The Blood Spattered Bride (1972) Poster

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Maltin Blows It Again
ferbs5416 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The wet-blanket editors at "Maltin's Movie Guide" have done it again. "Poorly done," they sniff, giving a measly 1 1/2 stars to Spanish director Vicente Aranda's 1972 offering, "The Blood Spattered Bride." Countering this claim is the very laudatory review in "DVD Delirium," which describes the picture with words such as "bizarre," "visceral," "sexy" and "dreamlike." I concur. This film, I feel, presented in its uncensored form on this great-looking DVD from Blue Underground, should prove a godsend of sorts for all lovers of adult Eurohorror. In it, a new bride moves into the childhood home of her husband, and is soon plagued by stroboscopic and hideously, uh, heart-gripping dreams featuring a beautiful blond woman. When her husband finds this dream gal buried naked at the beach, with only her snorkel protruding from the surface (one very strange scene, lemme tell you!), and brings her back home, that's when the fun begins, as the woman, Carmilla (yes, this IS another variation of Sheridan Le Fanu's oft-filmed 1871 novella), turns out to be nothing less than a bloodsucking...but perhaps I've already said too much. Featuring uniformly fine acting by all (sexy Maribel Martin as the young bride, giallo favorite Simon Andreu as the perplexed husband, the ridiculously gorgeous Alexandra Bastedo as Carmilla, and Rosa Rodriguez as a pretty 12-year-old who, in perhaps the film's strangest scene, drinks from a humongous cup of coffee), a subtle yet effective score by Antonio Perez Olea, beautiful outdoor photography of woodlands, seaside and moldering crypts, and some genuinely shocking bursts of gory carnage, this movie is my idea of an almost perfect horror package. Peppered with psychosexual allusions and concluding on a note both bleak and grisly, the film was a very pleasant surprise for me, and one that I do highly recommend. If you love the great "Daughters of Darkness," you should certainly suck this one right up. Don't trust Maltin here; trust me!
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Almost perfect example of Eurotrash Vampire thrillers...
passmore3 August 2000
By turns mysoginistic and feminist, this one has some spooky metaphorical comments on marriage, virginity and lesbianism. It also has the gorgeous cinematography, splendidly dreary autumnal locations and beautiful women going absolutely demented that we've come to expect from European horror movies of the time. Nudity is kept to the minimum, unusually, but the classically beautiful Alexandra Bastedo of cult TV series The Champions is the vampire this time, and the scene where she's discovered buried in the sand is totally surreal and inspired, almost Bunuelian. The movie flags a little in the middle, as most of them do, but the ending is suitably hysterical and subversive. It also seems to be almost a prequel for Vampyres, another stylish and sexy Spanish vampire flick.
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Sexy Gothic tale of lesbian vampires!
The_Void12 August 2007
It would seem that there are two types of lesbian vampire movie; there's trashy sort (e.g. Vampyros Lesbos) and the classy sort (e.g. Daughters of Darkness). Both have their own set of merits, but in my opinion, the classier ones are the best; and this is firmly one of the latter variety. It has to be said that The Blood Splattered Bride isn't exactly a thrill a minute roller-coaster ride; but even when the plot isn't doing much, the film oozes sexy undertones, which was enough to keep me entertained, and the luscious Gothic atmosphere is a treat to behold also. The plot focuses on a newly wed couple who go to live at the husband's expansive mansion. While there, the wife becomes afraid of her husband's insatiable desire for sex and this coupled with the fact that she begins to see a supposed 'ghost' dressed in a wedding gown in the woods - who may or may not be a descendant of one of the previous family members' wives. As she becomes more alienated from her husband, she drifts further into the arms of this ghostly stranger...

Unlike most lesbian vampire films, this one actually has a point beyond the obvious lesbian vampire theme. The theme is a battle between the sexes; with the husband and seductive lesbian vampire battling it out for control over his wife. This theme is laden with various images and symbols that help to portray it. Compared to other genre entries - both classy and trashy ones - this one doesn't have a great deal of blood or naked women, which is a shame - although director Vicente Aranda does give us a couple of excellent death scenes - both of which involve the sexy Maribel Martín wielding a knife. The Blood Splattered Bride seems to be a film of two halves - with most of the exciting stuff coming in the second half. This is not a problem, however, as the two sides of the film join together well and while this is not quite a classic; I'm sure that most people who bother to track it down won't be disappointed. The final fifteen minutes are excellently executed and bring good closure to a lovely slice of lesbian vampire cinema. Recommended viewing!
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An Erotic and Gore Vampire Film with an Ambiguous Story Developed In a Nightmarish Atmosphere
claudio_carvalho15 December 2018
After getting married with her husband (Simón Andreu), Susan (Maribel Martín) travels with him to his isolated manor. The sexual drive of the husband is intense, and Susan feels repulse for his sexual games and perversions.

Susan notes that there are only paintings of his male ancestors and none of their wives and she learns that the pictures are kept in the basement. When she sees the painting of Mircalla Karstein (Alexranda Bastedo) without her face, her husband tells that Mircalla killed her husband in the honeymoon. During the night, Susan has dreadful nightmares with Mircalla.

