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15 April 2014 @ 09:32 pm
Movie Reviewed: "Atom Age Vampire" part two of two  
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Scene 43: We skip to late at night. A couple is stumbling through the woods, the woman humming gaily along. They come across a body in the woods of an unidentified woman.


The woman runs off screaming, with her date dashing after her and yelling they need to go to the police.

Scene 44: Some time later, Jeanette and Alberto are out for a drive with her enjoying her restored beauty. They come to a stop and Jeanette thanks Alberto for making her so happy. Alberto explains that he didn't want her to feel like a prisoner, due to his earlier behavior because he needs to keep things so secretive.

She stares out at the water, and it puts her in a mood. He asks her why she's become so distant, but she begs him to let it go [obvs, she's thinking of Pierre out at sea].

She turns on the car radio, but instead of music, it's a plot-specific news broadcast. The radio announcer is discussing the death of random girl in the woods, which is being investigated. This is of great interest to Alberto.

Meanwhile, Jeanette starts to freak out. She tells Alberto that she's suddenly feeling very cold, except for her burning face - just like the night that Monique died. Alberto tells her to be calm and heads back for the house.

Scene 45: There, Alberto explains to Sacha that he's sedated Jeanette and he wants him to watch her room and not move until Alberto returns.

Once alone, Alberto remembers the argument he had with Monique about transplanting the MacGuffin organ from young women to Jeanette in order to maintain the effects of the DERMA-28. He wipes at his mouth as he considers another murder.

He paces wildly, as audio hallucinations replay his conversation with the detective, and then the newsman's report about an unknown wild beast in the woods. All the time, he laments that he doesn't want to kill again, but that he can't bear to fail Jeanette.

Alberto comes to a decision and chooses to inject himself with the DERMA-25 formula, understanding that he'll soon transmute into the monster in the woods. We're to understand that this is how the random girl in the woods met her fate.


The serum transforms Dr. Alberto in Mr. Hyde.


Scene 46: We skip over to a woman walking home on a quiet street. There is an indication that she may have been a prostitute, as Alberto-Hyde calls her over, offering her anything that she wants. When she responds,he spin around and grabs her, covering her mouth as she screams in alarm and wrestling her to the ground. He scalpels her [off screen].

Scene 47: After he has what he needs, he rushes into the lab and encloses himself in a radiation treatment chamber to reverse the effects of the DERMA-25.

Scene 48: Later, Jeanette is checking out her face in a mirror. Alberto joins her and says that he knows that she's worried the change won't be permanent, but he's working on that. Meanwhile, Jeanette is staring at Alberto, as he still looks off after his Hyde-ism despite his reversal-treatment.

He goes on to tell Jeanette that transplants will be necessary to keep her vital and then rags at her for staring at him, brushing off the slight changes in his appearance as effects of exhaustion for being up all night. As they converse, Alberto begins to scare Jeanette with his intensity. He tries to get physical, but she's able to convince him to leave her.

Scene 49: Well, Jeanette is no dummy and she sees that Alberto's not well. She gets dressed and rushes for the phone, where she calls out to the docks to see if Pierre is still on board his ship. She leaves word for him and asks if she can send a letter by air mail to his ship's location.

Scene 50: With this done, she goes out into the garden. She goes to the greenhouse, where she sends Sacha to buy her cigarettes, and to mail her letter of utmost urgency. She puts money in his pocket as a bribe.

After she rushes back out, Sacha stares at the letter.

Scene 51: Alas for Jeanette, her letter to Pierre was turned over by Sacha to Alberto, instead. Alberto gives Sacha instruction to disconnect the phone and to not let Jeanette out of his sight, as he burns her letter to Pierre. He tells Sacha he's got a lot of work to do in the lab that night, and he's not to be disturbed.

He watches the letter to Pierre burn in his hand, and then reaches for another dose of DERMA-25.

