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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 'Lesbian Vampire' sub-genre, which was quite popular in European Horror/Exploitation cinema of the 70s, has brought forth a variety of films that are worth watching including remarkably artistic gems like Harry Kümel's "Les Levres Rouges" ("Daughters of Darkness", 1971) and entertainingly trashy flicks such as those by Jess Franco and Jean Rollin. Vincente Aranda's "La Novia Ensagrentada" aka. "The Blood Spattered Bride" of 1972 is one of the artistic ones, and it certainly also ranks among the highly recommendable contributions to the 'Lesbian Vampire' sub-genre.
As the British Hammer Studios' great "The Vampire Lovers", which is the first part of Hammer's 'Karnstein' trilogy and one of the films that started the Lesbian Vampire trend, "The Blood Spattered Bride" is based on Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's brilliant Gothic novel "Carmilla". This film transfers the plot to the present day (1972); when a newlywed couple move into the huge mansion belonging to the husband (Simón Andreu), the young wife (Maribel Martín), who is somewhat frightened by her husband's sexual fantasies, soon becomes disturbed. When looking through family portraits in the cellars, the wife stumbles across a mysterious portrait of a woman, the face of whom was cut out of the painting. The painting says "Mircalla Karnstein"...
While "La Novia Ensangrentada" isn't the best adaptation of Sheridan LeFanu's novel ("The Vampire Lovers" is, no doubt), it is yet another very good film based on this classic of Gothic literature. Plot-wise, the film has some small holes; the narration is sometimes slow and then seems rushed again. These minor faults are easily made up for by the hauntingly beautiful imagery and wonderfully creepy atmosphere. The family mansion, which is set in a forest estate, makes a magnificent horror setting and the beauty and variety and of the colors of darkness in this film is amazing. "The Blood Spattered Bride" has a nice cast, with actors that should be known to Eurohorror fans. The husband is played by cult-actor Simón Andreu, who was the leading man in many Spanish and Italian Horror productions (including Luciano Ercoli's Gialli). The very beautiful but very young Maribel Martin (she was 17 at the time the film was shot) is great in the role of the wife and ravishing Alexandra Bastedo is wonderful in her mysterious and seductive role. Great praise also has to go to Maria-Rosa Rodriguez, another child actress who proves that children actually can be good actors. Rodriguez, who I estimate was about 13 when this film was made delivers a great performance and some genuine eeriness. Overall, "La Novia Ensangrentada" is a very good addition to the Lesbian Vampire sub-genre that should be seen by any Eurohorror fan who has seen the genre-masterpieces like "Les Lèvres Rouges" and "The Vampire Lovers". My rating of "La Novia Ensangrentada": 7.5/10
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