When Susan's husband finds a naked woman buried on the beach, he brings her home and finds that her name is Carmilla. Susan is seduced by the woman and they have a lesbian relationship. Meanwhile her husband realizes that his life is in danger and Carmilla is a vampire.

"La Novia Ensangrentada", a.k.a. "The Blood Spattered Bride", is an erotic and gore vampire film with an ambiguous story developed in a nightmarish atmosphere, but having a weak conclusion and lack of chemistry between Simón Andreu and Maribel Martín.

It is not totally clear that Mircalla Karstein is a vampire indeed and based on the news in the disappointing conclusion, the plot may be understood differently, with the disturbed and dysfunctional Susan meeting the deranged stranger and having sexual attraction and making lesbian love with her. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "A Noiva Ensanguentada" ("The Bloody Bride")
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Very good erotic horror.
HumanoidOfFlesh19 July 2001
"The Blood-spattered Bride" is a remarkable film filled with haunting imagery gorgeously photographed by veteran cinematographer Fernando Aribas.Wonderful Alexandra Bastedo stars as a lesbian vampire who woos frigid newlywed Maribel Martin from her husband Simon Andreu on their honeymoon.After the film is over,you'll feel like you're waking from a dream,and all the inconsistencies and leaps of logic will surely infuriate many.There is also a nice amount of nudity and gore,so fans of Euro-horror will not be disappointed.
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Bizarre, Violent, Erotic, and Brilliant: A EuroHorror Classic
bdeyes817 November 2001
Warning: Spoilers
***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** When I first watched The Blood Spattered Bride nearly a year ago, I was truly wowed. The film was powerful, violent, symbolic, and, in its own bizarre and often twisted fashion, extremely erotic.

It's based on the classic novel Carmila by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, and while I have not read that work, I get the impression that the themes of lesbianism and female sexuality have been tweaked a bit for this film. It has to do with a young virgin bride, Susan (Maribel Martin, who bears a striking resemblance to Catherine Zeta Jones!) living in the family home of her slightly older husband (Simon Andreu). Her husband is almost obbsessive about seeking sexual pleasure from his young bride, and she begins to grow repulsed by his overt sexual dominance. She is also growing fascinated by the family legend of Mircalla Karstein (Alexranda Bastedo), an infamous ancestral figure who killed her husband on their wedding night. Susan starts to have violent (and I mean REALLY violent!) nightmares about Mircala, and becomes convinced that her ghost is attempting to push Susan towards killing her husband.

The main "problem" with The Blood Spattered Bride is that the first half and the second half are quite different. The first half of the film is reminiscent of Hitchcock's Marnie and Polanski's Repulsion, the tale of a woman's sexual frigidity and its ensuing effect on her life and mental stability. The first half of the film is easily my favorite, for it manages to be probing AND erotic at the same time...not to mention extremely violent. Although The Blood Spattered Bride is not actually a "gore movie", some of Susan's sexual nightmares are among the most graphic sequences captured in cinema. They are also fascinating to watch, and there is something strangely sexy about the execution of these scenes...which is perhaps symbolic of Susan's sexual frustration and fear of insanity.

(MINOR SPOILERS in the next paragraph!)

The second half of the film involves the appearance of Carmila, a strange woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to the woman of Susan's nightmares. I don't want to give too much away, but anyone with a familiarity of the film knows that it was one of the early films in the "lesbian vampire" subgenre, so you can probably guess where it's headed...

The second half of the film is probably more erotic and almost as violent as the first half, and it pushes the female sexuality exploration in a whole new direction. However, this is where the vampire aspect comes into play in a big way, and the film at times feels more like a Hammer film than it does Repulsion (which is the closest parallel for the first half).

(The next paragraph contains MAJOR SPOILERS as I disucss the ending of the film...please skip over this paragraph if you have not yet seen the film!)

Like many other people, I could not help but feel that the ending was a bit of letdown. It's not a bad ending by any means-it's definitely a major shocker-but it was also quite abrupt, and the final shot did not exactly fit the mold for the preceding film. However, looking back at the film after seeing David Lynch's Mullholland Drive....I almost wonder if perhaps the second half of the film was actually one of Susan's nightmares?? Since it was based on a classic novel, this might not have been the intent, but clearly it could work: the turning point in the film is her husband's discovery of Carmila on the beach, easily the film's weirdest and most surreal scene. And for the rest of the film, when the vampiric themes come into play (vampirism was only referenced in her dreams prior to this), the film is NOT told from Susan's point of view. In the beginning everything is seen through her eyes, while the second half is about her husband discovering her latent lesbianism and relationship with Carmila. As such, it could easily be interpreted as a nightmare about killing her husband and then being killed...hence the abrupt, seemingly misogynistic ending.

The Blood Spattered Bride is not a perfect film, but in my opinion, it is a great one. The performances are all wonderful (this is some of the best casting I have ever seen in a European horror film), and it's one of the rare EuroHorror films in which the performances are crucial to the effectiveness of the film. I don't think that interested viewers will find the film scary at all, but that's not a reason to avoid the fans of EuroHorror know, there's more to a horror film than just being scared. And this film clearly exemplifies the use of a "horror" film to explore human psychology in a unique and thoroughly fascinating manner.

