CAVE OF THE LIVING DEAD. Schneider-Filmverleih, West Germany, 1964. Also released as Night of the Vampires. Original title: Der Fluch der grünen Augen. Adrian Hoven, Erika Remberg, Carl Möhner, Wolfgang Preiss, Karin Field. Director: Ákos Ráthonyi.

    Cave of the Living Dead , a West German-Yugoslav production, is a pretty standard vampire movie that checks all the boxes and uses all the tropes. Let’s see. You’ve got an urbane police inspector skeptical of the supernatural, superstitious peasants, an array of beautiful women (some undead, some not), and an eccentric professor living high up in a castle. And of course, some unexplained mysterious deaths.

   But for all its schlock, this movie is actually a lot of fun. Part of it comes from its mashup of genres. What starts off as a pulpy detective yarn in which a big city inspector is sent to the backwoods of Yugoslavia to investigate a series of murders slowly reveals itself to be a supernatural yarn about sultry female vampires.

   Although not a particularly graphic film in terms of violence or gore, Cave is drenched in atmosphere. Filmed in black and white with a lot of natural light courtesy of candles or torches, this somewhat obscure horror film exudes a neo-Universal Horror classics aesthetic. It transports the viewer into its own claustrophobic village world.

   True, the dialogue is hardly sophisticated. And the plot often runs around in circles. But if you are looking for a unique Halloween month viewing, this one, which I personally watched on DVD, is worth a look.