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Lust for a Vampire (1971)

R  |   |  Horror  |  2 September 1971 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 1,346 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 36 critic

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 »

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(screenplay), (based on characters created by) (as J. Sheridan Le Fanu)
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Cast

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 ...
Coachman
Harvey Hall ...
Inspector Heinrich
Michael Brennan ...
Landlord
Pippa Steel ...
Susan Pelley
Judy Matheson ...
Amanda
Caryl Little ...
Isabel
David Healy ...
Raymond Pelley
Jonathan Cecil ...
Biggs
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Gory! Ghastly! Ghoulish! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

2 September 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Love for a Vampire  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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

Connections

Referenced in The Flesh and the Fury: X-posing Twins of Evil (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

"Flawed but offers the modern viewer some fun."
14 December 2004 | by (Poole, Dorset) – See all my reviews

In 1830 a renowned occult novelist called Richard Le' Strange (Johnson)is taken on to teach English at an exclusive finishing school for young girls in Styria. He falls in love with one of his pupils, the beautiful Mircalla (Stensgaard), but gradually discovers that she may well be the reincarnation of the evil vampire Carmilla Karnstein. Meanwhile in the village that neighbors the school, the locals are living in the grip of fear because it is forty years to the day since the vampiric Karnstein family reincarnated themselves in search of blood and village girls have been going missing.

Hammer's adaptation of Sheridan Le' Fanu's THE VAMPIRE LOVERS (1970) had been successful enough to warrant a sequel, therefore Tudor Gates who had scripted the former was duly approached to script the next one. The result was a rather unsavoury brew of vampirism and lesbianism and veteran Hammer producer-writer Jimmy Sangster who was responsible for such Hammer classics as THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, Dracula and THE NANNY was brought in to direct. It was his second outing behind the camera having made his directorial debut in 1970 with Hammer's spoof THE HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN. This went out on a double bill with Roy Ward Baker's SCARS OF Dracula and only did average business. Whereas Sangster had enjoyed the experience of directing the Frankenstein spoof, he apparently hated LUST FOR A VAMPIRE along with his star Ralph Bates. He and Bates were apparently horrified at the preview screening when they discovered a cheesy pop song had been inserted called STRANGE LOVE sung by an unknown Tracy over the love scene between Johnson and Stensgaard.

Viewed today, LUST FOR A VAMPIRE certainly has it's flaws, for a start there is the inept casting of BBC Radio One disc-jockey Mike Raven as Count Karnstein. His voice was dubbed to make him sound like Christopher Lee and in the reincarnation sequence, a close up of Lee's bloodshot eyes from Dracula HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE was used instead of making Raven wear the red tinted contacts and doing a close up on him. Raven also appeared in Amicus's Jekyll and Hyde film I MONSTER (1971). The film also lacks a convincing hero, Johnson's Richard Le' Strange is little more than a boozy womaniser who is content to chase after a schoolgirl and the basic premise is somewhat crude. The film also shares sets with SCARS OF Dracula, Hammer fanatics will no doubt recognise the somewhat impoverished looking castle set from that picture. Yet there is still some fun to be had here, Bates gives a strong performance as the schoolmaster who lusts after Carmilla and wishes to sell his soul to the devil and Sangster stages the shock scenes with some style, especially the scene in the ruined castle where Carmilla is brought back to life.

LUST FOR A VAMPIRE wasn't all that successful, but Hammer managed to squeeze in a third outing for the Karnstein's, TWINS OF EVIL, which is in it's own right a better film by far.


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