High praise goes to Anchor Bay Entertainment (as usual!!) for offering The Blood Spattered Bride on DVD in its uncut form, for the first time ever on home video. The DVD restores 20 minutes of footage previously cut from home video versions in the US (I have never seen the old video versions, but am told that the cut film is, understandably, quite awful). Furthermore, the DVD presents a goregous anamorphic widescreen print of the film that makes the experience all the more might want to think twice before purchasing a film as unusual as this one sight unseen, but I would highly recommend seeing the DVD incarnation of the film if at all possible.

My Grade: A-
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Man Hating Vampires
peterc-823 June 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I'm not sure why this has such a low imdb rating. It is a very well made/smart movie compared to many of the other European female vampire movies. Not as over-the-top sexy as say...Vampyres - this may be the problem that many have with this film??

Inspired by Le Fanu's story Carmila. Pretty much the same old story: a castle, a curse, Karsteins...but BSB is artfully told.

Mandatory viewing for fans of the genre.


A couple of things set Blood Spattered Bride apart from the garden variety T&A vampire flick.

One: The "vampire" experience in this film is tied to themes of virginity and rape - most other vampire flicks sort of hint at this but none that I can remember spell it out so clearly. Tons of Freudian stuff to unwrap in this film.

Second, the lesbian vampire motivation this film is fueled more by hatred for men (well...a couple of specific men at least...) than a hunger, a need for blood. The killing is revenge, the blood drinking is an aside. Very interesting. Especially unsettling is Mircala Karstein's rant to Susan about her husband violating her, spitting inside her. A genuinely creepy man-hating rant that would make Valerie Solanas proud.

Other than that the film does a good job of keeping the audience off balance by cleverly smudging the line between reality and Susan's fantasies/delusions. Kept me guessing until the end. Watch the movie yourself. I don't want to completely spoil the story. There is a lot of great Freudian stuff for all you English Majors out there.

BSB is a little long, but the plot is complex. After all is said and done the film actually makes sense (unlike many films in the genre). It would be great if someone remade this film - tightened the pacing a bit. BSB couldnt be made today today without probably softening the tone and cramming the film full of pointless cheesy CGI scenes.

A coven of man-hating, man-hunting, man slaughtering, psychotic lesbian vampires - plenty there for a movie - maybe shoot it in black and white? Make sure the chicks win this time around.
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An Erotic and Gore Vampire Film with an Ambiguous Story Developed In a Nightmarish Atmosphere
claudio_carvalho5 September 2011
After getting married with her husband (Simón Andreu), Susan (Maribel Martín) travels with him to his isolated manor. The sexual drive of the husband is intense, and Susan feels repulse for his sexual games and perversions.

Susan notes that there are only paintings of his male ancestors and none of their wives and she learns that the pictures are kept in the basement. When she sees the painting of Mircalla Karstein (Alexranda Bastedo), a.k.a. Carmilla, without her face, her husband tells that Carmilla killed her husband in the honeymoon. During the night, Susan has dreadful nightmares with Carmilla.

When Susan's husband finds a naked woman buried on the beach, he brings her home and finds that she is Carmilla. Susan is seduced by the woman and they have a lesbian relationship. Meanwhile her husband realizes that his life is in danger and Carmilla is a vampire. "La Novia Ensangrentada", a.k.a. "The Blood Spattered Bride", is an erotic and gore vampire film with an ambiguous story developed in a nightmarish atmosphere, but having a weak conclusion.

The story is never clear that Mircalla Karstein is a vampire indeed and based on the news in the disappointing conclusion, the plot may be understood differently, with the disturbed and dysfunctional Susan meeting the deranged stranger and having sexual attraction and making lesbian love with her. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): Not Available
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Blood Spattered Bride
Scarecrow-886 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
A vulnerable, virginal young bride, Susan(Maribel Martin)slowly unravels upon moving to her husband's(Simón Andreu)ancestral castle estate due in part to nightmares involving a vampiress names Mircalla(Alexandra Bastedo, without make-up)who motivates a growing hatred for men and heterosexual sex. A dagger turns up and seems to always return to Susan's hands and the film shows possible danger looming for the husband's life after we witness a horrifying dream sequence where Mircalla convinces her to stab him viciously. A local doc(Dean Selmier)seems to be the only one the Susan's husband can confide in regarding her declining mental state. Soon, a human Mircalla(..identifying herself as Carmilla)is found by the husband buried under sand(?!)and given a guest room for the night. Soon Susan and Carmilla are holding hands as they stroll at midnight to the ruins of a castle, emerged a bit in water, which holds the crypt of Marcalla..Carmilla begins to take the blood of Susan turning her into a vampire and violent slave securing a wrath which many men amongst the husband's inner circle find out unfortunately first-hand. Whether it be the doc or groundskeeper, Susan obeys Carmilla's command, burying the dagger into torsos or slashing and hacking wildly like a madwoman( even receives blasts to the face with his shot-gun). The quiet, delicate Susan has become an unstable, destructive cold-blooded vessel for Carmilla to exact her rage towards the opposite sex. Susan's husband will have to take matters into his own hands or else the blood-shed will continue without end. Young 12-year old Carol(Maria-Rosa Rodriguez)is also being used by Carmilla as a tool to capture Susan.

