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Monday, June 30, 2014

Daughters Of Darkness (1971)

A young couple (John Karen, Danielle Ouimet) on their honeymoon stopover in a coastal Belgian town that is out of season for tourists. It's at the hotel they're staying at that they comes across a mysterious Countess (Delphine Seyrig) and her companion (Andrea Rau). Meanwhile, a series of bloody killings involving young girls occurs during their stay at the hotel. Although shot in English, this Belgian horror film is thoroughly European in feel and execution. I suppose one could call it an exploitation film but that just paints it with a brush that's doesn't seem justified (well, maybe that S&M scene). Not that there's anything wrong with exploitation or pulp cinema, I'm quite fond of them myself but there's a haunting and elegant beauty threaded through out the film that elevates it over something like, say, Mario Bava's TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE. The great Seyrig brings classic lesbian vampire chic to a new level! I've no doubt this film was influential in both content and tone to Tony Scott's THE HUNGER (1983). The atmosphere so thick with fatalism hovering over every scene compensates for the rather ordinary presences of Karlen (best known as Tyne Daly's husband in CAGNEY AND LACEY) and Ouimet though I'm willing to chalk it up to English not being her native language. Languidly directed by Harry Kumel. With Paul Esser and Fons Rademakers.

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