Scene 52: That night, at the waterfront, a group of girls greet one another. As a pair move off, one unfortunate goes down to the water's edge to smoke a last cigarette. As she sits on a wall's edge, Alberto-Hyde creeps out of the shadow, grabs her and hauls her off.

Her two friends return calling for her, but are harassed by a pair of cops on bikes. As the cops send them off on their way, mentioning the danger of running into the "wild gorilla", we quick-pan to the dead Elena.


Scene 53: Later, Alberto-Hyde returns through that secret tunnel to the drainage pipe he discovered in his lab wall. He's looking even more degraded and stumbles around, exhausted and unfocused.

There is an old bureau sitting against a wall in a back corner and when Alberto sees himself in its mirror, he's appalled and smashes the glass.

Scene 54: Meanwhile, Jeanette comes downstairs from her room. Once again, Sacha has failed to do what he's told, as she's able to grab the key to the front gate and make her way out of the front door.

Scene 55: At the club where Jeanette used to work, it's quiet hour before the girls start to perform. Pierre is there, getting an early start on his drinking. He greets the girls and the band with cheers. The band "plays something for him", but its a slow ballad and only reminds him of Jeanette.

Scene 56: Back at the manse, Alberto slaps Sacha around when he discovers that Jeanette is missing and that she's seen in the newspaper about the "gorilla murders" around town.

Scene 57: At the docks, a woman is waiting at one of the ships. It's Jeanette and she sees Pierre. Both of them beam at one another.

Jeanette and Pierre discuss how she disappeared, and how the clinic stated to him that she'd always be disfigured but she looks whole, and how he can't believe she didn't want to see him.

In the meantime, Alberto guessed that she'd be there looking for her old flame. He's come with Sacha and spies on them, with Sacha grabbing a club.

Jeanette discovers that Pierre never received her letter and begs that he take her away. But before she can explain, Sacha clubs Pierre in the back of the head and abducts Jeanette. Pierre tumbles into the water, giving time for Alberto and Sacha to render Jeanette unconscious and spirit her away.

Commentary: And this scene is fine, except for the drippy music playing too loudly when Jeanette and Pierre are having their abbreviated reunion. As I've been complaining about, it gets soapy and intrusive.

Scene 58: Later, Pierre is meeting with the Commissioner. The cops are having trouble believing that he could've seen a completely unmarked Jeanette because of the extense of the burn scars. But there is some cooborating evidence that something is going on... a stolen car was just found that matches the description of one saw racing away from the waterfront at the same time that Pierre says Jeanette was taken from his grasp.

The car had been stopped for speeding, but released by the officer on patrol when the driver reported he was a doctor and rushing an unconscious woman to the hospital... they didn't know the car was stolen at the time, obvs.

Follow up calls to the local hospitals reveal no woman brought in under these circumstances. Unfortunately, the police didn't hold the doctor up long enough to make him identify himself and apparently didn't offer an escort, either, leaving the mystery man and the woman - now surely Jeanette - in the wind.

The Commissioner reports that he happens to know a doctor who may be able to give them insight into this miraculous recovery that Pierre is reporting about Jeanette.

Scene 59: Back at the manse, the Commissioner introduces Pierre as a detective and asks the doctor for his insight on a scientific problem that the police have run into.

The Commissioner keeps Levin talking around the current weirdness going on lately, as another of the detectives slips out "to smoke". They discuss the possibility that there could be a madman slicing up women because he's been warped by atomic radiation [Yeah... it's related to the doctor's interest in the Hiroshima victims brought up before, but it still makes zero sense to bring up the topic here and isn't nearly as clever as the Commissioner seems to think to lead Dr. Levin to reveal ... something .... I'm not even sure that the Commissioner is suspecting Alberto has something to do with Jeanette's "recovery" at this point].

Conversation turns to the photos the police have of Jeanette's before and after accident photos, while the Detective Who Smokes is out performing illegal searches of the rest of the premises. Alberto tells the Commissioner and Pierre that the photo of Jeanette post-accident suggests that her scarring would be permanent. They tell Alberto that they have a witness who claims that Jeanette was seen whole and hardy with no evidence of scarring. Levin tells them that would be impossible, but even if it was real, the doctor would surely be a celebrity and they'd all know about it.