I know this opinion might not be popular, but I was rather disappointed with this particular tale based on Carmilla. I didn't find it particularly erotic, although there is some nudity(Martin's gown and bra are ripped away by Andreu in both a rape fantasy, with him wearing a stocking over his head molesting her, and the real sexual confrontation which occurs with a much closer view of the event). The height of this film should be the budding sexual relationship between Carmilla and Susan, but this seems rather abandoned with director Vincente Aranda instead focusing more on bloodshed. The dagger stabbings are rather bloody and intense with Susan plunging the blade in multiple times with red going all over the place. The setting is of course atmospheric(..what is it about these European locales that adds so much to horror films?)and the particular season seems to be Autumn with Winter on the horizon. I have no problems with the "slow burn" approach and consider myself a patient movie viewer, but I have to admit to looking at my watch a few times..the film often crawls. I felt that the husband waits a bit too long to move into action, and why he allows Susan to fall under Carmilla's spell instead of leaving the estate or seeking proper guidance(..he obviously is wealthy and could probably get his wife the best psychiatry money could afford)bothered me. He sits idly by and lets Susan slowly sink deeper into the abyss, Carmilla's hypnotic grip tightening. I do believe others will rate this film much higher than me based on how nice it looks visually, but I found the story a bit padded and this should've been more erotic than it turns out to be. Most of Carmilla and Susan's love-making is hinted at through the dialogue of the doc than elaborated on screen. Aranda instead opts to show Carmilla biting her on the neck pulling away before they embrace in lesbian passion.
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Classy Spanish Fempires
Witchfinder-General-6662 December 2009
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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Eerie and spooky film about woman vampire theme filled with grisly murders , creepy images and red blood
ma-cortes26 January 2015
This thrilling as well as sumptuous film contains horrifying scenes , chills , lush photography shot in Galicia , appropriate set design , brilliant costumes and lots of nudism and gore . A young hubby's (Simon Andreu) sexual fantasies frighten his new spouse (Maribel Martin) and cause her to seek advice from Carmilla (Carmilla is anti-heroine of J. Sheridan Le Fanu novella Carmilla), a descendant of Mircalla de Karnstein . Carmilla/Mircalla (Alexandra Bastedo) seduces the young bride and takes for her desires . She has developed an elaborate feeding ritual, that involves infiltrating the family of young girls and living alongside them, while she gradually drains their lifeblood over a period of weeks . She forces her to commit gory acts of mutilation and grisly killings . Mircalla Karnstein is a vampire that drains the blood of the victims to use as elixir of youth . She didn't know that her new friend is sucking her blood and the cause of her nightmare ; then there takes place the revenge of a young bride on her wedding night . Then happens a battle of wits between a husband versus seductive lesbian vampire fighting it out for control over his wife .

It's a creepy tale about lesbian vampire issue ; being plenty of thrills , chills , eerie events and lots of blood and gore ; including nudism in double version . Enjoyable version about the famous personage ¨Carmilla¨ with a good cast , brilliant cinematography , glamorous gowns , adequate production design , including evocative sights on palaces , beaches and rotten churches . Surrealist and fantastic images as as when the husband meets a naked woman buried on the beach, he brings her home and finds out that she is Carmilla , as well as the scary frames when Carmilla along with the bride kill their victims . This is based on Sheridan Le Fanu novel titled "Carmila" and on a story by Mathew Lewis , being written by the same director Vicente Aranda. Carmilla was born into the aristocratic Karnstein family in 17th-century Austria , she was originally called Countess Mircalla . Eerie as well as evocative musical score by Antonio Perez Olea . Colorful and luxurious cinematography by Fernando Arribas , being shot on location in Isla De La Toja, and Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Galicia, Spain ; adding a decent set production by Juan Alberto Soler.

This known character from Sheridan Le Fanu novel "Carmila" has been adapted several times , such as : ¨Twins of Evil" directed by John Hough , ¨Lust for a Vampire¨ (1971) played by Yutte Stensgaard , ¨ Daughters of Darkness¨ by Harry Kumel , Love for a Vampire""The Vampire Lovers aka "To Love a Vampire" played by Ingrid Pitt as Mircalla Karnstein and "Alucarda" and recently Lesbian Vampire Killers (2009) , among others .

