Spanish-born actor German Robles debuted on screen wearing the fangs of Count Lavud in "El Vampiro" and "El Ataud del Vampiro" in 1957, clean shaven and wearing a Lugosi tuxedo, going on to do a series of 1959 features as the son of the legendary French prophet and astrologer Nostradamus who died in 1566, here depicted as an alchemist and practitioner of the undead. How the family branched off into Mexico for "The Curse of Nostradamus" ("La Maldicion de Nostradamus") is never explained, setting up the entire series by having this descendant prove his supernatural powers to a professional skeptic who refuses to reveal the truth to his association of non believers. Like his predecessor, this bearded Nostradamus is prone to making predictions, usually carrying out the sentence of death on each victim himself, only met with opposition when he threatens the professor's daughter. Robles lamented how the producers and director Federico Curiel ran a scam on the studio by claiming to be making a 12 part serial (usually reserved for television not movies), thereby depriving him of greater revenue, never again donning the fangs once the new decade dawned on his vampire persona. "Curse" concluded with Nostradamus buried under an avalanche of rubble when platinum bullets don't seem to hit their target; second entry "The Monsters Demolisher" ("Nostradamus y el Destructor de Monstruos") continues along the same vein, the main set of characters the same in all four, Robles himself looking more imposing in mustache and goatee but still lacking in actual screen time. Domingo Soler is the elderly professor, Aurora Alvarado his pretty daughter, Julio Aleman his younger assistant, now so convinced of the vampire's existence that he decides to resign from the own association as they stubbornly cling to the notion that there are no such things. Two school boys playing hooky discover the buried body of Nostradamus and are chased away by his hunchback slave, dubbed with the most foolish voice imaginable, proving as much a bungler as his master in failing to kidnap the professor's daughter (too heavy to run with, one supposes). As for the plot, Nostradamus only targets a pair of would be victims in this one, a young boy who actually emerges unscathed, and a convicted murderer set to hang at dawn, only to attack two medical students/body snatchers at the morgue in the picture's most effective sequence (each pistol shot producing another hole in the undead killer's chest). A new character then shows himself, Jack Taylor as Igor, whose family has been dispatching vampires since the 13th century, using mirrors to pinpoint their location. After the second student prefers to jump to his death in the presence of the new vampire, Igor and his allies find his hidden crypt and drive a sword through his heart, which also sends Nostradamus falling over in what appears to be a similar fate (hardly, with two more sequels to follow). It's definitely a surprise to find the 23 year old Taylor making his horror debut south of the border, Oregon-born yet working almost exclusively overseas, relocating from Mexico to Spain where he became a staple of early 70s horror in such Paul Naschy titles as "Dr. Jekyll and the Werewolf" and "The Mummy's Revenge," Amando De Ossorio's "The Night of the Sorcerers," or Jess Franco's "Count Dracula" opposite Christopher Lee. Director Federico Curiel went on to do over 70 features in 25 years, including a number of Santo films plus two with John Carradine, "Las Vampiras" and "Enigma de Muerte."
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