Posts Tagged ‘Lesbian Vampires


Fascination (1979)

Okay friends, this is it, the last post for this year’s 31 Days of Horror! Hey, it’s only a few weeks late, could’ve been worse, right? Our 31st horror pick for this year’s set is Jean Rollin’s Fascination. It should surprise no one acquainted with Rollin’s filmography it’s an erotic lesbian vampire thriller thing, with a whole lot of really good-looking scenes (and women) and a lot of shrugged shoulders as far as plot is concerned.

The movie starts off in an abattoir. Two genteel ladies are told consuming fresh ox blood will be good for their health. Though hesitant at first, the ladies eventually come to appreciate the refreshing tonic. But we’ll get back to that in a bit: first, let’s meet Marc.

Marc: bewildered, intrigued... fascinated?

Marc: bewildered, intrigued… fascinated?

Marc is a petty thief. He made a deal with a band of other petty thieves to do some petty thieving, but ended up stealing all the loot for himself. After unsuccessfully taking one of the other thieves hostage, Marc ducks into a seemingly empty château in hopes of hiding from them until sunset, when he can escape under the cover of night. Marc quickly learns the château isn’t empty at all: two ladies-in-waiting, Eva and Elizabeth, are preparing the place for the owners to return. And by preparing the place, I mean playing with knives and running around naked and stuff.

Eva and Elizabeth... so pretty!

Eva and Elizabeth… so pretty!

Marc tries to scare the ladies into submission, but it seems they’re more turned on than scared. So like any red-blooded French thief, Marc goes with the flow. Elizabeth is more than happy to submit to his whims, but Eva seems genuinely taken with the man. The two keep warning him that at midnight, death herself will arrive. Marc is nothing but amused by this, and he decides to hang around and see what all the fuss is about.

Definitely the most striking image from the Fascination.

Definitely the most striking image from the Fascination.

Right on cue, a bevy of sexy ladies show up! Marc doesn’t know exactly what kind of club he’s found himself surrounded by, but it seems like he’s hit the jackpot! You and I of course might suspect this meeting might have something to do with the abattoir from the beginning of the film. Sure enough, turns out these ladies are thirsty for human blood, and Marc is the right prey at the right time for them to feast upon. But things are complicated by Eva’s genuine feelings for him: will she betray her coven of witches to save his life?

Things didn't end well for this pretty little lady thief.

Things didn’t end well for this pretty little lady thief.

Fascination is one pretty picture after another; I took so many stills from it and wish I could use them all. It just looks absolutely beautiful. The plot is sort of interesting, I suppose, but I didn’t really care whether or not Marc survives, or what becomes of his relationship with either lady, or what these mysterious women actually plan on doing to him or each-other. I cared more about what they were wearing (or not wearing, I guess). This movie, like other Rollin movies I’ve seen, is all about style. If Fascination has something to say, I’m not sure at all what it is.

Sexy ladies in see-through nighties meet up for an annual blood-sucking party? Who wouldn't want to see this?

Sexy ladies in see-through nighties meet up for an annual blood-sucking party? Who wouldn’t want to see this?

I will admit to having fallen asleep to Rollin’s Rape of the Vampire, so I can’t make a legitimate comparison between the two films except to say Fascination kept the plot moving along enough to keep me awake! Aside from those two, the only other Rollin I’d seen was Living Dead Girl, which I remember digging a whole hell of a lot but it’s been too long now to make a real call about it. Suffice it to say Fascination was good enough to get me pumped for watching the other Rollin we have in our collection, and I think it’s probably a safe starting point for anyone who’s down with sexy French lesbian vampires with very flimsy excuses for being nude.


Daughters of Darkness (1971)

Delphine Seyrig as The Countess Elizabeth Báthory

Delphine Seyrig as The Countess Elizabeth Báthory

Many great things happen in October; the leaves change, ugly gourds come back into fashion, me and my marriage age another year, and there are a bazillion ‘best of’ horror movie lists on the internet! We aren’t exactly going to partake in the list-fest, but we are going to write up a horror movie each day in October. Let’s kick off 31 Days of Horror’s triumphant return with a Lesbian Vampire flick, shall we?

Daughters of Darkness centers around Stefan and Valerie, not your typical newlyweds. After eloping, they’re headed to England so Stefan can introduce Valerie to his family, though he is definitely not looking forward to their meeting. In fact, he seems to be doing everything in his power to avoid it. Valerie is suspicious, but insistent that she meet her new in-laws, despite Stefan’s constant hints that ‘Mother’ will absolutely not accept Valerie as part of her family. En route, the two stop over at a seaside hotel in Belgium. It’s the off-season, and they’re the only guests. That is until two very red-lipped, gorgeous women walk in and demand their room.

The Countess is responsible for many a turned head...

The Countess is responsible for many a turned head…

The concierge is shocked when he sees the two women; he insists that the Countess (Delphine Seyrig) Elizabeth Báthory (no shit) stayed at the hotel years ago, when he was just a boy. Nothing weird about that, I guess, except he swears she hasn’t aged a bit. She and her ‘secretary’ Ilona (Andrea Rau) accept a room down the hall from the newlyweds. The Countess seems to become fixated on them, particularly Valerie, while Ilona appears to be insanely jealous.

Just what the hell is going on here? Between the weirdo ladies who don’t leave their room during the day and Stefan’s strange fear of introducing his new wife to Mother, poor Valerie is caught up in some pretty weird shit. She’s a sensitive soul, too – when Stefan and the Countess start talking about the Countess’s namesake and her thirst for virgin blood, Valerie just about loses it. Poor thing, the Countess is sure she needs some comforting…

...and a few screams, too!

