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The Vampire Doll (1970) – Episode 105 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Yuko, I am your… [father].” No, this line is not from a Japanese foretelling of Return of the Jedi, but to quote Norman Bates, “Oh God, mother! Blood! Blood!” We’re talking a garden hose with a spray nozzle. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr – as they check out The Vampire Doll (1970), yet another vampire film (sort of), this time from Japan and Toho.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 105 – The Vampire Doll (1970

Keiko and her friend are trying to find her missing brother after he disappeared visiting his girlfriend Yuko.

– IMDb

The Vampire Doll, aka Legacy of Dracula, aka The Night of the Vampire, aka Bloodsucking Doll, aka Yûrei yashiki no kyôfu: Chi wo sû ningyô, aka ,,, well, you get the picture … was the first of three Japanese vampire films released by Toho, the follow-ups being Lake of Dracula (1971) and Evil of Dracula (1974). The three films were packaged as The Bloodthirsty Trilogy in a 2018 Blu-ray release from Arrow Films.

Bill loves the beauty-mixed-with-evil exuding from the film’s “vampire” and points out the prevalence of deflating hands found in vampire “deaths” of the era. Chad wonders what disease makes Yûko’s fiance’s face look so nasty and is touched by Genzô’s loyalty and caring for Yûko and her mother. The relationships between the film’s characters aren’t clear to Doc, but it turns out his Grue-mates aren’t completely clear about them either. Jeff thinks highly of The Vampire Doll but still likes Lake of Dracula a little better. Of course, each of them got all glassy-eyed over the bloody finale. Who wouldn’t?

Check out Decades of Horror 1970s – Episode 86 – Lake of Dracula (1971) for more Gruesome Magazine content on The Bloodthirsty Trilogy. At this writing, the three films included in The Bloodthirsty Trilogy are all available to stream on Amazon Prime. Japanese vampires and Toho! If you haven’t seen them, what are you waiting for?

Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1970s is part of the Decades of Horror 3-week rotation with The Classic Era and the 1980s. In three weeks, the next episode in their very flexible schedule will be Fury of the Wolfman (1972) with Paul Naschy. 

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.