The motion picture was professionally directed in his particular style by veteran filmmaker Vicente Aranda . He directed a series of award-winning movies firmly establishing him as one of the best Spanish filmmakers . His usual film editor is own wife , Teresa Font . Vicente is an expert on literary adaptations ,as he has adapted four novels by Juan Marsé Canciones Amor en Lolita's Club (2007), El Amante Bilingüe (1993), Si Te Dicen Que Caí (1989) and La Muchacha De Las Bragas De Oro (1980). Vicente often shoots strong erotic scenes , being ¨jealousy¨, a customary issue in his films . Vicente has been working from the 60s with ¨Fata Morgana¨ , Las Crueles¨ , ¨Novia Ensangrentada¨ , ¨Clara es el Precio¨ , among others . His greatest successes were intense dramas with plenty of sex such as ¨Amantes¨, ¨Pasion Turca¨ , ¨Si Dicen Que Cai¨ , ¨Intruso¨ , ¨Tiempo De Silencio¨ , ¨Carmen¨ , along with a delinquency tale : ¨El Lute¨ I and II starred by Imanol Arias , his fetish actor along with Victoria Abril (They have worked together 12 times) and specially the historical story titled ¨Juana La Loca¨ also dealing with jealousy and ¨Amantes¨, easily the best of the numerous films of Aranda .
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Thematically rich, comparable to 'Valerie and Her Week of Wonders'
Perception_de_Ambiguity4 November 2011
In the form of a story about a newly wed woman who we witness losing her virginity the exploitation-y titled 'The Blood Spattered Bride' thematically covers a lot of the same and similar grounds to 'Valerie and Her Week of Wonders' albeit very much focusing on all the psychosexual aspects. Where "Valerie", summed up, is a film about a girl's sexual awakening after her menarche (=first menstrual bleeding) and all the other realizations that can result from that awakening, for example about religion and the government, "Bride" is about a young woman's sexual awakening (her age is never specified, the actress was about 18 years old at that point) which makes the woman fall into a psychotic state that makes her feel fear and disgust of men so this character's psychology isn't dissimilar to Catherine Deneuve's in 'Repulsion', it also roughly covers the events of one week although just like in "Valerie" it seems like development in a compressed form, showing a psychological evolution that usually would have to take considerably longer.

Despite the supernatural elements in the story other than in "Valerie" one is prone to take the ongoings in the film literally because of its mundane visual style and the relatively coherent plot that wouldn't obviously suggest a symbolic reading although if one takes things on face value here it would be a rather ridiculous and unintelligently written film, but if taken metaphorically, always with the theme in mind, it's just the opposite. There certainly are quite a few surreal touches, though, both movies also include a good share of vampirism as well as lesbianism although neither of them really is a vampire, a horror nor an erotic movie, at least they aren't predominantly any one of those things.

Another prevalent theme (especially as "Bride" reaches its conclusion) is that of the inspirational power of history as well as having a certain responsibility to act upon sacrifices other people made in the past, in this specific case especially in regards to feminism. Carmilla, the vampire with lesbian tendencies who becomes increasingly more real, is like a figure conjured up by the bride's fears and desires and that figure is a resurrection of a person that really existed within the fiction of the film, most likely materialized in idealized form to fit the bride's purposes.

Although I think the film is feminist in its intent it interestingly has no qualms to come off as misogynist at times (especially in the first half) when showing the often violent male oppression and sexual dominance since, unlike "Valerie" or 'Repulsion', it doesn't choose a point of view, it's (almost) as much the husband's film as it is hers. I think the sympathies are clearly with the bride (which makes the ending all the more refreshing) but thematically the husband's male psychology is almost as fleshed out as hers and his psychological torture can at times also be felt.

While I obviously think that thematically it's a great and intelligent movie it's certainly a minus that if taken literally the movie doesn't hold up well. Visually it's largely unremarkable although it does have its moment, especially one gory fantasy sequence in the middle section and the much talked about surreal beach sequence offer some notable visuals. The characterizations are coherent and believable but I wouldn't go as far as to call any of them well-developed. In one scene the movie's themes are actually blatantly spelled out with the characters reading out of psychology books that quote Plato and Jung. This being my first contact with Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla novel possibly helped my appreciation of the film, had I read the book or seen other films that were based on it things might look differently, but I haven't.
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"Just a minute, that's an outrageous conclusion." OK Euro horror.
poolandrews26 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
La Novia Ensangrentad, or The Blood Spattered Bride a sit's more commonly known amongst English speaking audiences, starts as a man (Simon Andreu) & his newlywed wife Susan (Maribel Martin) move into his large ancestral home that come complete with servants (Angel Lombarte & Monsterrat Julio). At first things seem perfect but it's not long before Susan starts to see a mysterious woman (Alexandra Bastedo) in her dreams who seems to leave a dagger for her on her bed one night, a dagger that keeps turning up no matter how hard her husband tries to get rid of it. While doing some detective work Susan discovers that the woman in her dreams resembles one of her husbands ancestors, Mircalla Karnstein. Meanwhile her husband has found a naked woman named Carmilla buried on a beach so he decides to take her home, as you would. Straight away Susan notices that Carmilla looks exactly like the woman in her dreams, now her dreams are about to turn into nightmares...

This Spanish production was written & directed by Vincente Aranda & I thought it was OK but a bit confused. The script is based on the novel Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu which I have not read so I cannot compare them. The plot is a bit of a mess in this one, lots of scenes come from nowhere & frankly go nowhere. There are some really strange scenes in it as well, the strangest of which has to be the bit when the guy finds Carmilla buried a few inches under the sand on a beach with just her fingers & snorkel sticking out of the ground. As he digs her up he discovers she has a pair of goggles on & nothing else as he pays close attention to unearthing her bare breasts. I'm sure she was grateful. Now, most of us in his place would find the whole situation somewhat odd but this guy just takes it in his stride & takes her home. There's all sorts of nonsense about the servants child & her putting the dagger in Susan's bed which she may or may not have but it's all very vague. I could go on like why does Susan fall under the spell of Carmilla so easily? Is it because she has been bitten & Carmilla is a Vampire? Well Carmilla is never shown with fangs, she quite happily walks around in the daylight & no mention of Vampires is ever made although she does sleep in a coffin, with Susan. Having said that I thought it was watchable in a strange sort of way.

