THE MONSTERS DEMOLISHER (1960)
"The further adventures of Nostradamus the Vampire..."
Needless to say, Nostrodamus didn't stay buried for long following his presumed demise at the end of CURSE OF NOSTRADAMUS, although there’s no indication how much time passes between chapters.
We open with some kids skipping school (which doesn’t let out til after dark, it seems) discovering and creeping into the castle of Nostradamus. They’re chased out by the hunchback, and they somehow manage to lead him across the body of his master. Quickly dusted off, Nostradamus is back in action and ready to finish bumping off those 13 people he promised to.
On the plus side, his enemy the Professor gets some help from a professional vampire hunter who comes to town looking for Nostradamus!
I must note I got the Professor’s name completely wrong last time. I kept calling him Calderon, yet here he’s introduced as Professor Dover. Later on, though, he’s called Professor Dolan, so I don’t know what to call him! In an interesting touch, he’s on the verge of being kicked off his council to fight superstition since he’s come out making reports about the vampire.
The thing is, Nostradamus would stop killing people if the Professor would just admit that there was something to the prophet’s activities. Given he’s accepted the existence of a vampire, why does he have so much trouble recanting his statements about the vampire’s direct ancestor? Is he letting people be put in danger because of his pride?
Nostradamus gets some new superpowers in this installment. Not only can he instantly teleport out of the path of a bullet (which he demonstrates to Tony and the Professor a good six times in a row, as the men continue to open fire long after its obvious he can move faster than their trigger fingers -and where did this new power come from, anyway?), but he can make his own vampire/zombie slave!
He also establishes his fear of sunlight in this episode (and how is it a guy who can see the future can be taken by surprise by the rising sun? Or the Professor producing a cross from his jacket?), some of which actually happens during the day! He’s also the latest target of a mysterious count whose family has hunted and destroyed vampires for generations.
Given that there’s two more films after this, I might as well describe the abrupt ending, which I found rather amusing. Our heroes trap Nostradamus’ slave vampire/zombie in his tomb and stake him. Elsewhere in the castle, Nostradamus grabs his chest and falls off some steps. The end!
For what its worth, this entry is a bit livelier than the first one. For one thing, the sets are more impressive, and the camera work is much more fluid (we even get a zoom shot which reverses itself as a character walks toward the camera, a very elaborate gag for a Mexican pic). The pace is better, and there’s some really nice sequences here that might have breathed some much needed life into Curse of Nostradamus. In one moment, the Professor goes back to his darkened study and lights a match to light a candle, and Nostradamus is standing right in front of his face! The two men then calmly discuss their situation.
Sadly, they still use the hokey rubber bat from the first film (although it must be noted it isn’t the worst such rubber bat in movie history, it just looks like an effect from 30 years earlier).
The print is better this time too. Now I can see that Nostradamus is not wearing a top hat, but a high derby. The title card by the way reads The Monsters Demolisher, not The Monster’s Demolisher as might make more sense. I would have gone with Castle of Nostradamus, myself.