The Vampire Doll (1970) Review



While it doesn’t offer the same gore and carnage as some other films in the vampire genre, The Vampire Doll is loaded with style and atmosphere and features a unique-looking bloodsucker.

Plot: When her brother disappears while visiting his girlfriend, Keiko (Kayo Matsuo) and her fiancé, Hiroshi (Akira Nakao), travel to the girl’s imposing home to investigate.

Review: You know what makes horror movies so enduringly popular? It’s not just because they are easily accessible for horny teenagers to take their dates and cop a feel when the girl gets scared. It’s not just because they’re cheap thrills, so more bang for your buck. It’s not just because a ton of rock stars have featured in them.

No, it’s because you get a wide variety of thrills with horror movies. You want a killer with a knife offing a bunch of annoying teenagers? Slasher. You want a madman mentally torturing an unwitting, unsuspecting victim? Psychological Horror. You want a home infested with evil spirits just waiting to make things go bump in the night? Supernatural horror.

Yes, there’s something for everyone with that particular genre, and if you want a horror flick with a lot of style and eerie music, then I present to you, The Vampire Doll. While folks who like their vampires to splatter and maim may not find this movie satisfying, if you’re into out-and-out creepiness, this is your bag.

This movie oozes atmosphere. Creepy house on a hill? Check. Rain, fog and miserable weather to make the house look spookier? Check. Music that sounds like it was composed by the Phantom of the Opera? Check. Weird-looking vampire girl with golden eyes? Check, check and check. This flick has everything you would want in a scary movie as far as setting the mood.

As for the scares themselves, I can’t recall any particular scene that stands out. There’s no scene like in Viy where a coffin is flying around, and there’s no blood gushing through a door like The Shining. There’s searching. Lots and lots of searching. Going to a graveyard and searching. Searching the house. Searching and more searching.

However, at 71 minutes, this movie doesn’t have a long run time, which is good. The movie e relies entirely on style over substance and succeeds in that regard. The female vampire is strangely creepy, even without the prototypical fangs you would expect from such a creature. The movie makes you feel more is happening than it is, simply by setting up the world and drawing the viewer into it. While I can’t say this is the most exciting vampire film I’ve ever seen, it definitely feels like a top-notch bloodsucker. Even if the vampire rarely shows up and you never see her physically attack someone. For those who like their body count, I advise looking elsewhere. For those who like their vampire film to have a little more style and a little more panache, even when nothing is really going on, then this is your movie.