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Related: lesbian vampire
Titles: Carmilla (1872) - Vampyros Lesbos (1970)
Actors working in the genre: Ingrid Pitt - Soledad Miranda
Directors working in the genre: Jean Rollin - Jose Larraz - Jess Franco
Lesbian vampirism is a trope in 20th century exploitation film that has its roots in Le Fanu's Carmilla (1872). Notable titles include The Vampire Lovers (1970) and Vampyros Lesbos (1971).
Erzsébet Báthory appears in Daughters of Darkness and The Blood Countess.
More recently, Pam Keesey edited two anthologies of lesbian vampire stories, Daughters of Darkness (1993) and Dark Angels (1995).
It is interesting to note that the lesbian vampire movie has developed into a distinctive subgenre while the gay vampire movie has not.The female vampire is always eroticized; her seduction is not only for the purpose of securing a victim, but also to tempt the victim into corruption and eventual loss of soul. Here, the demise is not just a physical one, but a total annihilation, leaving the victim in a state of barren ruin. Her victim is always another female. Hence, the female is objectified within this ideology as well. Yet the female vampire is homosexual, feeding on women because she is the destroyer of men, thus doubly evil and doomed to destroy her own kind. Again, this is tradition. --Coleen Fretz, University of Pennsylvania B-GLAD'97 Magazine.
Vampyres (1974) - José Ramón Larraz
Vampyres (1974) - José Ramón Larraz [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
In 1974 José Ramón Larraz created Vampyres, which explored not only the erotic lesbian activity of the vampires, but the brutal, bloody vampire activity itself, which was usually not touched upon so heavily. As such the film was less Gothic and more of an horror film, extending the tale beyond the spectrum of the book. The characters Fran and Miriam (presumably named for 'Millarca') are similar to Laura and Carmilla. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmilla#Film_and_book_adaptations [Jul 2005]
"Naked girls and lots of blood, that's what Vampyres is about," says Joseph Larraz in the notes to the film. He rewrites the vampire myth to make his bloodsucking lovelies the restless ghosts of lesbian lovers murdered while making love in their shadowy castle. Reappearing nightly in the twilight forest, they lure men to their castle for blood feasts until the brunette vampire, Fran (Marianne Morris), falls for her latest victim (Murray Brown) and decides to keep him alive, a sex slave she slowly drains dry. "You're playing a dangerous game," warns blonde Miriam (Anulka), perhaps just a tad jealous. As the local cops watch a veritable wrecking yard of car crashes fill up the sleepy back roads (all with naked dead men behind the wheels), you have to wonder if anyone finds this a bit suspicious. It's a slim story filled with misty forests, candlelit castle interiors, and the above-mentioned blood and naked flesh. Larraz adds a few poetic flourishes--blood dripping down pale faces, clouds crawling past a castle--but, more important, gives the living dead girls a genuinely passionate relationship and a zest for nightlife. The DVD features commentary by Larraz and producer Brian Smedley-Ashton. --Sean Axmaker for Amazon.com
see also: 1974 - lesbian - vampirism - Carmilla - José Ramón Larraz
- Vampire Lovers (1970) - Roy Ward Baker [Amazon.com]
The first and the best of Hammer's erotic vampire films
"The Vampire Lovers," directed by Roy Ward Baker in 1970, is the first in the Karnstein trilogy of Hammer films, all based quite loosely on Joseph Sheridan LeFanu's story "Carmilla." The Karnsteins are a clan of vampires, represented in this version by a bunch of scantily clad women. Ingrid Pitt stars as Carmilla, who also goes under the anagram names of Mircalla and Marcilla at various points in the story (yes, there is a story). The last of her clan, Carmilla is trying to rebuild, turning first to Laura (Pippa Steele), the daughter of General Spielsdorf (Peter Cushing) and then Emma (Madeleine Smith), the daughter of Roger Morton (George Cole). Along the way she turns Mademoiselle Perrodon (Kate O'Mara) into a sexual slave. In the great tradition of Dracula and most other vampire films, Laura dies before anyone recognizes the marks of the vampire and then the goal is to save poor Emma from the same fate.
There is a lot in "The Vampire Lovers" that never makes much sense. Who is the countess (Dawn Addams) who travels with Mircalla? What is up with the black-clad vampire (John Forbes Robertson) who keeps hanging around? Supposedly Mircalla is the last of her clan, but maybe not. Mircalla keeps saying she loves her victims, but they all end up dead, which certainly does not help out her clan much. In the end it is clear that Hammer, aided and abetted by American International in this instance, was making a flat-out lesbian vampire film. As such, I can honestly say that you are not going to find a better one out there. Ironically, "The Vampire Lovers" ends up being more erotic than the vast majority of films featuring heterosexual relationships between the undead and their victims. --Lawrance M. Bernabo, amazon.com
The Vampire Lovers is a 1970 British Hammer Horror film directed by Roy Ward Baker and starring Peter Cushing, Polish actress Ingrid Pitt and Kate O'Mara. It is loosely based on the J. Sheridan Le Fanu novella Carmilla and is part of the so-called Karnstein Trilogy of films. Other films in the trilogy are Lust for a Vampire (1971) and Twins of Evil (1972). The three films were somewhat daring for the time in explicitly depicting lesbian themes.
