Friday, June 7, 2024

50 YEARS OF VAMPYRES (1974)!!!

VAMPYRES (1974) d. Jose Ramon Larraz (UK/Spain)

At a time when throwing extensive vampiric nudity on screen would have been enough, writer/director Jose Ramon Larraz went the extra mile to conjure a deceptively simple, highly satisfying tale of two bisexual bloodsuckers with Vampyres, released in 1974. Played with charged sensuality by newcomers Marianne Morris (as the dark, mysterious Fran) and Anulka (as blonde, fresh-faced Miriam), the Sapphic duo take up residence in a remote English countryside estate, flagging down unsuspecting male drivers to take home for an evening snack. In addition to their daily iron intake, these vampires enjoy all pleasures of the flesh, and Larraz delivers the goods in numerous well-shot, sexy interludes between the lovers and their victims.

Vampire purists be warned: the couple does move about in rather bright shades of twilight and uses sharp implements rather than fangs to get their victims’ blood flowing. And while some may be put off by Larraz’s leisurely pace in getting around to any actual bloodletting, when the inevitable feeding time comes, the sheer ferocity with which these naughty nymphs indulge their appetites is appropriately shocking and gory.

The performances, which also include Sally Faulkner, Murray Brown, and Brian Deacon, are quite good, while Harry Waxman’s handsomely nuanced photography, and James Kenelm Clarke’s piano/flute score contribute immeasurably to a realistic atmosphere of gloom.

Tonight, AC and his incredible panel of guests (Troy Howarth, Barry Kaufman, Jason Coffman, Steve Archacki, Jon Kitley) celebrate 50 years of Vampyres, a high-water mark of '70s lesbian vampire horror films (alongside Daughters of Darkness and The Vampire Lovers) and certainly a must-see title for any fan of sanguinary cinema.

Keep Searching, Keep Exploring, and, most of all, Keep Sharing the Scare!

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