Uncle Was a Vampire
Italian theatrical release poster
Directed bySteno
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Edoardo Anton
  • Marcello Fondato
  • Sandro Continenza
  • Dino Verde
  • Steno
  • Renato Rascel[2]
Based onan idea
by Mario Cecchi Gori[2]
Produced byMario Cecchi Gori[1]
CinematographyMarco Scarpelli[2]
Edited byEraldo Da Roma[2]
Music by
  • Maxima Film
  • Montflour Film[1]
Distributed byC.E.I.-Incom
Release date
  • October 28, 1959 (1959-10-28) (Italy)
Running time
90 minutes
Box office 385 million

Uncle Was a Vampire (Italian: Tempi duri per i vampiri, lit.'Hard Times for Vampires'[3]) is a 1959 Italian film directed by Steno.[2]


Baron Osvaldo Lambertenghi is forced to sell his ancestral castle to pay his debts. The manor is ingloriously transformed into a frivolous hotel, and Osvaldo is allowed to continue to live there working as a bellhop. One day Osvaldo receives a visit from his uncle, Baron Roderico da Frankurten, who turns out to be a real vampire. Osvaldo tries to warn the various guests of the hotel, with the only result being that he is taken for a madman. Bitten by his uncle, Osvaldo will also turn into a vampire, but his beloved, Lellina, will also be able to free him from the curse.



Uncle Was a Vampire was Christopher Lee's first appearance in an Italian film production.[4]


Uncle Was a Vampire was released in Italy on October 28, 1959 where it was distributed by C.E.I.-Incom. It grossed a total of 385 million lire in Italy.

The film was released in the United States in 1964 on television through Embassy Pictures.[1]


In his book Italian Horror Film Directors, Louis Paul described the film as "obviously modeled on the slapstick efforts of the comedies featuring the character Totò".[5]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Curti 2015, p. 31.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Curti 2015, p. 30.
  3. ^ Paul 2005, p. 338.
  4. ^ Curti 2015, p. 32.
  5. ^ Paul 2005, pp. 13–4.


  • Curti, Roberto (2015). Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1957-1969. McFarland. ISBN 978-1476619897.
  • Paul, Louis (2005). Italian Horror Film Directors. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-8749-3.