10
Dec
13

Carmilla (1989)

carmillaposterSometimes, my husband will be really excited to show me a movie. As we sit down and hit play, often times I wonder why he is so excited about this particular selection. And so often the answer reveals itself in the credits. This time it’s not David Warner, it’s not Paul Bartel, it could only be… Roddy McDowall.

Yup, Uncle Roddy is, I imagine, to account for about 80% of the reason why my husband keeps Carmilla, an episode of Showtime’s anthology series called Nightmare Classics. And frankly, he’s about 80% of the reason why the episode is worthwhile. (And after I read this to my husband, he protests, and says: “but I love Meg Tilly, too!” I guess it’s true, he has referred to her as “cute as a button” on more than one occasion. So she must account for some percentage on her own. But that’s less funny.)

The other reason, of course, is that Carmilla is a well-known story about a lesbian vampire. And, really folks, what’s better than lesbian vampires? I guess Meg Tilly starring as the lead lesbian vampire and Roddy McDowall co-starring?

The story centers around young, lonely girl named Marie (Ione Skye). She lives alone with her father and their servants, and her father keeps a close watch on her. She rarely gets to see other young folks, and is constantly disappointed when they can’t come over and play. So when they see another young woman prostrate in the middle of the road, victim of a wagon crash, Marie can only think of how lucky she might be to make a new friend.

Turns out this new friend is, well, the one and only Carmilla. She wants to steal Marie away and do the terrible things that lesbian vampires do. But the local law enforcement, Inspector Amos (McDowall) will be damned if he lets her get away with it!

So, I guess this is okay. All the more tolerable because it is only 51 minutes long. The music is terrible and so are the costumes, though – I’d be lucky never to have to see another doily in my life! But as far as anthology television series go, I guess it’s pretty good. Something to give a chance if you stumbled upon it, or, I guess, if you’re obsessed with Roddy McDowall.

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