Condemned To Live – 1935

“I swooned” That phrased is is again and again in this film. No one ever faints, they swoon.

We begin in a cave. A young pregnant women is sick or something and the beating of tribal drums can be heard in the distance. She is with two men, one is her husband. “I can't stand it,” she says, “If you love me, kill me, kill me now.” As it turns out that the cave is is the home of bats, vampire bats, and when the men are discussing this very subject, one of the bats besides to have a suck on the mother-to-be's neck.

Cut to many years later and a small village, the type were people still run around with flaming touches, has a problem with a killer who tears open the throats of his victims and only kills in the dark. Many superstitious people believe the killer is a bat but the tall, good looking hero says, “No bat could tear their throats as if with teeth and drag their bodies to the cave.”

“There are stranger things upon this Earth than you could know of, Davis.” replies Doctor Bizet.
This film has all the essentials, a beautiful young girl who plans on marrying, the handsome man, the strange doctor, a hunchback, and many creepy villagers. “It's well to be afraid when the devil has spewed such a lonesome creature as this upon us!” one old lady says.

At only 66 minutes long, there is barely enough plot for in length. I can only describe this film and a Jeckle and Hyde vampire film. It really doesn't hold up very well. While watching, I kept feeling like I've seen this film before. In fact, add a few jokes and it could almost be a parody of 1930 horror films.

Condemned to Live was directed by Frank R. Strayer who went on to direct all those Blondie films of the late 30 and early 40. Really, there is not much to say except the child of the pregnant girl at the beginning might have something to do with the killings. (Hope that didn't spoil anything).

You can download this film free at and although I have not checked, I bet its available on Youtube


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