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Vampire (TV Movie 1979) - Plot Summary Poster

(1979 TV Movie)

Plot

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Summaries

  • Vampire Anton Voytek's lair is disturbed by the ground breaking for a new church. Anton attempts to start a modern life using his hoarded wealth, but finds it's been confiscated by the authorities. He takes revenge on the architect responsible, who in turn, aided by a retired detective, tries to hunt down and destroy Anton.

  • An architect builds a new church in San Francisco that ultimately displeases the local vampire community so its leader, Anton Voytek, kills the man's girlfriend to show his displeasure. The architect then teams with a local cop to get even.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • A neglected site in San Francisco is about to get new life as the Bryant Park Development Project unfolds. In attendance at the dedication ceremony are the designing architects, John (Jason Miller) and Leslie (Kathryn Harrold) Rawlins, who bow their heads proudly but reverently as Father Hanley (Scott Paulin) blesses the newly-unveiled cross which is to form the foundation of the new Saint Sebastian's Church and the cornerstone of the schools and apartments yet to be built. Also in attendance is retired detective Harry Kilcoyne (E.G. Marshall) who notices, after the blessing is over, the bulldozers are revving up, and the attendees are filing away, that the ground is smoking where the shadow of the cross falls on it. How odd. Later that night, unseen by no one, a naked body crawls out of the smoking hole.

    A month passes. At a party thrown by the Rawlins, Leslie is introduced by her lawyer friend Nicole DeCamp (Jessica Walter) to a new beau, Anton Voytek (Richard Lynch), tall, blonde, handsome, stately, and rich. Voytek is an expert in art and is able to tell Leslie about the model in one of the paintings she acquired in Paris. As Nicole and Anton are leaving, Anton tells John that he has an interesting proposition to present to him and offers to treat the Rawlins to a night at the ballet so that they can talk about it. Unfortunately, Anton is unable to keep the date, but he asks Nicole to present the project to John and Leslie. It appears that Anton's family were wealthy Europeans who had millions of dollars of valuable artwork by artists such as Donatello, Botticelli, and da Vinci, which they smuggled into the U.S. during the war and buried in caverns under the Heidecker estate, the very place where Byrant Park is being erected. Voytek wants the Rawlins to halt the development project temporarily and dig up the family treasure.

    The next day, as John tries to make heads or tails out of some blueprints of the underground caverns, Leslie visits the art museum and learns that all the artworks on Anton's list are bona fide... and they've been reported stolen from museums and collections around the world. Work on Bryant Park stops, the artwork is recovered along with a human skull and a rosary, and Voytek is arrested. As the police lead him away, Voytek turns to John and says, "I trusted you, Rawlins, and that trust cost me everything I treasure. I assure you that you will be repaid... in kind."

    Voytek spends the night in jail, but Nicole bails him out just before dawn. Without a word of thanks, he takes off running down the street and makes it to his light-tight apartment just as he starts to smoke in the morning sun. That night, he pays a visit to the Rawlins's house, catching Leslie as she prepares to leave. She invites him in for just a moment, and so starts the seduction. By the time John returns home, Voytek has killed Leslie and mutilated her body. Unfortunately, the police cannot tie Voytek to the scene, and Nicole swears that Anton was with her all evening.

    In his anger and anguish, John breaks into Voytek's apartment just as he is waking in his coffin. John realizes that Voytek is a vampire and tears out of there. However, a neighbor calls the police, and John is taken to jail. His friend and colleague Christopher Bell (Michael Tucker) bails him out. On his way out, John is spotted by Harry Kilcoyne. Harry follows John and is intrigued when John goes to the library and takes out a lot of books about vampires, so intrigued, in fact, that when he learns John has been taken to a mental hospital armed with crosses and stakes, Harry goes to see him. Unfortunately, Voytek has gotten there first. Just as Voytek bends over John, who is helplessly strapped to his bed, Harry enters the room. Voytek leaps out the window.