Director Aranda does an OK job, the film is split between visually dull & extremely stylish. The scene set in a pigeon cage with the birds fluttering around is particularly cool although I can't get that bizarre beach scene out of my head. For some reason Susan's husband is never referred to by name during the film, not one person calls him by name, strange. There is some nudity & sex plus a rape in a dream, the gore was disappointing as a few stabbings is all we get. For the animal lovers out there there is a scene when a fox is snared in a trap in obvious distress which is then shot dead at almost point blank range.

Technically the film is alright, it's generally well made throughout. The acting seemed OK but it's pretty obvious that it was dubbed.

La Novia Ensangrentada is a strange film, it's something a bit different but at the same time I didn't exactly love it. Worth a watch if you like Euro horror but there are better films out there.
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Blood spattered sexual politics
drownnnsoda27 September 2014
"The Blood Spattered Bride" follows a newlywed bride who moves into her husband's remote ancestral castle; all would be fine if she didn't harbor feelings of resentment and hatred for him. It also turns out that his family lineage has a history of women killing their husbands, and when she finds herself haunted by a mysterious woman named Mircalla (ahem, Carmilla), she finds herself seduced into a world of bloodshed and madness.

This dynamic vampire sleeper is inarguably the cream of the crop as far as the European horror of this era goes. Despite the film's oft-label of "Eurotrash", "The Blood Spattered Bride" is anything but—aesthetically, it does retain a grainy grindhouse edge to it, but the film's photography is overall lush and atmospheric, and the production values are high. Apt cinematography and a series of haunting visuals provide additional support to the film's ghoulish tone.

As many of have said, it's a film whose horror relies heavily on atmosphere, and it does a remarkable job doing it. The castle and its outlying surroundings are well-realized and legitimately eerie, lending the film a downbeat Gothic tone. A series of noteworthy sequences of bloodshed are present, and while the gore effects are elaborate and impressive, this is by no means an exploitation film. The plot hinges on unusually complex thematics and dances circles around lesbianism and misogyny, shaping itself into a double-edged dagger of early '70s feminist commentary. Considerable liberties are taken with the film's source material ("Carmilla" by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu), but it really is a masterful take on the story with appropriate tinges of the period.

I went into this film with the gaudy expectations I have of a Jess Franco picture, but was rewarded with something much darker and considerably more serious. "The Blood Spattered Bride" manages to take a hearty stab at classicism while juggling the postmodern social politics of marriage, virginity, and female sexuality. It's a lush and gorgeous film, and also a very dreamlike and complex one. Scraping the layer of social commentary off the top, what we have here beyond that is a surprisingly elegant vampire film that is rich in atmosphere and Gothic goings-on. Subtle but masterful performances bring the characters to life and provide another layer of legitimate interest. This is a wonderful, underrated film, and is a visual and intellectually stimulating piece of '70s Euro-horror. 9/10.
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An unique erotic vampire movie with some surprises.
Alex Klotz5 October 2001
The movie isn't a very close version of Sheridan Le Fanu's masterful novel "Carmilla" and it has got nothing to do with Matthew G. Lewis as far as i can tell; maybe someone thought of the "Bleeding nun" segment in his novel "The Monk"; but that's an entirely different story. It is a very slow movie for today's standards, but this makes the innovative imagery even more shocking and surprising. Last but not least, most of the movie's credit must go to the performance of the lovely leading ladies.
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Not your typical exploitation movie. Visually stunning.
insomniac_rod3 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this on a double feature along with "I Dismember Mama". Okay, "Blood Spattered Bride" is not your typical 70's exploitation flick, but indeed it's something better. This movie has a very interesting plot that starts slow but delivers after half of the movie until the shocking ending. The difference with many flicks of this kind is it's very stylish visuals (direction, settings, cinematography). This is one of the best looking movies of it's kind. Excellent direction by Aranda. The Gothic atmosphere is haunting and serves perfect for the movie's events. Excellent job.

The gore here is not that abundant but still delivers expectations. Violence is not in high amounts but it's still good. The acting is above good. The husband, Susan, and "the bride" are characters to remember. The performances are pretty good. I don't know if I should feel guilty but I think that Carol was very, very hot. Her scenes wearing a short skirt were candy for the eye. I wonder if she was really 14.

Anyways, this is the kind of the movie that confuses the audience because of it's dream/fantasy sequences but it's almost until the end that you understand everything. I must admit that the first sequence (the one in the hotel) really confused me and I thought that the movie was going downhill. I'm glad I was wrong. The movie starts slow, abuses of dream sequences but pays off with it's visuals, acting, and the typical exploitation death scenes. The ending is good and solves the movie's events really easily. I didn't know that vampires die for good if you cut their hearts.

