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Daughters of Darkness (1971)
"Les lèvres rouges" (original title)

R  |   |  Horror  |  22 October 1971 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 2,558 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 95 critic

A newlywed couple are passing through a vacation resort. Their paths cross with a mysterious, strikingly beautiful countess and her aide.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Danielle Ouimet ...
Andrea Rau ...
Paul Esser ...
Georges Jamin ...
Joris Collet ...
Fons Rademakers ...
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Storyline

A chic, good-looking and suitably 70's couple arrive at an extravagant and deserted seaside hotel after eloping. Stefan is wealthy and happily English, with a hidden streak of sadism, while Valarie is intelligent but of inferior (Swedish) blood. To keep her with him at the eerie hotel he lies consistantly about his relationship with his mother and his plans to tell her of their marriage. Meanwhile he has mysterious phone conversations with an older, dominant and pampered sissy. Two fresh guests arrive; the Hungarian countess, Elizabeth Bathory and her voluptuous protege, Ilona. Virgin corpses begin showing up about the city drained of their blood. A wary detective lurks around the hotel taunting his only suspect, the Countess. Written by kwedgwood@hotmail.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

blood | murder | newlywed | beach | dinner | See All (53) »

Taglines:

An erotic nightmare of vampire lust [DVD] See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

22 October 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Daughters of Darkness  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(uncut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot entirely in English, even though the majority of the cast was French, German and Flemish. As opposed to most European "genre" films from the 70s, here none of the actors were post-dubbed by others. They can all be heard with their own voices (resulting in some accents), notably Delphine Seyrig's deep, smoky voice or Andrea Rau's and Paul Messer's German accents. See more »

Quotes

Countess Bathory: Love is stronger than death... even than life.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Horror Europa with Mark Gatiss (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Daughters of Darkness
Sung by Lainie Cooke
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User Reviews

 
A Landmark in Vampire Erotica
7 August 2007 | by (Hellfudge, Pennsylvania) – See all my reviews

While I appreciate vampires as a staple of the horror genre, I have never been a big fan of vampire films. And while I will be the first to laud the merits of Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee's contributions to the cape, they look rather timid next to Countess Elizabeth Bathory (the luminous and sensual Delphine Seyrig) in "Daughters of Darkness." While Harry Kumel's film is one of the most aesthetically beautiful vampire pictures ever lensed, dripping with subtle sexual tension, it also presses forth with a feminist/lesbian subtext that's as alluring as it is clever. The plot is relatively straightforward, and the film takes its time in establishing mood and atmosphere--Valerie (Danielle Ouiment) and Stefan (John Karlen) are newlyweds who are on the rocks only 3 hours into the marriage, and things are complicated further when Countess Bathory and her assistant, Ilona (Andrea Rau) check into the same deserted seaside hotel. While the atmosphere could be compared to the Universal and Hammer horrors, Kumel's artistry--with well-framed images, emphasis on wardrobe, and a very deliberate color scheme--exists in its own unique league. The topic of lesbianism--and even heterosexuality--is presented in a minimalist, unexploitative manner, yet maintains a pervasive eroticism throughout. Even the vampiric seduction is presented with a minimum of graphic bloodshed, which is all the more effective. "Daughters of Darkness" is the type of moody, character-driven piece that plays like a sensual sister to George Romero's similarly unique "Martin." As my comment title implies, this is an excellent film, required viewing for fans of horror and great art alike.


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