Hey, its "Hump Day" and you KNOW what THAT MEANS! How about a little....
For this week's Edition I have...
The Vampire Lovers
Director-- Roy Ward Baker
Writer--- Harry Fine (Screenplay)
Sheridan La Fanu (Original Story)
Company: Hammer International
The Basic Scoop, The Poop, The Lowdown:
In late 18th Century-early 19th century Germany first a prominent General (Cushing) and then another aristocrat take in a mysterious young Countess' Daughter (Pitt) who draws herself closer and closer to their daughters, for not only sexual purposes, but as a source of blood!
What's Pretty Good:
This IS a Hammer film, so there are certain traits that come with that territory. (You just know sooner or later you're going to see Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee pop up somewhere, which isn't of course a bad thing. ) There's a certain look, mood, or "vibe" to every Hammer production. Some might call it classic or cliche' but that's only because that for many of these films it's more that 30 years out since they were made...I think of them as comforting and classy.
Virtually all Vampire flicks (of quality anyway :P ) such as Coppola's remake of Dracula and even Interview With The Vampire have copied something from the Hammer style...
It's because these old films were and ARE good quality flicks!! And this title is no exception. It's based on Camrilla after all, so there's actually a real story to follow here, which, for a classic horror "B-Movie" is engrossing enough.
Oh, and did I mention the Nudity dudes? ;)
BARE in mind though (puny-pun-pun! :) ) that it IS all tastefully done, and actually rather shocking in the places it...uhh...POPS UP in this film, especially if you've never seen it before. It's still a real movie and not just an excuse to ogle hot chick's perky little boobies. Sprinkles of sexed-up appeal...nothing more.
The lead Vampiress villainess is just exotic and saucy. She holds the viewers attention even when her clothes are on.
The second daughter who Camirilla preys upon Emma (Smith) is also interesting enough to watch. I seem to feel like perhaps Tim Burton (a known Hammer film aficionado!) MAY have been inspired by the young lass in this film when he created Sally for his often under-appreciated classic The Nightmare Before Christmas
But that's just my theory! ;)
What Kinda Sorta Really, Really Sucks:
Not much, but again the Nudity factor, though by no means that bad from the standpoint of our modern tastes, is still there and makes this flick unsuitable to watch if you've got little annoying sugar-hyper rugrat monsters...err..I mean CHILDREN in your pad. The Scare and Gore factor is pretty much zero, so if you're mostly into Zombies and "splatterhouse" type stuff you might want to pass this one up.
Oh yeah and it's got all the "classic" Vampire cliches in it (Garlic, Crosses, Coffins) which I can tell you from personal knowledge is all total bullshit! (Seriously, actual bullshit would be a FAR MORE effective deterrent to us Vampires than Garlic! ;) ) So some might find the use of these things as Yawn-worthy, depending on your personal tastes.
Overall Film Grade: B +
Even though this is what my Nosferatu bud Remmy calls "Blatant Vampist Propaganda" (He despises Vampire films!) I didn't mind. I sort of have a warm and fuzzy soft spot in my heart for the "classic old monster movie" (and a hard and long one in my pants for this film in particular ;) lol )
Yeah, you've probably seen it all before. Coffins, Cushing, Fake fangs, Fog Machines and creepy castle miniatures on a hill...but sometimes that's a good thing. After you've seen non-stop splatter guts, goo, entrails, brains and zombies, sometimes going back to the type of movie where it began is a great and needed change of pace.
And if you're looking for rock-solid quality "horror throwbacks" Hammer's stable of stuff is one of the best places to start...and if you ALSO happen to have a penis, why not start with this one? :)