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Cardinal Alba

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Eternal life. Immortality can change your heart.
~ Cardinal Alba

Cardinal Alba is the hidden secondary main villain in the 1998 horror movie John Carpenter's Vampires, based on the 1990 novel Vampire$ by John Steakley.

He was portrayed by Maximilian Schell.


He is an elderly Italian Roman Catholic cardinal of the Vatican. After Jack Crow (the film's protagonist), Anthony Montoya (the film's deuteragonist), and a prostitute named Katrina (who at that point is bitten) barely escape from Valek's surprise attack (where Crow's entire team is killed, along with numerous prostitutes), Jack meets up with Cardinal Alba. Jack reports that his entire team is dead (except Montoya) because of just one vampire, who somehow knew Jack's name. Alba introduces Jack to Father Adam Guiteau, and then shows a painting of a man who Jack recognizes as the master vampire who killed his team. This vampire is identified as Valek, a former Catholic priest who is the oldest known vampire. Alba tells Jack to wait for a new team to arrive before trying to go after Valek, and that Guiteau will be the new priest for the new team.

Near the end of the movie, Jack gets tied to the end of his truck, Guiteau is cowering in a nearby store, and Montoya is severely wounded (including a bite in his neck). Numerous vampires, including Valek along with now 6 the 7 new Masters at his side, surround Jack. Cardinal Alba suddenly appears and tells Jack that his old age has caused him to question the existence of God, heaven, and hell, especially since he has never seen any miracles or visions. The thought of death was terrifying to him, so he decided to betray the Catholic Church and join forces with Valek and his people.

Cardinal Alba begins an ancient reverse exorcism involving the legendary Black Cross of Béziers which would give the vampirese the power to survive against the sunlight. Before Alba could finish the exorcism, Guiteau finds a shotgun in the store he was hiding in, and he then gets to the roof of the store to get a clear shot at Alba. The shotgun blast hits Cardinal Alba in the chest, killing him immediately.


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