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Lust For A Vampire (1974)

Ah, Lust For Vampire. Apparently, if you believe everything you read, a gaudy, ill-conceived attempt by Hammer to mix their Gothic horrors with a tits-and-arses early 70s skinflick approach. Okay, so it's not as good as it's sequel Twins Of Evil. But as kitsch entertainment it gets a pretty high score.

First, let's dispel a few myths. There is hardly any nudity - all you get to see are some baps and the occasional shapely arse. The only sex scene is between an only-seen-naked-from-the-shoulders-up Yutte Stensgaard (good score in Scrabble) and a fully clothed man, and the song that accompanies this "lovemaking" is so bad, and so ill conceived, that it improves the film by about 100 per cent (if you like that kind of thing).

Anyway - a bit about the plot. A travelling ponce minces into a Mittel European village and starts taking the piss out of the locals for their belief in vampires etc. When he fails to heed their not-very-veiled warnings and goes up to Karnstein Castle, he's menaced by a bunch of sultry vixens who turn out to be - no, not vampires, but students (haven't we all made that mistake? One minute they're going for your jugular, the next they're trying to buy a portion of chips with a cheque). Obviously he was confused by the lack of big coats from Oxfam, combat pants and enormous trainers being worn.

Returning to the village, our "hero" tells this hilarious story to the locals (about five times) who appear to have quickly developed a sense of humour about the castle, and laugh along with him until one of their maidens is found, throat torn out in the usual manner. That kills the mood.

Ignoring this, the hero manages to get a teaching position at the local girls' finishing school (nice one) and falls in love with one of the students, a surly blonde called Mircalla (Stensgaard, about as near to winning an Oscar as Julie Ege ever wasn't). Of course, Mircalla is an anagram of Carmilla, who, as we all know (if we've seen The Vampire Lovers and Twins Of Evil), was a vampire.

Of course, then it all kicks off big style. Fellow teacher and "follower of Satan" (or somesuch bollocks) Ralph Bates discovers Mircalla's true identity, and gets killed.

Fellow teacher Miss Playfair, who starts off as an icy blonde princess and ends up a cross-eyed bint, lives up to her name and calls in the cops, and the villagers forget their former fear and descend on the castle, flaming torches aloft.

Oh yes, and Mike Raven's performance is so dire he has both his voice and his eyeballs dubbed.

Some say that Mircalla's cross-eyed orgasm and eventual cross-eyed impaling on a flaming stake is very clever. I say that's what you get when you employ a brace of cross-eyed bints for your supposedly sexy lesbo vampire pic. But then again, I'm a cynical tosser.

Director: Jimmy Sangster Writer(s): Tudor Gates, Sheridan Le Fanu (story Carmilla)

Cast: Ralph Bates - Giles Barton, Barbara Jefford - Countess Herritzen, Suzanna Leigh - Janet Playfair, Michael Johnson - Richard Lestrange, Yutte Stensgaard - Mircalla/Carmilla Karnstein, Helen Christie - Miss Simpson, Pippa Steel - Susan Pelley, David Healy - Raymond Pelley, Harvey Hall - Inspector Heinrich, Mike Raven - Count Karnstein, Michael Brennan - Landlord, Jack Melford - Bishop, Christopher Cunningham - Coachman, Judy Matheson - Amanda, Christopher Neame - Hans, Erik Chitty - Professor Herz (as Eric Chitty), Caryl Little - Isabel, Jonathan Cecil - Biggs, Kirsten Lindholm - Peasant Girl, Luan Peters - Trudi, Nick Brimble - First Villager, David Richardson - Second Villager, Vivienne Chandler - Schoolgirl, Erica Beale - Schoolgirl, Mel Churcher - Schoolgirl (as Melinda Churcher), Melita Clarke - Schoolgirl, Jackie Leapman - Schoolgirl, Sue Longhurst - Schoolgirl, Patricia Warner - Schoolgirl, Valentine Dyall - Count Karnstein (voice), Christine Smith - Schoolgirl


Last updated: February 24, 2010

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Mike Raven spouts gibberish 45k

Awful dialogue 72k

Even worse speech 102k


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