Sapphic vampirism - the love that dare not spell its name
I am somewhat bemused by the relatively luke warm reaction that this sublime series has received. Yes it is all nonsense but that is the idea. The most common, and most ill informed, criticism is that it is merely parodying old Hammer films. This is true of the first story "Vampire Lovers of Lesbian Lust". As the title unsubtley suggests it is a pastiche on those latter day, early seventies Hammer films, such as The Vampire Lovers and Lust for a Vampire, which mixed vampirism with lesbianism, and briefly stayed Hammer's commercial decline. Other installments have found other targets. And Now the Fearing, the best episode, brilliant takes the mickey out of those sixties/seventies Portmanteau films made by British horror studio Amicus (a series that included Doctor Terror's House of Horror). Scream Satan Scream is a spoof of witchhunting, non Hammer films such as The Witchfinder General and The Mark of the Devil. Hand of Tongs takes its starting point from the Fu Manchu stories though it does share many plot similarities with the 1977 Doctor Who story The Talons of Weng-Chiang. Rather than disguising its roots the series does give nods to its influences. The linking story in And Now the Fearing is set in an office complex known as Amicus House. Scream Satan Scream features a dwarf named Tigon, that being the name of the production company responsible for The Witchfinder General. The opening shot of Hand of Tongs shows a sign reading Talon Street E.14. The Talons of Weng-Chiang featured in Doctor Who's classic fourteenth season. Doctor Terrible was without doubt a televisual highlight from 2001. If you disagree with me all I can say is - "You, Sir, are a big crab!
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