This 1971 quasi-vampire flick starts in quasi-documentary style with a voiceover from a British government official explaining how he is sent to Greece to help out a prominent Oxford scholar who has gotten himself into legal problems. It transpires that the young man has been hanging with a group of hedonistic, drug-abusing pagans. It's never made entirely clear why the governments of two countries are so anxious to overlook the young man's misdeeds, but apparently family connections count for a lot. There's a lot of washed-out, travelog-style photography of the heroes pursuing the hapless libertine across the Grecian countryside. Patrick Macnee supplies a welcome dose of class as a local British diplomat and also has a chase scene on donkeys, which is a bit offbeat. The fight scenes are totally unbelievable in a 60's TV drama kind of way. Back home in England, Peter Cushing commands the screen as the young man's oppressive father-in-law to be, and a young Edward Woodward supplies some quasi-anthropological commentary about sexual hangups. There are some hints that the source novel had an earnest message about how superstition results from repression; the image of the hydra is invoked as a symbol for the lure of the irrational, and how it rebounds from all attempts to limit it like a hydra growing a new head. Overall, this is not actually a good movie, but watchable for genre addicts. SPOILER ALERT: Questions to ask at the end are: Was there any actual vampirism, or only a cult of blood fetishists? And in the final scene, have the protagonists themselves fallen prey to the kind of superstitious hysteria that they've been trying to fight? If so, then the ending changes from the traditional "good-triumphs-over-evil" to the more modern and disturbing "but-evil-always-returns-anyway."