Mark of the Vampire

Synopsis: After Sir Karell Borotin is found dead in his study, drained of his blood, the local doctor determines that he was killed by a vampire. The coroner and police Inspector Neumann dismiss the suggestion but a year later, Sir Karell's daughter is attacked and bite marks are found on her throat. Neumann calls in the eminent Professor Zelin who thinks the story of vampires is true. The locals are convinced that Count Mora and his daughter Luna are the perpetrators of the crime, creatures of the night that can turn themselves into bats. There may be another solution however and the Professor sets a trap.
Genre: Horror, Mystery
Director(s): Tod Browning
Production: MGM Home Entertainment
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
60 min

I'm sorry, gentleman and lady,

but it will be best for you

to stay here tonight.

Come now, my good man,

you can't frighten us.

We've been over your foul roads before.

Please, you do not understand.

It is not the road. It is the darkness.

Here our doors are protected

with bat thorns.

- What is all this bat thorn business?

- It keeps them out.

They're afraid of it,

the demons of the castle.

Good evening. It's a lovely evening.

Well, Doctor,

for one who is not afraid of the dark,

you have been pushing your horse

pretty fast.

Well, you know horses.

Once they get started for home,

there's no stopping them.

I admit I was a bit impatient...

I mean, hungry

for one of your wonderful meals.

Yes, the vampires are hungry, too,

for their supper.

Nonsense. Rubbish. Vampires. Nonsense.

I won't keep you waiting.

I'll be right out for my supper.

He can "tut-tut" all he likes

about vampires,

but I'd hate to be on a farm

needing his help tonight.

- What is all this about vampires?

- Yes, and this castle.

That's where they live in their coffins.

And they come out at night

and drink people's blood.

Silly superstition.

You would not laugh

if you lived in these mountains.

Fancy, Ronnie,

vampires in the 20th century.


They'll never believe that at the club.

She says, "Please do not mock.

"Because if the vampires should hear you,

"they would take their revenge

on all of us."

- Did you find out what was the matter?

- Monsieur Baron Otto is coming.

One minute.

I have something to say to you.

I'm the bearer of very sad tidings.

Last night your master, Sir Karell,

was murdered.

There's no cause for alarm.

Get up on your feet.

Police Inspector Neumann from Prague

is upstairs now with the body.

He'll be down here shortly

to question all of you.

Now, tell him the truth

and nothing can happen to you.

That's all. You can go back to your work.

In the University of Prague

there are records,

documents that prove the existence

of these creatures.

Dr. Doskil, I'm uninterested

in your old wives' tales.

I'm trying to find the cause

of Sir Karell's death.

But you have it right here.

These little wounds on his throat

are the bite of the vampire.

- Yes, you said.

- I have seen such marks in these parts.

Sir Karell dismissed you at 9:15 last night.

Yes, Mr. Inspector, yes.

Then what were you doing down here

this morning at 3:30?

I don't know. I couldn't sleep.

A bat was fluttering against my window,

and I felt something was wrong.

A bat made you feel that way?

Yes, sir. No, sir. I don't know.

And you, why didn't you come to

the castle at once when Jan telephoned?

Because Jan told me

Sir Karell was already dead.

Does your medical license admit Jan

to certify to the death of your patients?

Oh, no, no. Of course not.

But it was night, and I realized

there was nothing I could do.

Oh, I see. You're no moonflower.

You're a morning glory.

Now, if there's enough daylight

to bring out the physician in you,

make a thorough examination of the body

for the cause of death.

Real, not supernatural.

Here, Jan, give the doctor a hand.

Why, the idea.

I'll get your wrap, my dear.

We'll step over to my place.

- You've eaten nothing.

- Oh, the very thought of food.

I couldn't. I couldn't.

But, Irena,

you must conserve your strength.

- It's Fedor.

- My dear, I'll tell him.

No. No, thanks.

Oh, where have you been? I've been

making enough noise to raise the dead.

Oh, don't, Fedor. Don't.

Well, what's wrong, dear?

What's happened?

