Director John Gilling
Writer Val Valentine
Music director Lindo Southworth
Genre Comedy, Horror
Film series Old Mother Riley Series
|Release date July 1952 (UK)
September 1952 (US)
1963 (US re-release)|
Cast Bela Lugosi (Von Housen), Arthur Lucan (Mrs Riley), Dora Bryan (Tilly), Philip Leaver (Anton Daschomb), Graham Moffatt (The Yokel)
Similar movies Bela Lugosi appears in Old Mother Riley Meets the Vampire and Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla
Mother Riley Meets the Vampire, also known as Vampire Over London or My Son the Vampire is a 1952 British horror comedy film directed by John Gilling, starring Arthur Lucan and Bela Lugosi that was filmed at Nettlefold Studios.
This was the final film of the Old Mother Riley film series and did not feature Lucan's former wife and business partner Kitty McShane whom he had divorced in 1951.
In 1963, a recut American version called My Son, the Vampire was released, featuring an introductory segment with a song by American comedian Allen Sherman.
Von Housen seeks to dominate the world from his headquarters in London with an army of 50,000 radar controlled robots powered by uranium. He believes himself to be a vampire and has several young women abducted, most recently Julia Loretti who has a map to a uranium mine that he needs for his army.
At the moment, Van Housen only has one functional robot which is shipped to him and through a mistake is shipped to Old Mother Riley's store with Mother Riley's package sent to Van Housen. Seeing Mother Riley's address in the label, Van Housen sends his robot to abduct Mother Riley to his headquarters.
On the suggestion of producer Richard Gordon, Bela Lugosi had travelled to England to appear in a stage play of Dracula which failed. He needed money to return to the US. Gordon persuaded fellow producer George Minter to use Lugosi in a movie in London. Arthur Lucan had made a number of Old Mother Riley movies and it was felt that Lugosi's presence in the cast might give it a chance of success outside England.
Lugosi was paid $5,000 for his role. The plot was taken from Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.
Gordon says that although John Gilling was credited as producer, George Minter was the real producer. Filming took four weeks.
Richard Gordon recalled that there were plans to shoot additional scenes with Lugosi and without Arthur Lucan for the American market but the idea was never put into place.
Gordon also stated that the film emphasised that Lugosi's character was not a real vampire so it would get a U certificate allowing children, who were Old Mother Riley's biggest audience, to see it.
Lucan's understudy Roy Rolland stood-in for him in the more physical stunts in the film.
The film was not a success in the box office and was not released in the US until 1963.
It was to have been titled Carry On, Vampire for its later American early 1960s release but Anglo-Amalgamated successfully sued with the title changed to My Son, the Vampire as a tie in to Allen Sherman's My Son, the Folksinger hit comedy record.
ReferencesMother Riley Meets the Vampire Wikipedia
Mother Riley Meets the Vampire IMDbMother Riley Meets the Vampire themoviedb.org