Levin keeps staring at Pierre, having recognized him already from the docks.

Pierre wants to tell the Doctor that he's lying, but the Commissioner keeps interrupting in order to continue the subterfuge that he thinks they have going. They pack up and leave, while Detective Who Smokes is still out wandering.

Scene 60: We get a quick cut of Sacha doing something in the greenhouse. Then the police, Pierre and Levin are walking across his lawn.

The detectives note Sacha working in the greenhouse, and Detective Who Smokes pretends to admire flowers and the Commissioner smilingly suggests that Detective Who Smokes really wants to check it out for the plants. If they thought they'd trap Levin in some sort of suspicious behavior, they're disappointed, as Alberto tells them that Sacha would love to show off his work to them.

They proceed.

Scene 61: They see nothing special in the greenhouse, and Alberto asks Sacha to show them to the gate with everyone sharing glances rife with suspicions. After they've gone, and Levin is done glaring after them, he moves a cabinet door to reveal that Jeanette was only inches from them the whole time. She's still deeply asleep.

Scene 62: The following day, the Commissioner is arguing with the coroner on performing a proper autopsy on Monique as he's ordered her exhumation. He further then orders Detective Who Smokes to keep an eye covertly on Levin's estate.

Scene 63: Meanwhile, Jeanette is finding herself locked in her room. All of her windows are heavily, if decoratively, barred as she goes from one to the other yelling for Sacha. She's joined instead by an irritated Alberto.

Jeanette tearily yells to be let go, but Alberto bitterly yells back that her scars are going to return, and worse, that the damage will not stop this time, but will consume her if he doesn't continually arrest what is happening to her with treatments.

Alberto claims that he only needs a few more days maximum to finally cure her forever. Meanwhile, he also rants at her for wanting to go back to Pierre despite everything that he's done for her. He pleads with her to stay for just a bit longer.

As this is going on, Sacha comes in and is able to get through to Levin that Pierre is stalking about. Jeanette goes to run out, but Sacha grabs her until Alberto slyly tells him to let Jeanette go.

He plays on Jeanette's insecurities about her scars that are even now returning and telling her it's her choice whether she wants to stay or go.

Scene 64: Alberto joins Pierre in his office. Pierre admits to his deception regarding pretending to be with the police department, but Levin is all understanding over it. Pierre goes on to admit that he's trying to find Jeanette and goes on to tell Alberto about seeing her the night before, as if she hadn't been in her accident. Pierre tells the doctor that he's convinced there is some sort of mystery surrounding Jeanette and he was about to learn where she'd disappeared to when he was attacked from behind.

Meanwhile, she's outside of the office door listening to this conversation. For some reason, she doesn't just open the door and expose that she's there and why.

Dr. Levin asks Pierre if he hadn't mentally left Jeanette before physically doing so before and he's surprised by the question. Pierre has to admit it was so, but wonders how the doctor could know that. Alberto replies that he's also a psychiatrist. He goes on to suggest strongly that Pierre is carrying around guilt over leaving Jeanette just before her accident and now is desperate to find her to alleviate that guilt. He's therefore seeing her where she isn't.

It looks for a moment that Pierre is going to buy into this explanation and put the whole thing down to a hallucination and an attempted robbery, but then refuses to believe that Jeanette wasn't really there in front of him. Levin asks what exactly he'd come to his office for, and Pierre hopes that Albert will convince the police that Jeanette really could've been miraculously healed and they should continue the search for her whereabouts.

Alberto tries to convince him that what he says isn't possible, but Pierre pledges not to give up searching.


Jeanette meanwhile, gets all teary faced and rushes off back to her room - apparently Pierre's focus on her recovery has played into Levin's psychological manipulation of her enough to convince her that he only wants to find her again because she's back to beautiful, and not because he actually cares.

