Film Review: Mark of the Vampire (1935)


Mark of the Vampire is a short yet wonderfully atmospheric film that has a twist that you never see coming. For years I have seen the beautiful Luna in photographs but had never had the chance to watch the film – I am glad I did.

Sir Karell Borotyn (Holmes Herbert) is found murdered in his house, with two tiny wounds on his neck. Dr. Doskil (Donald Meek), and Sir Karell’s friend Baron Otto (Jean Hersholt) are convinced that they are the marks of a vampire. They suspect Count Mora (Bela Lugosi) and his daughter Luna (Carroll Borland), while a police inspector (Lionel Atwill) refuses to believe them. Professor Zelen (Lionel Barrymore), an expert on vampires and the occult, arrives in order to prevent another death and secrets are finally revealed regarding Sir Karell’s death.

The film has a very dark and creepy feel to it that very much radiates from the stare and general persona of Luna, her general demeanour is rather menacing yet beautiful – it’s hard to put such a feeling into words but her contribution to the film packs quite a punch. The rest of the cast are fantastic with Bela Lugosi in his most comfortable role as a vampire.

Let me talk about the twist. From what I have read it can make it or break it for some people and if I am completely honest I was disappointed with the outcome but putting that aside, the rest of the film was great. I would urge you to check it out and decide for yourself.