…and a few screams, too!

As I’ve come to expect from European lesbian vampire flicks from the 1970’s, this movie is so damn stylish. Though, to be fair, a movie with a woman like Delphine Seyrig in the lead role doesn’t have to try hard to be stylish. Hot damn, I’d go undead for that woman any day of the week! She and Andrea Rau really make this movie an exciting joy to watch.

That being said, I spent most of the film intrigued by the notion that Stefan’s secrets might be more interesting than the Countess’s. Ultimately, I was disappointed that those secrets weren’t explored more. Stefan’s plot thread is left dangling, and I wanted to know more about what was going on there, and the glimpse we do catch of “Mother” just left me in total suspense! But Stefan’s family isn’t the only part of the plot that left me mystified; the ending is a bit of a head-scratcher, too.

And in the end, a woman like the Countess will always get what she wants.

And in the end, a woman like the Countess will always get what she wants.

Even though I felt there was something just plain missing from this movie, I still really enjoyed watching it. Though that might be due in large part to the pretty ladies and the multitudes of lipstick tubes that must have been used in the filming of this movie, I do think the anticipation of finding out deep family secrets kept me hanging on the edge of my seat. Allow me, though, to be clear about something: this movie is not a fast-paced thriller; far from it! It is a pretty slow-moving movie, but I wouldn’t call it boring. Definitely worth a watch.


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.


Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural (1973)

2nd in our supernatural-coming-of-age triple feature is Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural. Compared to Valerie this is much more straightforward. They both involve young girls who are confronted with their sexuality and vampires, but other than that I’d say they’re pretty different from one another!

In this story, Lila Lee has been essentially orphaned: her gangster father murdered her mother and mother’s lover. Ever since, she’s been living with the local Reverend. She’s touted as being proof that Jesus can save anyone – even the child of evildoers. She is advertised on the church marquee as having the voice of an angel. All is seemingly well until our little angel gets a letter from a woman named Lemora, asking her to come and see her father, who is dying and wants to be forgiven for his evil deeds.

So starts Lila on an odyssey to Astaroth. When she attempts to hitch a ride from a guy in the middle of the night, he tells her to scram, as he ogles her and says “before I change my mind.” She hitches on as a stowaway and overhears conversation between the man and his lady about how the Reverend must be having a real hell of a time containing his sexual urges around such a lovely young lady like Lila Lee. These interactions are Lila’s first peek into the lecherous minds of adult men.

For a blood-sister, not all that bad…

From here, she takes a bus to see her father. After a scrape with some zombie/vampire looking fellas in the woods, she makes it to her destination, where she is holed up in a room and fed by a crazy old woman for a few days, until she can take no more and escapes. Now she finally meets Lemora, a strange old bird who wants to become her “blood-sister”…

I must say, this movie reminded me an awful lot of Teeth, which I loved, and as a result will end up being a fourth in the supernatural-coming-of-age marathon. I don’t say that just because there are vampires in this movie. A lot of the same angelic-girl-turned-evil-by-the-world themes are shared in the two.

really liked this movie. It was not as beautiful or challenging as Valerie, which I inevitably have to compare it to as it is part of the same set, but that doesn’t take away from its worth – it is just a different movie. And a very good one at that. Another winner. Maybe supernatural-coming-of-age will have to be a favorite genre of mine…


The Blood Spattered Bride (1972)

I’ve been excited to watch this one ever since Q bought it. With a name like The Blood Spattered Bride, who wouldn’t be? It wasn’t until we popped the dvd in that we saw it was yet another film adaptation of Carmilla, which, unbelievably, I still haven’t read. In fact, the first time I even heard of it was watching a different adaptation, Let’s Scare Jessica to Death. I seriously dug that one, so I was really looking forward to watching this, too.

It starts out with a newlywed couple on their honeymoon. He’s your stereotypical 1970’s European hornball, she’s a virginal youngster (referred to, many times throughout the film, as ‘merely a child’). It’s made clear that they’ve waited until marriage to consummate their relationship. It is also clear that she is absolutely terrified of the prospect, as she has terrible, violent visions of men violating her. The visions cause her to make them leave

Oh, young virgins are so impressionable.

their hotel, and instead they set off for the husband’s childhood home, which is way, way creepier.

At first, here, in this old manor, the newlyweds seem happy and are constantly going at it. Before long, though, the young wife’s curiosity of the manor’s history gets the best of her. After some exploring, she finds a portrait of a woman in the basement, with the face cut out. She learns the woman evidently murdered her husband on the night of their wedding. After hearing the story, our young bride begins to dream of the legendary woman, and wakes up with a dagger in her hands. How did it get there? Did the creepy little child that lives in the manor put it there, as everyone would hope?  Is the young bride experiencing serious psychosis over losing her virginity? Or is the legend of the mysterious undead vampire lesbian to blame?!

For quite a while I thought this movie was going to move in some seriously interesting directions. It even leads us on when we see our young bride psychoanalyzing

You don’t need a metal detector to find this lump of gold in the sand.

herself. Unfortunately, it is not so. What follows is simply shock, gore and nudity. Which, you know, I’m actually quite fond of – so I ended up liking this movie pretty well. But I was definitely hoping there’d be more substance to it. Alas, it is not so. But, the movie did bring us a scene in which the husband finds the lesbian/vampire/zombie buried in sand wearing a SCUBA mask and nothing else! Couldn’t resist sharing this picture…

All in all, if you happened upon this flick and had nothing else to do, I’d say give it a shot. I’d probably watch it again – it looked really good and again, was pretty entertaining, but ultimately disappointing in the end. Watching movies is such a sad business sometimes.


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