    Turns out that Harry has had doings with Voytek in the past and also suspects that Voytek is a vampire. Later, as John and Harry share a drink in Harry's living room, Harry tells John the story. Back in 1939, Harry and his cop buddy Maurice Bernier were assigned to investigate a series of murders in the Bryant Park area. In each case, the victim's throat was torn out, but there was never any blood found. At first, they thought they were looking for a homicidal maniac. However, Bernier eventually came to believe it was the work of a vampire. Bernier took an early retirement, became a priest, and founded the first St Sebastian Church a stone's throw away from the Heidecker estate. Harry went off to war. When he got back, Bernier had vanished. It is Harry's assumption that Bernier, along with his rosary, trapped Voytek in the caverns under the Heidecker estate. Rather than face his own destruction, Voytek brought down the whole estate on top of them both, killing Bernier and trapping Voytek there for the past 40 years, releasing him now because of the new construction.

    Just as John and Harry come to realize that they're going to have to band together to hunt Voytek, there comes a knock on their door. It's little Tommy Parker (Adam Starr) from across the hall and his mother Andrea (Barrie Youngfellow). Andrea is late for work and is wondering whether Harry can babysit Tommy. After Harry gets Tommy in bed, John tells Harry what he's learned about Voytek from the books he's been reading. There are stories about a golden-haired vampire from as far back as the 13th century in what is now Hungary. John thinks they refer to Voytek, making him over 700 years old!

    Harry suggests that their first act should be to contact casket companies in the morning, looking for a large purchase by one individual, on the hunch that Voytek would have several places of sanctuary. The next step will be to track down the locations of these caskets and, even if they don't find Voytek in them, to make them uninhabitable for him. When Andrea returns to take Tommy home, Harry presents her with the gift of a crucifix that once belonged to his dead wife and asks her to send Tommy a week early to visit his father in Arizona.

    The next day, Harry picks up a few vials of holy water and has a friend fashion some stakes for him. Tommy takes off for Arizona, after Andrea places Harry's crucifix on Tommy's neck. John discovers that five caskets for theatrical use were ordered by Maurice Bernier and delivered to 635A Howard Street. At the Howard Street address, which turns out to be a theater, Harry and John find a casket. When they open it, they are horrified to find it contains Leslie's body. At first, John cannot drive the stake. After a little prompting from Harry, he does the deed.

    Meanwhile, Harry has asked a friend of his to keep his eye on Andrea at the disco where she works. It's closing time, and Harry is a bit late picking her up, so she accepts a ride in the limo of a friend of one of her co-workers. After the driver drops off the coworker, Voytek gets in. When Harry finally gets to the disco, he finds that his friend has been murdered and Andrea is gone. He hurries back to his apartment to see if Andrea has gotten home safely. Instead, he gets a phone call from Voytek who informs Harry that he has captured Andrea.

    Now it becomes even more imperative to step up their search for Voytek. First stop is Nichole's house. Nicole looks pretty bedraggled, but she reluctantly gives John a list of properties that Voytek has recently purchased through her. John warns Nicole to get away from Voytek, and then he and Harry set out to visit each one of the properties, looking for Voytek's coffins and making them uninhabitable. The first stop is Voytek's Nob Hill apartment, but he has totally vacated the premises. Next top is an old mill, followed by the old Heidecker brewery, where they find nothing but empty coffins. It's getting late in the day when they finally reach the last property way up the coast in Mendocito...five acres of an old cemetery where they must search for the Heidecker family vault.

    The sun has gone down. Voytek rises from his coffin and wakes up Andrea just as Harry and John enter the vault. Andrea screams at them to go away, but they are determined to end it here and now, even though Voytek promises to go away and never return. As Voytek threatens them with his plans to destroy everyone they love, including Tommy, Harry slowly unscrews the lid on one of his vials of holy water. As Voytek drones on, Harry tosses the water at him. Then, they attack Voytek with crosses, but Voytek overpowers them and gets away. Andrea returns to her senses.

    "We're safe for tonight," Harry says.

    "It's not over," John says.

    (Original Synopsis by bj_kuehl.)

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