NATACHA, La Reina de los Vampiros

Natacha Popp, or "La reina de los vampiros" as she was known to her fans, was an internationally recognized star of South American Horror Cinema, circa 1925-1935. That she remains largely unknown here, even among film scholars, is due largely to circumstance. Her films were printed on an unusually volatile brand of nitrate stock commonly used in Argentina at that time. As a result of natural decomposition, poor storage, and a string of mysterious fires and thefts, not a single print of any of her films survives today.

Fortunately a pocket of obscure film cultists keeps her memory alive. From all corners of the globe they seek out surviving artifacts from her film career. These pieces form a puzzle revealing an endlessly fascinating enigma, a woman whose mystique is unrivaled in film history.

Now, for the first time anywhere on the web, Dr. Twilite proudly unveils several pieces of the "Natacha Pop Puzzle." A sampling of the lobby cards, stills and posters that survive from that spectacular lost era are here presented as a memorial to the beautiful and mysterious "la reina de los vampiros."

Image originally from "La Zorra de la Venganza" 1931. Seen here detail from a subversive poster issued by student socialist revolutionaires at the University of Cinema, Buenos Aires, 1990.

Stills from "La Diabla de Prague" AKA The Devil Woman of Prague, 1928, Buenos Aires (courtesy the Samuel Tinker Collection)

A rare lobbycard from 1932. Pablo Venacudo of Serra Peliades, Brazil, loaned us this from his personal collection. He remembers: "As a child I would sneak into her films and was mesmerized by her. There were rumours she stole children away from their mothers in the middle of the night. I prayed 'pick me next!"

Publicity Photo, date unknown, Courtesy the Lima Film Archives, Peru

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