Julio Salvador was the original director/writer of
this atmospheric vampire tale concerning a medieval French female
vampire, the wife of Louis VII. Hannah was entombed on a Turkish Isle
during the Crusades. She is protected by by Mark Damon, a disturbed
novelist who is attempting to pray her into reincarnated life. Patty
Shepard is on hand as Damon's sister, the local grade school instructor
who is at risk when Hannah emerges from her living death.
Gimpera's Hannah, who turns out to be perfectly preserved, possesses a
chilling eroticism which shockingly putrefies when torched at the
climax. Damon is quite effective as the writer who is given to delirious
monologues. Andrew Prine's investigating anchaeologist grounds the
proceedings in some kind of reality. Familiar Spanish genre actor Frank
Brana is also among the supporting cast. Brana was also in numerous
Spaghetti Westersns, he's one of the gunmen shot by Tuco in the opening
scene of THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY. He also plays the lead in the
Salvador scripted Spanish/French horror obscurity EL SEGRETO DE MOMIA
EGIPCION (1972), directed by Alejandro Marti.
The vampire plague spread by Hannah goes on at the end, at least in the
US export version recut by Wolf Schmidt and Ray Danton. Lou Shaw is
credited as the scriptwriter in this version. He wrote a few new scenes
involving US actors emoting stateside that were cut into the action.
Schmidt and director-of-credit Danton must have removed a lot of footage
from the Salvador's version, which is reported to have clocked in at 99
minutes (the re-edit runs 83). It's unclear just what was cut, but Juan
Gelpi's brooding, rust colored scheme provides a kind of visual
integrity which survives the tampering.
-- Reviewed by Robert Monell
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Young Hannah - Queen of the Vampires