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Sexy Vampire Hotness...

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Posted 25th April 2009 at 09:03 AM by Sam@Cult Labs

If I was 30 years older I'd marry Ingrid Pitt...

Countess Dracula

Hammers most voluptuous Scream Queen, Ingrid Pitt stars in a film loosely based on the notorious Countess Bathory, a genuine character from the darker annals of medieval European history, although I wouldn't want to vouch for the veracity of Hammer's take on here story.

She is a withered old crone who longs for the erotic attentions of a young stud who has come to visit her remote estate. An accidental encounter with the blood of a lithesome virgin housemaid, in which she gets some of the girl's claret on her skin, leads to a startling discovery...Virgin blood rejuvenates the body!!!

Soon the evil Countess is swanning around like a winsome teenager, her newly young body glowing with the first flush of youth, but it cannot last. The effects wear off quickly and now she must kill many youthful and pure ladies in order to stay fresh. Soon her descent into madness intensifies as her murderous lifestyle along with the stresses of deceit combine to drive her insane....

Excellent late period Hammer fare, all gothic castles and comely wenches, with Pitt carrying the film in her starring role, Countess Dracula is a landmark entry in the UK horror canon, from a time when the gothic style was edging further into erotica in response to the sexual innovations occurring in the exploitation films of mainland Europe.

Twins of evil

More classic late era Hammer fun starring Peter Cushing in a slightly more explicit tale than their usual campy efforts, which reflected the changing times in the early 70s, with it's slackening censorship and sensation seeking audience.

Two twin sisters, recently orphaned, go to stay with their puritan uncle, a man who gets his sadistic kicks burning young women as witches. He doesn't go after the real font of evil in his village however, the evil and soon to become vampiric, Count Karnstein. When the count uses dark magic to resurrect a dead ancestor, she gives him the bite so now he's on the rampage for nubile girls to drain!

He fixes on the more wayward of the twins, turning her into a vampire. Soon she is sucking the local menfolk dry and only her stiff and religious uncle can stop her. Great high Gothic horror hokum from the classic British studio, with a hint of sapphic eroticism and some rather disturbing witch burnings.

It's these additions that make the film interesting. Although in no way as strong as the X-rated erotic-shlock of a Jess Franco film, they still demonstrate the studios desire to stay relevant in a changed market. Soon, the grisly and realistic new school of American independent horror and the rise of 42nd Street Porno-Chic would sound the death knell, at least for a while, for melodrama and Gothic splendor, but for a while, Hammer pushed on, producing bodice ripping, traditional monster movies like this fine flick.

Vampyros Lesbo

Vampyros Lesbos is a film better known for it camp loungey soundtrack, which became a cult club hit when it got re-released back in the 90s. This is one of Spanish sexploitation auteur Jess Franco's better movies, a heady mix of soft-core sapphic dance routines, bedroom trysts and a dash of vampiric lore thrown in mainly to carry the film into the euro-horror market of the 70s.

This is a fun film for Franco-philes but may leave the less tolerant view confused and bewildered.
A lot of the action takes place in a nightclub and some hotel rooms revealing the kind of penny-pinching budgets the valiant director had to work with. Fans of low budget sleaze and cornball horror are going to love this and the music is unforgettable and brilliant.

Brucey Bonus: Check out this psych-lounge sample from the soundtrack...

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