Production of The Vampire Lovers began at Elstree Studios on 19 January 1970. and it was the final Hammer film to be financed with American money — most of the later films were backed by Rank or EMI. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Vampire_Lovers [Nov 2005]
- Countess Dracula (1970) - Peter Sasdy [Amazon.com]
Polish-born actress Ingrid Pitt's erotically supercharged presence is the highlight of this double bill of vampire chills from Hammer Films. In Countess Dracula, Pitt stars as an aging noblewoman (inspired by the real-life Erzebeth Bathory) who discovers the secret to eternal youth in the veins of young virgins, while in The Vampire Lovers (based on J. Sheridan LeFanu's "Carmilla"), Pitt's sensuous bloodsucker seduces Hammer starlets Madeleine Smith and Kate O'Mara and incurs the vengeful wrath of Peter Cushing. Countess is the more sober of the two films, with Jeremy Paul's script and Peter Sadsy's direction playing out more like an Old Dark House mystery than Hammer horror, while Lovers' aims for comic-book thrills with plenty of nudity and violence (much of which was trimmed from the American version, but reinstated here); in both cases, Pitt's sexy/scary performances make this DVD a memorably viewing experience for vintage and new-school horror fans alike. --Paul Gaita
- The Hunger (1983) - Tony Scott [Amazon US]
Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie are rich, beautiful, and oh-so chic as denizens of the night. Dressed in sleek outfits and stylish sunglasses, they haunt rock & roll clubs on the prowl for young blood, whom they bring home to their impossibly luxurious mansion for a late-night snack. Being a vampire never looked more sexy, but there's a price: Bowie starts to age so fast he wrinkles up in the waiting room of a doctor's (Susan Sarandon) office. The agelessly elegant Deneuve, evoking Delphine Seyrig's Countess Bathory from Daughters of Darkness, is perfectly cast as a millenniums-old bloodsucker who seeks a new mate in Sarandon and seduces her in a sunlight-bathed afternoon of smooth, silky sex. Tony Scott's (Ridley's brother) directorial debut, adapted from the Whitley Strieber novel, revises the vampire myth with Egyptian inflections and removes all references to garlic and crosses and wooden stakes--these bloodsuckers can even walk around in the daylight--but the ties between blood and sex are as strong as ever. Scott's background as an award-winning commercial director is evident in every richly textured frame and his densely interwoven editing, but the moody atmosphere comes at the expense of dramatic urgency. At times the film is so languid it becomes mired in its hazy, impeccably designed visual style. In its own way, The Hunger is the perfect vampire film for the '80s, all poise and attitude and surface beauty. Sarandon talks candidly about the film in the documentary The Celluloid Closet. --Sean Axmaker
See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hunger [Nov 2005]
- Daughters of Darkness (1971) - Harry Kümel [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Art-movie goddess Delphine Seyrig (Last Year at Marienbad) slinks through the plush Eurotrash settings as the deathless Elizabeth Bathory, Vampire Countess, in Harry Kümel's minor Dutch classic of lesbian erotic-gothic. Blood mingles with water during the languorous shower scenes. Set at an upper-crust seaside resort, the 1971 film recounts Bathory's plot to replace her current consort (Andrea Rau) with a fresher specimen, an abused newlywed whose brutal young husband is an inconvenience waiting to be eliminated. Although both the bi-sex and the neck-biting violence are tame by today's standards, the film has a graceful, gliding sense of pace that gets under your skin; something unspeakably kinky always seems to be just about to happen. It never quite does, but the mood lingers. See it with someone you love--or would like to. --David Chute for Amazon.com
See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daughters of Darkness [Nov 2005]
- Dracula's Daughter/Son of Dracula (1936) [Amazon US]
Dracula's Daughter This cut-rate sequel to Dracula, sans Bela Lugosi, turns out to be an unexpectedly sleek and stylish movie. Gloria Holden, tall, dark, and continental, is the aristocratic title character fighting her nature and seeking a cure for her affliction. A sympathetic psychiatrist, Dr. Garth (Otto Kruger), encourages her to "face her fears," but when she lures a pretty young streetwalker to her room to model for a painting, the temptation of her fleshy offering proves too much to overcome. Edward Van Sloan reprises his role as Van Helsing, held by the police for the murder of Count Dracula (the film opens on the final scene from Dracula) but released in the nick of time to help Garth, now at the mercy of the bitter and vindictive vampire. Director Lambert Hillyer makes the most of his low budget, with austere, angular sets and an almost abstract sense of the foggy city night. Holden's mysterious face and tall, willowy body make her an even more striking vampire than Lugosi, and Irving Pichel's offbeat servant is like an American gangster with the breeding of a European aristocrat: thick and thuggish, but always proper. The script falls into the usual rut of Universal's later horror films, losing the mood in the busy plot, but the smooth style and Holden's dignified performance lift Dracula's Daughter above most Universal sequels. --Sean Axmaker Amazon.com
Dracula's Daughter is a 1936 horror film, a sequel to the 1931 film Dracula. This sequel begins a few moments after the previous film ends: Count Dracula has just been killed by Professor Van Helsing and now his (apparently bisexual) daughter Countess Marya Zaleska (Gloria Holden) desperately tries to free herself of the curse of vampirism. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dracula's_Daughter [Nov 2005]
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