Watch this Spanish exploitation flick but don't expect too much on the entertainment factor. There are minimal shocking situations or gory death scenes but in exchange you get stunning visuals and good acting. The movie tries to be very complex but fails. Overall, this shouldn't be watched as pure entertainment for a Horror fan; you should watch this movie for it's technical values and plot. Don't expect a gore fest or long sex scenes involving vampires.
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Vampires and feminism
matheusmarchetti29 March 2010
"The Blood Spattered Bride" is another adaptation of Sheridan LaFanu's classic tale of lesbian vampires, and it's quite good. While it's certainly not on pair with Roger Vadim's beautiful "Blood and Roses" or Carl Theodore Dreyer's "Vampyr" for that matter, mainly because it hasn't aged too well in comparison to the previous two, but it's a very bizarre and unique vampire movie in it's own right. The film is skillfully directed by Vicente Aranda, who, aside from creating a brooding Gothic atmosphere from the opening to the gory ending, also crafts a surprisingly intelligent script, that takes the basic old premise under a totally different perspective. The story here is basically set up as metaphor for women striking against men, and at times, it actually feels like "I Spit on Your Grave" with vampires. It also explores the themes of repressed sexuality, and how the supernatural aspects are merely hallucinations caused by the protagonist's sexual frustration, a theme which was also explored in "Blood and Roses". Fernando Arriba's gorgeous cinematography gives the film a touch of class, as well as creating a dreamlike, otherworldly tone. Overall, a very interesting and often disturbing piece of the 'lesbian vampire' sub-genre. I highly recommend this to fans of Jean Rollin, as it has a similar style to that of the director, and is about just as good as anything he has ever done. 7/10
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An offbeat and intriguing early 70's Spanish horror sleeper
Woodyanders30 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Sweet, fragile, virginal young bride Susan (well played by fetching brunette Maribel Martin) and her aloof wealthy husband (a solid performance by the handsome Simon Andrea) spend their honeymoon at a huge swanky mansion located in the country. Susan falls under the dangerous spell of wicked and seductive lesbian vampiress Mircalla Karstein (a hypnotic portrayal by bewitching blonde Alexandra Bastedo). Can her husband save Susan before it's too late? Writer/director Vicente Aranda, adapting Sheridan Le Fanu's classic tale "Carmila," relates the absorbing story at a deliberate, unhurried pace, firmly grounds the plot in a plausibly mundane remote rural setting, delivers a generous sprinkling of tasty female nudity, punctuates the quiet and subdued tone of repressed sexuality and seething depravity with startling moments of brutal and graphic violence, and does an expert job of creating and maintaining a compellingly dark, erotic and mysterious dreamlike atmosphere which becomes more increasingly eerie and unsettling as the narrative progresses towards a shockingly bleak and nihilistic downbeat ending. Better still, there's a provocative lesbian/feminist subtext at work throughout which gives this picture a little extra substance and impact. The three leads are all uniformly excellent in their roles. Maria-Rosa Rodriguez likewise impresses as pesky twelve-year-old girl Carol. Fernando Arribas' sharp cinematography offers a wealth of striking surreal images (for example, the husband finds Mircalla buried naked in the sand at the beach wearing just a snorkel). Antonio Perez Olea's funky'n'moody score further enhances the spooky nightmarish proceedings. Well worth seeing.
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Battle of the sexes with Vampiric aid
HEFILM20 September 2006
It's also a great exploitation film. Pop culture battle of the sexes in which age old vampires use modern wedge between husband and wife to work its way between them. There is one really silly scene on the beach which stands out in this otherwise smart and lurid, justified luridness, but lurid in a good way story and film. At times you side with the wife at times with the husband. It is really one of the last "modern" vampire films to really fit much social reality into the vampire framework of seduction and betrayal. And talk about a tough film, this takes no prisoners, be they animal or child if it gets in the way of the male hero look out. Good production values on all levels, perhaps the score could have been better but that's looking for problems where not many exist. Still shocking violence, sex, and style does mesh the source material with a very European man threatened by modern woman story. A number of memorable scenes, one of the better versions of Carmilla. A must see. The dubbing into English is a bit better than usual for the time which helps too.
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This is good, very good
thetick-6584816 June 2019
This is, quite simply, good. Reminiscent of Tod Browning's Dracula, this is an adaptation of Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla that maintains the story and spirit of the original while adding plenty of cinematic flair. There's the blood and nudity expected of a horror movie, especially out of 1970s Europe, but that's just par for the course. Beyond that is a beautiful atmospheric film full of symbolism. An older man marries a younger woman who is still unsure of her sexuality. His family has a dark past. The couple strives to conform to traditional expectations of marriage. A mysterious woman seeks to pull them apart. Is she really a vampire or is it all just an act? It's not perfect; there are a few cheap jump scares, some issues with the audio, and it's distractingly obvious that the lead actress has several different body doubles. However, I think the film's strengths vastly outnumber its weaknesses. To be fair, I'm something of a vampire fan. This may have simply been one of those films that's just right up my alley.
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Lesbian vampire kinkiness for the thinking person.
Hey_Sweden5 August 2018
Just one of many adaptations of J. Sheridan Le Fanu over the decades, "The Blood Spattered Bride" adheres to many of the traditions of Eurotrash horror: blood (and lots of it), sex appeal, atmosphere, and artiness, with some provocative themes underlying the plot. It's not for all horror fans; indeed, it's rather light on conventional "horror" for much of the running time. Instead, we get an interesting psychological approach to such subjects as virginity and marriage. The pace is unhurried, so people with shorter attention spans may start to fidget around a little.