Scene 65: After Pierre leaves, Alberto joins Jeanette in her room, where she's in a state. He's pleased that she chose to stay with him, while she is not sure what she's doing. He promises that her ordeal with be over soon, and she'll be permanently restored.

Scene 66: That night, Alberto takes off in his car, telling Sacha he'll be back in a few hours. A black car quickly pulls out behind him.

Scene 67: In his office, the Commissioner is getting an update on Levin's leaving and that the police are keeping tabs on him.

Scene 68: Levin has gone out to the movies, but by his shifty acting, we can tell it's because he already suspected he was being followed. The police, sticking out like a sore thumb, aren't hard for him to spot in the theatre.

As another patron walks by, Alberto taps him, but we don't see what he has in mind.

We soon find out that the person sitting in his seat isn't him, but just a random man who wears a coat like he does. He's made his slip out of the movie house.

Scene 69: Alberto is next seen slipping down a dark alley. He stops at a random window and peeks inside where he sees a single woman lying on her bed, napping. He gets shifty-faced and he looks around to ensure that he's alone.

For some reason, the woman hasn't bothered to lock her door. Considering the table, it's possible she was expecting company -- just not him -- and was resting until he got there. Whatever, Alberto is able to waltz in and begin strangling her before she screams.

Fortunately for the young woman, she has a dog who comes to her screams of distress and launches itself to attack Alberto before he can render the woman unconscious for her surgery. Her screeches are heard by the dockman working nearby and they start making 'angry mob' noises as they chase after him. Alberto is able to get away -- but not uninjured by the attack dog.

Commentary: It's about here that I'm starting to lose interest. This time out Alberto didn't even become Alberto-Hyde first, and there hasn't been much horror anyway. This movie has been much more like a melodrama with a few horror aspects thrown in for spice. I'm pretty much ready to end this movie.

Scene 70: Back with the Commissioner, he learns about the latest attack in the water front district but apparently doesn't know yet that his officers have lost track of their mark.

Commentary: It's actually an utterly unimportant scene that does nothing. The Commissioner, despite having Detective Who Smokes right there with him, doesn't give us any context for his phone call. We don't know if he's believed that Levin isn't their man after all or whether he thinks that Levin in the guy and is wondering where his detectives were, or if he's just bored. We get nothing.

Scene 71: Alberto returns home empty handed. We see Pierre hanging outside his estate.

Scene 72: Meanwhile, Commissioner joins his men outside the theatre. He questions them about Alberto's whereabouts, and they assure him that he's still sitting inside watching the movie.

He tells them they may as well head inside to speak with the good doctor. On his way in, they run into the reporter who has barely been in the film but is apparently an irritant to the police. The Commissioner tells him to scram... he doesn't.

Scene 73: When the men get into the movie house, they find that it's empty of patrons. The Commissioner, apparently secure in his belief that the doctor is their bad guy, questions again whether they had their eyes on him 100% of the time. Their early assurances start to unravel.

As the Commissioner is investigating the seat that the doctor held, trying to determine if he could've slipped out somehow while his men were only half-watching him, the Coroner suddenly arrives.

He explains that he phoned HQ and they told him where he was headed. The doctor is there to inform him that the autopsy of Monique turned up something - she was missing the same organs as the recently killed women. Something he'd have found immediately, if he wasn't busy showing deference to Dr. Levin, and which he freely admits was his horrible oversight.

Meanwhile, Commissioner has found traces of something on the floor where Alberto was sitting and the coroner can confirm immediately that it is blood. He has the coroner collect a sample for analysis, while he and the detectives rush out.

The pointless reporter rushes after them.

Scene 74: Outside Levin's estate, Pierre is pacing. Meanwhile, inside Jeanette is sleeping. Alberto is standing over her, agitated. His voice over informs us that he's not up to the task of killing anymore, even to save her. He struggles with himself to tell her that it's over and he can't keep her scarring from returning, and the certainty that he'll lose her.