Fedor, Father's... Father...

Oh, you poor darling.

This young man,

tell me something about him.

Who, Fedor? Miss Borotyn's fianc,

Mr. Vincent from Prague.

- His family, wealthy?

- Moderately. Why?

With Sir Karell out of the way

Miss Borotyn will come into

quite a bit of money.

Why, surely you can't suspect Fedor?

What are Miss Borotyn's immediate plans?

Why, naturally,

she'll be moving next door to my place,

I being her guardian.

- Oh, her guardian.

- Why, yes.

And being her guardian, naturally,

you'll be the sole executor of her estate.

Yes. Why, what's wrong?

Oh, I see. I'm under suspicion, too.

In such cases, everyone's under suspicion.

The idea of talking to me as though

I were one of his common policemen.

"Old wives' tales.

"Look for the cause of death.

"Real, not supernatural."

- What? What is it?

- Look.

Well, Doctor, what have you found?

Inspector, the examination

fully confirms my diagnosis.

Those marks are the only sign of violence.

Had Sir Karell been ailing of late?

No, on the contrary,

he enjoyed good health,

except for a slightly sluggish heart.

- And you prescribed for that?

- Naturally.

- Well, I shall want an autopsy.

- Of course, that will be done.

But I am positive. The cause of his death

is told by those little wounds.

Well, surely, Doctor, a man of your

learning does not believe in vampires?

Then how do you account for his body

being drained dry of blood?

Yes, Mr. Coroner.

In the night, Farmer Narodni

was found dead in the road.

Count Mora and his daughter

were seen again near the castle.

Oh, piffle. Superstitious twaddle.

- Dr. Doskil.

- Yes?

You've examined the body

of this farmer, too?

I did. The corpse was drained of blood.

There were the same marks

that I found on Sir Karell's throat.

And you have seen this Count Mora

and his daughter?

No, sir.

When I saw them,

they was in form of bats.

These poor deluded creatures believe

that vampires change themselves

into bats

and back again into human forms.

- How versatile.

- Really, Mr. Coroner!

"Poor deluded creatures." I must protest.

- I hold a degree from the medical faculty...

- Sit down!

Do you want to make your township

and this court ridiculous?

Forget your absurd old superstitions.

This is 1934.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I think that under existing circumstances

the decision of this inquest must be

that Sir Karell Borotyn

met his death

from cause or causes unknown.

Darling, they're doing all this for you.

Doesn't it make you happy?

- What... Why, dear, you're crying.

- Boris, please drive on.

I'm sorry, dear.

I didn't mean to make you sad.

Forgive me, Fedor, for being so moody,

but seeing them all dancing

suddenly brought it all back.

How Father used to tell me

that at my wedding feast

all the villagers and peasants

for miles around would come,

and they'd sing and dance.

Fedor, he had it all planned.

Now he isn't here.

Darling, I'll always try to make you

as happy as your father wanted you to be.

The villagers and peasants would be quite

satisfied with wine of the country.

It is just what Sir Karell would have done.

- Yes, sir, but for one thing.

- What's that?

He would have had the wedding feast

at the castle.

Come, Jan, do you think Miss Irena

could bear to go back there?

- After that dreadful tragedy?

- I suppose not, sir.

But it's heartbreaking

to see the place neglected,

rain and sleet entering

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Guy Endore

Samuel Guy Endore (July 4, 1901 – February 12, 1970), born Samuel Goldstein and also known as Harry Relis, was an American novelist and screenwriter. During his career he produced a wide array of novels, screenplays, and pamphlets, both published and unpublished. A cult favorite of fans of horror, he is best known for his novel The Werewolf of Paris, which occupies a significant position in werewolf literature, much in the same way that Dracula does for vampire literature. Endore is also known for his left-wing novel of the Haitian Revolution, Babouk: The Story of A Slave. He was nominated for a screenwriting Oscar for The Story of G.I. Joe (1945), and his novel Methinks the Lady . . . (1946) was the basis for Ben Hecht's screenplay for Whirlpool (1949). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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