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Ingrid Pitt (1937 - )

Ingrid Pitt and Madeleine Smith in
Vampire Lovers (1970) - Roy Ward Baker
image sourced here.


The Vampire Lovers, (UK, 1970) featured Polish actress Ingrid Pitt, and were somewhat daring for the time in explicitly depicting lesbian themes. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammer_Horror [May 2005]]

Hammer horror

As the technical aspects of filmmaking became easier, and a lot less expensive, horror films became more flamboyant - and gorier - in the late Fifties. Taking full advantage of this, the British Hammer Studios embarked on the mass production of bloodcurdlers that became their calling card. In glorious Technicolour, and replete with scenes charged with sexuality, your basic Hammer horror was often misinterpreted as merely a means of titillation (as the years wore on, this judgment became less and less of a lie). There was clearly intelligence at work in both The Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula, not least by the casting director (Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing were teamed up for both films), and, in Terence Fisher, the company had found a true auteur. The Hound of the Baskervilles, filmed the same year as Dracula - 1958 - and utilising its two stars, is a wonderfully atmospheric version of Conan Doyle's crime thriller, with all concerned on top form. --Noel O'Shea

Vampire Lovers (1970) - Roy Ward Baker

  • 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

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