He creeps to the side of her bed. For a moment it appears that he's considering strangling her, but then he just wakes her up and exclaims that she must forgive him, that he can't help her any further.

But just when all hope seems lost, he notices that her returning scars have actually disappeared for real. He tries to tell her that the treatment, though delayed, must have worked but now she won't believe a word he says.

Alberto insists that she get up and get dressed to leave with him immediately, leaving her confused as to what is going on. He explains that the police will be there to question them soon, but she doesn't understand what he's going on about.

Jeanette agrees that she needs to pack and leave... but not with him. She tells him she's getting away from him. He mad-loves that he's done everything for her... including killing as he tries to prove his love to her. But, the DERMA-25 that he's taken is still in his system and as he is agitated over her, he notices his hands changing.


Alberto insists that Jeanette tell him that she won't abandon him after all he's done, but all she can see is his changing face. She's cries out in horror. He tries to force her to save him by telling him that his love wasn't for nothing, but her answer is to shout at him to let go of her, and to go for the gun in her suitcase.


She can't shoot him, even as he's transforming into Alberto-Hyde. He orders her to get dressed and tells her that she's coming with him now, whether she wants to or not. He warns her that he owns her and if she tries to run back to Pierre again, he'll see her dead.

Scene 75: Jeanette can't take the thought of being stuck with the monster that Alberto has become [or always was, more like, now it's just outwardly evident] and rushes to the window to call out into the darkness for help.

Pierre hears her cries and [taking his time with ambling along] goes over the stone wall in search of her.

Scene 76: Meanwhile inside, Jeanette is nearly overcome with fear as Alberto-Hyde drags her from the window. He keeps insisting that she come away with him... she keeps yelling "nooooooo!" while downstairs, Pierre breaks into the manor.

Scene 77: Jeanette rushes downstairs with Alberto-Hyde on her heels. They're both brought up short by seeing Pierre. He's equally stunned to see both Jeanette and whatever the hell is chasing her.

Alberto-Hyde recovers first and launches himself across the room to throttle Pierre.


There are some fisticuffs, but Alberto-Hyde has brute strength to overpower Pierre. Alberto-Hyde clobbers on Pierre a bit as Jeanette stands there and screeches. She finally pulls him off after Pierre passes out.

Alberto-Hyde glares at her and backs her against a wall. When he grabs her again, she faints [of course she does].

Alberto-Hyde carries her off into the night. Meanwhile, Pierre starts to come around as he hears police sirens closing in.

Scene 78: Alberto-Hyde has carried Jeanette to the greenhouse, where Sacha regards his master with utter horror. Alberto-Hyde tries to convince the cowering Sacha to hide Jeanette like before when the police were snooping around the house.

Sacha stands nearly immobile in fear, instead.

It isn't long before the police have the greenhouse surrounded. Pierre joins them. The police fire a few machine gun rounds through the panes of glass and order Levin to surrender himself.


Alberto-Hyde stares down at the unconscious Jeanette and mumbles about killing her, too. Sacha tries to pull him away from her, but he's easily shaken off. He bumps into a table and notices the shears sitting on it.

Sacha stabs him in the back of the neck. As he falls, Pierre and the police rush in.

Commentary: HUH! Who didn't think that Jeanette was going to be the one to save herself with the gun that Levin foolishly returned to her?

It seems really odd that it played no part at all. Even weirder? That Sacha would be the one to play the hero, instead of getting himself killed by his master! I liked that. I do wish Jeanette had done more on her own but stumbling around, crying and screeching and then passing out - but I like that side character Sacha, who was especially grieved by Monique's death would be the one to stop his employer.

Scene 79: Naturally once he's dead, the good doctor returns to normal. The police are left speechless at what they've seen. Sacha weeps. Jeanette and Pierre hold one another.

The Commissioner, after resisting smoking all movie, steals one from Detective Who Smokes and orders him to light him up.

