There are good vampire movies and there are bad vampire movies and Crypt of the Living Dead falls somewhere in-between on that scale of good and bad. It is not necessarily terrible, far be it, but on the other hand, it is not all that fantastic either. It is just somewhat average, a perfect exercise in mediocrity. It is not as if everyone did not put forth their best effort, at least you have to assume so, it was simply that when all was said and done, the film just never rose to the occasion.
The story concerns an ancient vampiress who is awakened from her long sleep by a couple of archaeologists/treasure hunters. They of course know not what they have done in their search of the lost and from that moment on, there is trouble and turmoil and even a little death. Perhaps it is all a bit cliche, but it could have been a truly excellent picture if all of the elements that went into making this movie had been much greater. Many stories are recycled over and over in the film industry, you simply have to tell it well and while it seems that directors Julio Salvador and Ray Danton tried just that, something was lacking. It could have been the script as the dialogue was not always the best, the basic story was okay but parts of it were a little messy and the direction could probably have been a lot tighter than it was.
Teresa Gimpera was effective as the vampire, not Christopher Lee good, but pretty decent and Andrew Prine along with Mark Damon were not too bad themselves. If they had better material to work with, the movie could have made for quite an effective horror, but such as it was, the film failed to deliver on the fright which was the main reason one would tune into a picture such as this. Crypt of the Living Dead or La tumba de la isla maldita as it was originally called or even Young Hannah, Queen of the Vampires is not a film that you would need to actively seek out, but neither is it a movie you would feel bad about missing. It is by all accounts an average outing that will pass the time if need be and nothing more.
2.5 out of 5