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Lust For A Vampire (1971)

Love for a Vampire, To Love a Vampire

A vampire’s lust knows no boundaries…

Directed by:

Jimmy Sangster

Rating: 3/10

Running Time: 91 minutes

UK Certificate: 18

On DVD

Country: United Kingdom

Matching its sex-obsession only with its outright silliness, ‘Lust for a Vampire’ represents all that became a bit crappy about Hammer horror movies in the late 60s and early 70s.

In this, the second instalment of Hammer’s ‘Carmilla’ trilogy (adapted from the book by Sheridan Le Fanu), Yutte Stensgaard plays the horrifically-dubbed lesbo-vamp whose fangs are the cause of much shrieking amongst the nubile young boarders at a European school for hotties.

When cynical horror novelist Richard Lestrange (Michael Johnson) turns up and lands a job as the English teacher (which, hilariously, involves tricking the REAL English teacher into going to Vienna for a month), he soon gets the hubba-hubbas for our garlic-hating villainess. Ah, but can he convert her to straightness with his manly and slightly sleazy ways? And will he discover her blood-sucking secret? And just who is the bloke skulking around in the bushes with the v-shaped hairline?

A bored-looking Mike Raven plays the head of the local castle-dwelling vampire family (they never just stay in a normal house, do they?) who mutters a bunch of nonsense at the start about joining the dead with the undead, and Suzanna Leigh floats around in the background as fantastically-named PE teacher Janet Playfair.

Jimmy Sangster, better known for his writing than his directorial capabilities (he scripted ‘Dracula’, ‘The Curse of Frankenstein’ and ‘The Mummy’, among loads of others) helms this daftness, much of which makes little sense. Characters declare undying (or should that be ‘undead’?) love for each other seemingly at random, ‘rules’ of how to dispose of vampires are stated only to be ignored at the drop of a hat, and the girls at the school seem to wear clothes only so that they can be conveniently whipped off whenever the camera passes nearby.

It probably seemed erotic at the time, but these days ‘absurd’ would be a better word to describe it.

It's Got: The sporadic use of colour filters, making parts of it look like they were filmed through old ‘Quality Street’ wrappers.

It Needs: A stake through the heart and plenty of garlic.

DVD Extras Just a trailer. ‘Lust for a Vampire’ is one of the movies included on the 5-disc ‘Hammer Horror Selection’ box-set. DVD Extras Rating: 1/10

Alternatives:

The Vampire Lovers, Twins of Evil

Summary

A nonsensical piece of ogle-fodder from a studio with its’ better days firmly behind it.

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