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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:

Carmilla is really queen of lesbian vampires! 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

The director claimed that, after reading the novella Carmilla twice, he didn't get a sense of any lesbian content. Ingrid Pitt also claims she didn't play the role as though the vampire was a lesbian but asexual. See more »

Goofs

The story is set in the late 1700s, but at the General's ball the orchestra plays a couple of pieces by Johann Strauss Sr. (1804 - 1849) and Léo Delibes (1836-1891). See more »

Quotes

Marcilla: You must die! Everybody must die!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was cut for its R rating and the old Embassy videos reflect this edit. MGM restored most of the footage for its 1999 VHS release, except for part of the opening decapitation and some nudity in the bathing scene. The nudity was found and added in to the 2003 DVD release, which now presents the film complete save those missing frames in the opening beheading. The UK DVD contains MGM's first restoration that was on VHS in the USA. The R1 MGM DVD contains the more complete edition. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fleshpot on 42nd Street (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Voices of Spring
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Arranged by Harry Robertson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Warm Embrace for The Vampire Lovers
14 July 2010 | by mikhail080See all my reviews

I've finally caught up with this erotic supernatural thriller, which is bundled with "Countess Dracula" on an Ingrid Pitt Double Feature DVD. Having heard about this film since I was a boy reading "Castle of Frankenstein" magazine, I was well aware that more adult themes are included in this film than in the average Hammer vampire movie. And it still does have the power to shock today's audiences. I still wonder whether the "lovers" of the title are vampires or the mortals who love them? The question remains unanswered in my mind.

It's not news that "The Vampire Lovers" was based on Sheridan Le Fanu's novella, Carmella, and expounded on his original undercurrents of lesbianism and the eroticism often connected to vampire folklore. So here we have ancient vampire Ingrid Pitt traversing the countryside with her mother/aunt Dawn Addams, who looks near her contemporary in age. Apparently plenty of English Aristocracy easily throw open their doors for the likes of lovely, if somewhat distant, mystery ladies who make themselves right at home. Then beautiful vampire Pitt ingratiates herself with any virginal young lady in the household in order to slowly drain the blood from her body by biting her on the breast.

This is all pretty standard Hammer fare, but now served with a steaming hot portion of female skin and eroticism. Lovely and iconic cult figure Ingrid Pitt dominates the film, and she's fascinating to watch. All the women concerned are lovely to look at, and the proceedings move along at a nice pace, aided by colorful and atmospheric sets and locales.


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