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The Vampire Lovers (1970)

R | | Horror | 22 October 1970 (USA)
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Seductive vampire Carmilla Karnstein and her family target the beautiful and the rich in a remote area of late eighteenth-century Gemany.

Director:

Roy Ward Baker

Writers:

Sheridan Le Fanu (story "Carmilla") (as J. Sheridan Le Fanu), Harry Fine (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ingrid Pitt ... Marcilla / Carmilla / Mircalla Karnstein
Pippa Steel Pippa Steel ... Laura (as Pippa Steele)
Madeline Smith ... Emma Morton
Peter Cushing ... General von Spielsdorf
George Cole ... Roger Morton
Dawn Addams ... The Countess
Kate O'Mara ... The Governess (Mme. Perrodot)
Douglas Wilmer ... Baron Joachim von Hartog
Jon Finch ... Carl Ebhardt
Ferdy Mayne ... Doctor
Kirsten Lindholm Kirsten Lindholm ... First Vampire (as Kirsten Betts)
John Forbes-Robertson ... Man in Black
Shelagh Wilcocks Shelagh Wilcocks ... Housekeeper
Harvey Hall Harvey Hall ... Renton
Janet Key Janet Key ... Gretchin
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Storyline

The Countess is called away to tend a sick friend and imposes on the General to accept her daughter Marcilla as a houseguest. Some of the villagers begin dying, however, and the General's daughter Laura soon gets weak and pale, but Marcilla is there to comfort her. The villagers begin whispering about vampires as Marcilla finds another family on which to impose herself. The pattern repeats as Emma gets ill, but the General cannot rest, and seeks the advice of Baron Hartog, who once dealt a decisive blow against a family of vampires. Well, almost. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Bloodstained Tale of Terror and Torture! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

22 October 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vampyren - en erotisk mardröm See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Cushing was cast at a late stage. See more »

Goofs

The fence around what looks like a tennis court in front of the mansion is chain link fencing. See more »

Quotes

The Governess: You mustn't let your imagination get the best of you.
Emma Morton: I'm sorry.
The Governess: You sleep well now.
Emma Morton: I'll try.
The Governess: Good.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC to reduce the opening decapitation and shots of Carmilla kissing Emma's breasts, and the same print was featured on video releases. The 2002 ILC DVD saw the cuts fully waived though the print used was an edited US one which missed a brief full frontal shot of Carmilla in a bathtub scene. The 2006 Optimum DVD featured the fully uncut and complete print. See more »

Connections

Version of Crypt of the Vampire (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Mazurka
(uncredited)
Music by Léo Delibes
Arranged by Harry Robertson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Similar to all the other Hammer horrors, except that it has some surprising elements of eroticism.
1 October 2004 | by barnabyrudgeSee all my reviews

Hammer studios, having more-or-less exhausted the Dracula franchise by 1970, decided to freshen up their tales of vampirism by bringing in a lesbian angle. The result was The Vampire Lovers, a decent horror flick taken from Sheridan Le Fanu's story "Carmilla". The film breaks no new ground in terms of horror, but in terms of eroticism it probably raised a few eyebrows back in 1970, with its frequent nudity and explicit lesbianism. There's more to it than just the erotic stuff though - Ingrid Pitt and Peter Cushing are in commanding form; Tudor Gates's screenplay is pretty good; and there are some gruesome moments - including several decapitations - to satisfy gore-hounds.

Elusive vampiress Carmilla (also known as Mircalla and Marcilla - and played by the luscious Ingrid Pitt) escapes death at the hands of an Austrian vampire hunter. Carmilla fakes an accident to win the sympathy of the Morton family - nearby aristocrats - and soon she has been taken into their noble household. One thing to which Carmilla is quite partial is the blood of female victims, and pretty soon she has befriended Emma Morton (Madeline Smith), whom she hopes to entice into a lesbian love affair before vampirising her. However, Emma's father Roger (George Cole) and his friend Von Spielsdorf (Peter Cushing) realize that something isn't quite right and eventually uncover Carmilla's sinister secret.

The film is handsomely photographed and nicely directed by Hammer veteran Roy Ward Baker. There's not much here to distinguish this one from all the other Hammer horrors, other than the stronger-than-usual sexuality. However, fans of the Hammer style films will not mind that, as the "sameness" of the studio's films quite often adds to their charm. I can't really bring myself to recommend this film whole-heartedly. Let's just say that if you like Hammer's period horror films - or if you're a fan of Pitt or Cushing - you'll find plenty to enjoy here.


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