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Lust for a Vampire (1971)

R  |   |  Horror  |  2 September 1971 (USA)
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In 1830, forty years to the day since the last manifestation of their dreaded vampirism, the Karnstein heirs use the blood of an innocent to bring forth the evil that is the beautiful ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (based on characters created by) (as J. Sheridan Le Fanu)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Countess Herritzen
Ralph Bates ...
Giles Barton
Suzanna Leigh ...
Janet Playfair
Yutte Stensgaard ...
Michael Johnson ...
Richard Lestrange
Miss Simpson
Mike Raven ...
Christopher Cunningham ...
Harvey Hall ...
Inspector Heinrich
Michael Brennan ...
Pippa Steel ...
Susan Pelley
Judy Matheson ...
Caryl Little ...
David Healy ...
Raymond Pelley
Jonathan Cecil ...


In 1830, forty years to the day since the last manifestation of their dreaded vampirism, the Karnstein heirs use the blood of an innocent to bring forth the evil that is the beautiful Mircalla - or as she was in 1710, Carmilla. The nearby Finishing School offers rich pickings not only in in the blood of nubile young ladies but also with the headmaster who is desperate to become Mircalla's disciple, and the equally besotted and even more foolish author Richard Lestrange. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A vampire's lust knows no boundaries... See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 September 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Love for a Vampire  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ralph Bates was cast at very short notice: Peter Cushing was originally intended to play the lead but asked to bow out shortly before filming so that he could continue to look after his ailing wife. Bates would later claim it was his least favourite film performance. See more »


Near the beginning of the film, crewmembers are reflected in the stagecoach door, sitting around on the grass. See more »


Follows The Vampire Lovers (1970) See more »


Strange Love
Music by Harry Robertson
Lyrics by Frank Godwin
Performed by Tracy
See more »

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User Reviews

Strange love
16 September 2007 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

"Welcome to the finishing school where they really do finish you" throatily growled the trailer to Lust For a Vampire, the troubled second film in Hammer's Karnstein trilogy, following on from The Vampire Lovers and preceding Twins of Evil. Peter Cushing dropped out when his wife fell ill while original director Terence Fisher broke his leg, resulting in Ralph Bates, channelling Dwight Frye, and Jimmy Sangster taking over.

It's the weakest of the three films, but it has a few things going for it, chief among them Yutte Stensgaard's bisexual vampire and Pippa Steel as one of her lesbian conquests/victims (the film could just as easily have been called Lesbian Vampire in a Girl's Dormitory and might have fared better at the box-office if it had). Michael Johnson, one of those identikit early 70s British actors you'd swear you've seen a dozen times before until you look at his filmography and realise you've never seen him in anything else, is the randy dandy author of lurid Gothic tales who schemes his way into a English teaching job at a finishing school so he can have his wicked way with one of the students, Yutte Stensgaard's Mircalla, not realising that she's an even more accomplished predator who's working her way through the schoolgirls there herself. Not that he's overly concerned when he finds out, but that's no surprise considering Yutte's main competition is Suzanna Leigh, who looks about as much fun as mucking out a stable on a hot day and spends most of the film with a scornful disappointed scowl on her face that combines with unflattering photography to make her appear much like you'd imagine Joanna Lumley's brother might after a night on the tiles.

The story isn't particularly compelling and the screenplay isn't one of Hammer's best: it's the kind of film where a line of dialogue like "What you need is a –" is immediately accompanied by the fortuitous arrival of a Bishop with a line in killing the undead before the line can be finished. But it does feature much 70s nudity and even an oral sex scene to the accompaniment of perhaps the most memorable song in Hammer's oeuvre, the aptly-named Strange Love, while disc jockey Mike Raven is quite hilariously dubbed by Valentine Dyall – his delivery of the line "Heart attack!" is guaranteed to bring the house down

11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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