The Shiver of the Vampires (1971) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • A young honeymooning couple stop for the night at an ancient castle. Unbeknownst to them, the castle is home to a horde of vampires, who have their own plans for the couple.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Isle and Antoine are newlyweds on their way to visit Isle's last remaining relatives -- two cousins. Upon their arrival to the town, they learn that the two cousins died just yesterday. Isle and Antoine go on to the chateau anyway, where they are greeted by two female renfields who show them to a room.

    The castle is a strange place -- filled with skulls, candles, and weird figurines. Isle decides that she must go to the cemetery to pay her respects to her dead cousins. While there, she meets Isabelle who says that she was about to be wed to both of the cousins. Isle is so upset by the deaths that she chooses to sleep alone on her wedding night. As she gets into her nightgown, the grandfather clock suddenly opens up, and a woman comes out. She introduces herself as Isolde and takes Isle back to the cemetery where Isolde bites Isle in the neck.

    Antoine, feeling lonely and horny, goes to his wife's chamber, only to find her bed empty. He searches the castle grounds for her and comes upon a chapel where what appears to be a human sacrifice is taking place. Two of the participants (who turn out to be Isle's cousins) explain that the woman must be killed or she will become like them -- the undead. Antoine goes back to Isle's room and this time finds her in bed. He's uncertain whether or not it's all been a dream.

    The next morning Isle and Antoine are served breakfast by the renfields who tell them that the story about the cousins' death is not true and that they are, in fact, working right now in the library. Antoine goes to the library where, instead of finding the cousins, he is knocked out when all the books start jumping off the shelves. When he comes to, Antoine stumbles into the dining room where he is attended to by Isle and finally meets the two cousins. Antoine asks them about their work. They explain that they have been researching their family's origins, including the roots of certain ancient and medieval religions. That night, Isle again tells Antoine that she wants to sleep alone. Antoine gets angry and says that he's not going hang around this crazy house much longer. Isle sleeps alone, until Isolde joins her and bites her neck a second time.

    Meanwhile, Isabelle is recounting to a friend the nature of her relationship with the two cousins. Apparently, they were once vampire slayers who were bitten by vampires and died of blood loss. That evening, Isolde summons Isabelle to the chateau where she learns that the two cousins are still alive but under Isolde's control. Isolde also tells Isabelle that she is no longer welcomed at the chateau, then grabs her in a big bear hug, piercing Isabelle's breasts with two pointed cones which Isolde is wearing on her nipples. Angry with Isolde for killing Isabelle, the two cousins rape Isolde.

    Antoine is sleeping alone again. The renfields come to awaken him by crawling into bed with him in order to awaken him "naturally" after his long period of abstinence. When Antoine awakens, the renfields run away laughing. Antoine follows them to the chapel where he sees a ceremony about to take place that involves the cousins, Isolde, Isle, and the renfields. When Antoine breaks open the door, however, everyone disappears. Not certain whether this was also a dream, Antoine runs to Isle's bed and tells her that they must escape. Isle says no -- that her two cousins are the only family she has left, so they stay the night, Isle in her bed and Antoine on the couch.

    The next morning, Antoine throws open the curtains, and Isle cries out that the light hurts her eyes. When Antoine shoots a bird, Isle laps at the blood. Isle goes to Isolde's coffin. Isolde speaks to her from within the coffin, telling her that the sunlight will kill her if the coffin lid is lifted and then Isle will be alone. The other alternative is for Isle to not open the coffin, in which case she will become like Isolde and live forever. Isle chooses not to open the coffin.

    Tonight is to be Isle's initiation -- when she will be given the final 'kiss' and made vampire. Antoine attempts to break up the ceremony and carries Isle away. The two cousins follow them to a beach. It will soon be light. Isolde tries to slip into her coffin but finds it on fire. The renfields place a crucifix on the tomb door, sealing Isolde inside. Isolde bites her own wrist and, for some reason, dies. Back on the beach, Antoine is begging Isle to go with him, but she joins her two cousins instead and, together, they await the sunrise. [Original Synopsis by bj_kuehl]

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