The sultry Maribel Martin stars as Susan, a virginal newlywed rather uncomfortable about her new married life. The hunky Simon Andreu plays her unnamed husband, who becomes worried when he thinks that Susan is imagining the presence of a mystery woman (the intoxicatingly sexy Alexandra Bastedo). Well, "Carmila" (Bastedo) does exist, and with a subtle intensity, she worms her way into Susans' life and encourages her to think beyond being "trapped" by this male presence.

In general, the performances are decent, with Martin making for a reasonably sympathetic figure. Andreu offers a stolid screen presence, never changing his facial expression very much. Dean Selmier is superb as a well-meaning doctor who naturally does not put much stock in superstition. Bastedo is very easy to watch, and Rosa M. Rodriguez does a respectable job as a precocious youngster.

There's a mild dose of delectable female nudity, as a viewer would come to expect from the genre, and the violence is extremely effective whenever it takes place. (The film is not wall-to-wall gore, but still manages to live up to its title.) And the music score composed by Antonio Perez Olea is appropriately haunting. Director / writer Vicente Aranda also adds an appreciable amount of surrealism when Carmila is discovered under the sand at a beach - this is quite a memorable scene.

Recommended for lovers of the genre, who should also enjoy similar entries such as "Vampyres" and "Daughters of Darkness".

Seven out of 10.
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Surprisingly mature
Erewhon13 October 2000
Far better than the lurid US title suggests, this is a horror movie for adults, and deals intelligently with themes that are rarely addressed so directly. It gets a little slow in the last third, and clearly the filmmakers weren't entirely sure how to end it all, but it's certainly worth watching.
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your average Giallo
trashgang16 February 2009
Heard a lot of this flick, not easy to find over here but by looking overseas I caught me my copy. Immediately from the start I found out for me that it was a Giallo. It is a slow starter, it takes exactly 40 minutes before the real stuff is happening. The storyline is okay and acting is okay, but there is some suspense missing for me, I'm not that Giallofreak as others so it has really be good for me to find it a good flick. I have seen the uncut version so the nudity, typical for those area of giallo's, is intact. At the end you have a bit of that Giallotwist. Maybe it's a bit too old, 1972, to survive his age up to the standards of today. The blood runs now and then but it isn't flowing frequently enough to make it creepy. Anyway, it's watchable so if you can grab yourself an uncut version, don't hesitate.
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Classic Eurohorror somewhat marred by a lame ending (at least in currently available prints)
lazarillo14 October 2009
There have been no less than FIVE classic European horror films based on the Sheridan LeFanu classic story "Carmilla". There was the creepy, expressionistic Carl Theodore Dryer film "Vampyr" back in the 30's. There was the famous Hammer period horror film "The Vampire Lovers" (which itself inspired two sequels). There was Roger Vadim's very French New Wave "Blood and Roses". There was Harry Kumel's superior, if somewhat overrated, "Daughters of Darkness". And there was this one, a Spanish film, which is perhaps the most exploitative and also the most bizarrely surrealistic of all of them.

The plot involves a man (Simon Andreu) and his young bride (Maribel Martin), who are on a seaside honeymoon. The woman suffers from a kind of sexual hysteria where she hallucinates strange men coming out of the closet and raping her. Interestingly though, it is the man who first discovers the lesbian vampire (Alexandra Bastedo). In what is undoubtedly the most arresting image in the film he digs her up from the beach sand where she is buried (for some reason) wearing nothing but a snorkel mask! (And demonstrating the film's exploitative pedigree, he first uncovers her sizable breasts). Of course, it isn't long before the lesbianism starts in earnest. The film is marred somewhat by a very ham-handed ending, but one that is also quite a statement (perhaps unintentionally so) on the reactionary machismo of Spain in the late Franco era.

This movie has an interesting if somewhat obscure cast. Simon Andreu was in a number of Italian giallo thrillers with fellow Spaniard Nieves Navarro (aka Susan Scott) and her Italian director husband Luciano Ercoli. He would stage a kind of comeback years later with a supporting role in Roman Polanski's "The Ninth Gate". The young and beautiful Maribel Martin was in three classic Spanish horror films in the late 60's/early 70's--"The House that Screamed", "A Bell from Hell", and this one--so it's both strange and regrettable that she completely disappeared soon after. British actress Alexandra Bastedo had a much longer career, going back at least to William Castle's "13 Frightened Girls" in 1963 and as far forward as Freddie Francis' "The Ghoul" in 1975. But she was almost always relegated to supporting roles, so it's good to see a lot more of her here (both in terms of the size of her role and the sparseness of her wardrobe).

The ending of the available prints seems rather truncated, perhaps suggesting censorship (although it's doubtful even this print ever played in Franco's Spain). It would be nice if someday another print would turn up with a smoother ending (and maybe a longer nude, lesbian clinch between Bastedo and Martin). Here's hoping anyway.
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