We leave with Sacha crying over Doctor Levin and Noir-ish Jazz-light as the camera pans over Sacha's roses [??? - uh, that seemed like some last minute slashtastic implication, didn't it?].

The Good: First, I want to compliment Susanne Loret. Although the character was a little too drippy, she carried the role just fine, especially in scenes where her co-stars were overacting.

I also liked Alberto Lupo and Franca Parisi as Alberto Levin and Monique; they had a few issues in the overly soapy acting department, but I found myself liking them in their roles anyway. And though Roberto Bertea had no lines, being mute, I did like his work as well.

I really liked the opening theme.

I liked how Monique was practically ready to scratch the eyes out of Jeanette's head over Alberto's interest, but Jeanette had no clue. When Monique died, she was devastated, even though Monique probably would've been relieved it their positions were reversed.

The Bad: The auto wreck is completely inconsistent with Jeanette's injuries. It's ridiculous that she wasn't engulfed in flames.

There are a few scenes in the film that were way over the top in direction. It gave certain parts of the film an overly melodramatic sheen that left things feeling too silly to take seriously. And, it was only made worse by some of the music chosen to fill out the scenes in question.

I didn't like Monique's sudden death without explanation as to whether she gave herself for Alberto's experiments because she was that deluded and obsessed with his success, or if he just murdered her out of convenience.

The science of the film -- even internally -- is really inconsistent and confusingly written. There are leaps in illogic and there are hints of things that you think will be important later that aren't like Jeanette's gun and the doctor being so suddenly in a rush to get the DERMA-28 into the special, temperature controlled vault, and the radiation treatment chamber. None of it amounts to anything outside of its brief scene featuring it.

The dance hall scenes were utterly wasted. I thought that they were setting up Jeanette's friend and her replacement as possible victims to be menaced later - but no. In fact, Jeanette never even mentions her friends at all throughout the film, and Levin never stalks the nightclub.

Other Thoughts: One of the issues that I had with the film, was that our leading lady wasn't active in anything. Not in saving herself, not in fighting her fate, not in anything. She was basically directed first by Pierre, then by Monique and finally by Alberto. It made it hard to be on her side, when she refused to get off her ass and fight back for herself.

Also, I mentioned that I both liked Alberto and Franca in their roles, but I also pointed out the melodrama in their scenes in The Bad. The whole picture is like this... I find myself being interested in what is happening, but then the director or the musical director or the actors shoot themselves in the foot by doing everything too big and too much. And then, when I'm ready to roll my eyes and write the picture off as hammy, it suddenly gets a more serious tone again and I start falling into the story again. It's a very rollercoaster type of picture to watch.

That leaky wall leading to a convenient way to sneak into and out of the manor was awfully clumsily revealed. That bugged me just a little bit.

I also have a problem with Sacha as a character. It's hard to know just what his feelings were about everything that happened, until the very end. It seemed like he was pining for Monique, but after she's dead, there isn't any indication that he's missing her or that he was ever infatuated with her. In fact, at the tail end of the movie, it suddenly seemed like he was far more attached to his boss which felt like it came out of left field. The pan from Sacha crying, to Levin's body, to Sacha's roses feels too deliberate not to be suggesting something - but on the other hand, with the other things that seemed to be indicating something important and then didn't mean anything, who can say? Maybe it was just an arty shot to fade to black on.

What the heck was with the barely there reporter? He was entirely superfluous to anything in the story and his showing up didn't have him actually doing anything. I don't get what his character existed for.

The Score: This wasn't a bad movie, it certainly doesn't deserve the 3.6 on IMDB in my opinion. But it is a movie that was flawed by some over-the-top direction, acting and especially soapy music in scenes in which it would've been more prudent to tone things down.

So was it a good movie? I can't go that far either. It was... average-y. I'm going to score it just below the average score, strictly due to the musical and direction missteps.

2.75 out of 5 stars.

Next Up: Angel & Faith, issue 20