Vampire Over London (1952)
Released in 1952: A mad scientist claiming to be a vampire goes to London to complete his plans to take over the world, and the New Scotland Yard must find him.
Directed by John Gilling
Written by Val Valentine and Richard Gordon.
The Actors: Arthur Lucan (Mrs. Riley), Bela Lugosi (Von Housen), Dora Bryan (Tilly), Philip Leaver (Anton Daschomb), Richard Wattis (PC Freddie), Graham Moffatt (the yokel), Maria Mercedes (Julia Loretti), Roderick Lovell (Douglas), David Hurst (Mugsy), Judith Furse (Freda), Ian Wilson (Hitchcock, the butler), Hattie Jacques (Mrs. Jenks), Dandy Nichols (Mrs. Mott), George Benson (Police Sergeant), Bill Shine (Mugsy's assistant), David Hannaford (nasty boy), Charles Lloyd Pack (Sir Joshua Bing), Cyril Smith (Police brass), Arthur Brander (van driver), Peter Bathurst (BBC announcer), Tom Macaulay (Robot Mark 1), Alexander Gauge (Police Constable), John Le Mesurier (Scotland Yard man), Laurence Naismith (Police Sergeant at desk).
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Okay, you see that legendary Bela Lugosi is in a horror thriller called 'Vampire over London' and you are ready for goosebumps and fright that will make the hairs on your neck stand at attention. But is that what you will get when you watch this 1952 British film? Not even close. This is a slapstick comedy that competes against some of the best humor of the day. Like most British humor, you need to listen and interpret the words carefully, there is much double entedre and subtle humor here. Pop your white kernel corn and grab a beverage of choice and get ready for a laugh fest.
British humorist Arthur Lucan is dressed as an ugly woman named Mrs. Riley. She has just inherited all of the wealth of a relative and is looking forward to great riches soon. Then in Essex we find Bela Lugosi, a vampire in search of global domination. He is expecting the shipment of his first robot soldier from his evil factory, and to hide his identity, he has it sent to 'Mrs. Riley' at his address. Unfortunately the robot headed for Essex gets mixed up with a large package of household goods headed for London's Mrs. Riley. So the London Mrs. Riley gets the robot, and Bela Lugosi gets a box full of household items. This will bring them together as Lugosi chases after his robot.
Don't be put off by the knowledge that the entire budget for this comedy was about a Pound and a half, because if you just sit back and relax and let this movie play on, you will enjoy a wonderful view of humor from 1952 England.