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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Vampire Lovers (1970)

A Countess (Dawn Addams) leaves her daughter (Ingrid Pitt) in the care of a former General (Peter Cushing) and his family due to a supposed family emergency. In reality, the daughter is a vampire and there to carry the bidding of her vampire master (John Forbes Robertson). The J. Sheridan Le Fanu novella CARMILLA has been adapted for film and television many times though not necessarily credited. Most notably Dreyer's VAMPYR (very loosely and without the lesbianism) and Roger Vadim's BLOOD AND ROSES. Roy Ward Baker's film of Le Fanu's novella is probably the closest a film has come to sticking with the book's plot though the lesbian angle is pushed to the forefront. In fact, it's almost amusing how the film tries to get its actresses to shed their clothes so frequently to the point that it almost feels like girl on girl softcore porn! The 30ish Pitt isn't the teenaged girl of the book but she makes for a most seductive vampire yet there's a sadness and an air of regret about her that suggests that she can't help what she's doing. Not high art but as far as vampire movies go, this is quite good. With Jon Finch (Polanski's MACBETH), Kate O'Mara, George Cole, Madeline Smith and Ferdy Mayne.

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