Vampire Madness: The Sadist With Red Teeth

The Sadist With Red Teeth / Forbidden Paris (Mondo Macabro)

Who is Jean-Louis van Belle? I confess, I’d never heard of this indie French/Belgian director who worked in the fringes of exploitation cinema from the sixties through the nineties (apparently many of his films aren’t even listed on the IMDb) until I dropped The Sadist With Red Teeth, into my DVD player. All I knew going in was that was from Mondo Macabro, the archeologists of cult cinema who specialize in bringing strange and surreal films to DVD that even most film buffs and movie historians have never heard of but should.

Behold the vampire (make-up by Jodorowski?)

Call this 1971 French oddity a post New Wave vampire film. Daniel (Albert Simono) leaves the hospital after recovering from a car wreck that killed his buddy. A doctor reads his case history in voice over as he leaves and ends with the observation that Daniel is under the delusion that he’s becoming a vampire. “I’ll make sure he is,” he concludes, which is all the motivation we’ll get for his deranged experiment beyond the enigmatic statement: “He’s our last hope.” For what? I have no clue, but he’s very determined to complete the transformation and keeps the subject under constant surveillance, periodically calling in observations with a “portable phone” he pulls out of nowhere. A hypnotist keeps working on him (“You are Red Tooth!”) and a dentist continues vague experiments that apparently make his red blood cells devour his white blood cells. Just another piece of exposition that arrives out of nowhere and disappears just as quickly.

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