The Rio Kid (Fernando Lujan) is well known as the fastest gun in the west. Men come from miles around to try to beat him. His latest conquest is a drunken gunman called El Rapido (Jorge Russek). Because Rio kills other gunmen no one has a problem with it. The deaths are always determined to be self defense. After the gunmen are buried their bodies seem to disappear from their graves. Don Matias (Felipe del Castillo) remembers Rio from years ago. He also mentions that Rio never gets old.
Manuel Saldivar (Rodolfo de Anda) is the son of a murderer. There was even a song about him that people sing telling the story of how murderous he was. Manuel never met his father. Manuel learns that Rio knew his father. Determined to find out if the stories are true Manuel decides to go to Rio’s hometown, San Jose. While traveling through the desert Manuel meets Nestor Ramirez (Carlos Lopez Moctezuma).
Manuel gives him food and water. They travel together to San Jose. Nestor says that he was in jail for ten years for something he didn’t do. He also says that Rio framed him and he intends to take revenge on the gun fighter. Since his father is Manuel Saldivar Sr. and the name is well known Manuel decides to use the name The Texan.
When they get to San Jose they find the town is almost a ghost town. Nestor reunites with his wife Amilia (Celia Manzano) and his daughter Marta (Elsa Cardenas). Soon the Rivera brothers (Jose Chavez and Guillermo Hernandez) come to town looking to start trouble and take down Rio. Also new in town are blind Don Beto (Ruben Marquez) and his daughter Carmen (Julissa). They are minstrels traveling through town.
Manuel begins to suspect there is something supernatural going on with the gunfighter who never gets old and whose victim’s bodies disappear. Rio then draws Marta into his realm of the dead. Manuel finds himself the only one who knows what Rio really is but dealing with the vampire is more than he expected.
“El pueblo fantasma” AKA “Ghost Town” was released in 1965 and was directed by Alfredo B. Crevenna. It is a Mexican horror musical movie and part of the sub genre called weird west.
This is a fairly decent mixed genre film although there isn’t much in the way of vampire happenings until the end of the movie. There also isn’t a lot of camp to the film except for the unbelievable long Walrus fangs sported by the vampire. All in all it is more western than horror.
The story is a good one but most of the movie is build up. Even the parts where bodies disappear are only referred to in conversation. There isn’t much in the way of blood or strange spooky stuff but the atmosphere is almost good. There is a cemetery and a crypt and an old, almost abandoned town but they are not dwelled on as much as the story of Manuel and his quest for self identity. It seems that the main theme of the film is the redemption of Manuel’s family name and not a vampire in the old west. The theme would work just as well if Manuel’s quest involved a regular gunslinger instead of a vampire.