well before any of these features finally saw release.