A young husband's sexual fantasies frighten his new wife and cause her to seek advice from Carmilla, a descendent of Mircalla de Karnstein. Carmilla seduces the young bride and forces her ...
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A lesbian vampire couple waylay and abduct various passer-byes, both male and female, to hold them captive at their rural manor in the English countryside in order to kill and feed on them to satisfy their insatiable thirst for blood.
José Ramón Larraz
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A young husband's sexual fantasies frighten his new wife and cause her to seek advice from Carmilla, a descendent of Mircalla de Karnstein. Carmilla seduces the young bride and forces her to commit gory acts of mutilation. Written by
The Anchor Bay release of the film is in English, also dubbed in English to clean up the Spanish accents of the actors attempting English throughout. It is not likely that a Spanish language version of this film exists. See more »
Susan draws a portrait of Mircalla Karstein, on which Susan's husband doodles in the upper right-hand corner. Later, when Susan looks at the drawing, her husband's doodling is missing. See more »
Thematically rich, comparable to 'Valerie and Her Week of Wonders'
In the form of a story about a newly wed woman who we witness losing her virginity the exploitation-y titled 'The Blood Spattered Bride' thematically covers a lot of the same and similar grounds to 'Valerie and Her Week of Wonders' albeit very much focusing on all the psychosexual aspects. Where "Valerie", summed up, is a film about a girl's sexual awakening after her menarche (=first menstrual bleeding) and all the other realizations that can result from that awakening, for example about religion and the government, "Bride" is about a young woman's sexual awakening (her age is never specified, the actress was about 18 years old at that point) which makes the woman fall into a psychotic state that makes her feel fear and disgust of men so this character's psychology isn't dissimilar to Catherine Deneuve's in 'Repulsion', it also roughly covers the events of one week although just like in "Valerie" it seems like development in a compressed form, showing a psychological evolution that usually would have to take considerably longer.
Despite the supernatural elements in the story other than in "Valerie" one is prone to take the ongoings in the film literally because of its mundane visual style and the relatively coherent plot that wouldn't obviously suggest a symbolic reading although if one takes things on face value here it would be a rather ridiculous and unintelligently written film, but if taken metaphorically, always with the theme in mind, it's just the opposite. There certainly are quite a few surreal touches, though, both movies also include a good share of vampirism as well as lesbianism although neither of them really is a vampire, a horror nor an erotic movie, at least they aren't predominantly any one of those things.
Another prevalent theme (especially as "Bride" reaches its conclusion) is that of the inspirational power of history as well as having a certain responsibility to act upon sacrifices other people made in the past, in this specific case especially in regards to feminism. Carmilla, the vampire with lesbian tendencies who becomes increasingly more real, is like a figure conjured up by the bride's fears and desires and that figure is a resurrection of a person that really existed within the fiction of the film, most likely materialized in idealized form to fit the bride's purposes.
Although I think the film is feminist in its intent it interestingly has no qualms to come off as misogynist at times (especially in the first half) when showing the often violent male oppression and sexual dominance since, unlike "Valerie" or 'Repulsion', it doesn't choose a point of view, it's (almost) as much the husband's film as it is hers. I think the sympathies are clearly with the bride (which makes the ending all the more refreshing) but thematically the husband's male psychology is almost as fleshed out as hers and his psychological torture can at times also be felt.
While I obviously think that thematically it's a great and intelligent movie it's certainly a minus that if taken literally the movie doesn't hold up well. Visually it's largely unremarkable although it does have its moment, especially one gory fantasy sequence in the middle section and the much talked about surreal beach sequence offer some notable visuals. The characterizations are coherent and believable but I wouldn't go as far as to call any of them well-developed. In one scene the movie's themes are actually blatantly spelled out with the characters reading out of psychology books that quote Plato and Jung. This being my first contact with Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla novel possibly helped my appreciation of the film, had I read the book or seen other films that were based on it things might look differently, but I haven't.
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