(director/writer: Edward Dein; screenwriter: Mildred Dein; cinematographer: Ellis Carter; editor: George Gittens; music: Irving Gertz; cast: Helen Kleeb(Dora), Michael Pate (Drake Robey), (Eric Fleming (Dan Young, preacher), Kathleen Crowley(Dolores Carter), Jimmy Murphy (Tim), John Hoyt (Dr. Carter), Bruce Gordon (Buffer), Edward Binns (Sheriff); Runtime: 79; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Joseph Gershonson; Universal; 1959-B/W)

A gimmicky B horror-western, that soon wears thin.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A gimmicky B horror-western, that soon wears thin. The surprise is that the black-clad gunslinger Drake Robey (Michael Pate, Australian actor) is a vampire of Spanish origins. This allows the filmmaker to boast this is the first vampire Western.

I found the blend of horror and a Western not a smooth mixture. Here, Wyoming is a substitute for Transylvania.

Director Edward Dein (“Shack out on 101″/”The Leech Woman”) is co-writer with his wife Mildred. It’s set in a dusty town in the Old West, where Doc Carter (John Hoyt) is puzzled over the recent strange puncture wound deaths of several young ladies in town. These strange moments coincide with the arrival of a gunslinger named Drake Robey (Michael Pate), who fancies Doc’s attractive daughter Dolores (Kathleen Crowley). She happens to be the girlfriend of the wily devout Preacher Dan (Eric Fleming), who susses out that Drake is a vampire after the stranger can’t be killed by other gunmen even when taking one in the heart.

The film veers from awkward scenes to gems, like the one of the undead killer joining his latest vic in a coffin retreat. The rarely seen offbeat Western is worth checking out because it’s so unique and creepy.