Leo (Manuel Vergara Manver) is a simple-minded hunchback who serves an ancient vampire named Nostradamus (German Robles). Leo’s mother, Rebeca the witch (Fanny Schiller) has been entrusted to care for a scroll that is important to Nostradamus’ existence. He refers to it as the lifeblood of his legacy. Vampire hunter Igor (Jack Taylor) and Professor Duran (Domingo Soler) are looking for the scroll with the hopes of destroying it and destroying the vampire. Nostradamus learns of the search when he hypnotizes Duran’s assistant Antonio (Julio Aleman) and finds out their plans. When Nostradamus goes to Rebeca’s cabin to retrieve the scroll, he hears her threaten to destroy the document. Nostradamus punishes Rebeca by setting her on fire and burning down her cabin.
Nostradamus then sends Antonio to kill Igor, but he is thwarted. Igor manages to remove Nostradamus’ spell and free Antonio from his grip. Igor goes after Nostradamus but, with the help of Leo, is destroyed by the vampire.
Duran and Antonio learn that Nostradamus has targeted a woman named Nora Peyton (Rina Valdarno) as his next victim. The duo informs Nora that they are there to protect her. The woman appears to be uninterested in any threats to her wellbeing and actually wants them to leave. A policeman (Guillermo Bravo Sosa) passing by tells them that Nora has been dead for three months. Duran and Antonio find out that Nora was a ploy to facilitate the killing of his real target. Nostradamus resurrected Nora to make her his corpse bride. When she rejects him, he has Leo rebury her.
Trying to go on the offensive Duran, Antonio and the fellow members of the Society for the Abolishment of Superstition invade Nostradamus’ domain. Knowing that the vampire must sleep on the ashes of his ancestors, they steal the ashes. They take the ashes to an eminent scientist, Dr. Schiller (Carlos Hennings). Schiller is working on a method to destroy the vampire. Involving Schiller puts him on Nostradamus’ list of victims. The cat and mouse game is far from over.
“The Genie of Darkness” AKA “Nostradamus, el Genio De las Tinieblas” was released in 1962 in Mexico and 1965 in America and was directed by Federico Curiel. An English dubbed version was done by K. Gordon Murray which was directed by Stillman Segar. The names of some of the characters in the English dubbed version have been Americanized.
It is generally believed that the film was originally part of a twelve-chapter Mexican horror serial released in 1959. When Murray purchased the rights to the serial, he split it up into four separate movies, “Genie” was the third film in the series. The other films were “The Curse of Nostradamus“, “The Monsters Demolisher”, and “Blood of Nostradamus”. There are some that question the serial aspect of the story and believe that the four films were actually four films but sequential. The title of the third film, “The Genie of Darkness” seems to be an incorrect translation. “Genio” can mean Genie, but it also means Genius. Since there are no genies in the movie it seems more likely that the word should have been translated as genius. “The Genius of Darkness” could refer to Nostradamus.
There are couple twists on the vampire legend. Here the vampire must sleep on the ashes of his ancestors instead of dirt from their homeland. They can also be killed or at least deterred by being shot with platinum bullets. The scroll mentioned in the beginning of the film is basically a MacGuffin and is never mentioned again.