Director: Roy Ward Baker
Starring: Ingrid Pitt, Peter Cushing
More Info: IMDB
Tagline: An erotic nightmare of tormented lusts that throb in headless, undead bodies!
Plot: Marcilla Karnstein from time to time comes back from her death sleep, and under a different name, such as Carmilla or, now, Mircalla, spreads terror in a village with her vampire powers. General Von Spielsdorf loses his nubile daughter to Mircalla, and swears revenge, with the help of expert vampire-killer Baron Hartog, and the Doctor. Eventually, they will kill the female vampire, but not before she traps a number of female lovers/victims.
My Rating: 8/10
Would I watch it again? Yyyyyyyes!
#44 on Hammer Horror (1957-1976)
Come for the lovely pre-credit beheading and stay for the lesbian vampires. That would be the tagline I would rather see. At least it's honest.
TVL is the first in a trilogy of Karnstein vampire films made by the Hammer Studio. It is followed by LUST FOR A VAMPIRE (1971) and TWINS OF EVIL (1971).
TVL was made to showcase several beautiful European vampire women that were born to have my babies. I was taken aback at the number of unbelievably striking women Hammer has in this film.
Breathtakingly beautiful women, wouldn't you say? They're much prettier than just about everyone in Hollywood these days. No one comes close. Well, except for Sandra Bernhard but that's another story.
It's a pretty good film flawed with pacing issues but the eye candy is what keeps this re-watchable. Now, I haven't seen everything Hammer did leading up to this (yet) but I'm guessing the nudity cat was let out of the bag and they exploited it to the fullest. Case in point. There's a scene where a nubile young woman is bed-ridden due to a vampire bite. The doctor needs to check her (and now my) pulse. So what does he do? He pulls the portion of her nightgown over her breast and places the stethoscope BELOW her beast, not above it!!! Busted! What a blatant use of nudity for the sake of nudity. It garners a laugh and then right into an "ahhhhh". Way to go Roy Ward Baker!
It's not close to being Hammer's vampire best but if you're looking for an erotic, Gothic, vampire lesbian film (and there are TONS out there), I would recommend this one as a tamer entry into the vampire sub genre and then work your way up to the other early to mid-seventies European goodies like VAMPYRES (1974). Boy, do I love movies.