23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "We walk the Earth, but we exist only in Hell."
"Twins of Evil" is a Hammer vampire classic of note for several reasons. First, it is the conclusion of the Carmilla trilogy which began with my favorite of all Hammer's works, The Vampire Lovers -which closely followed the original novella- and continued with the lame cash-in Lust for a Vampire, which relied entirely on sex appeal. "Twins of Evil" was also notable in...
Published on March 3, 2009 by trashcanman
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rating for the Blu Ray NOT the film!
First off I am a big fan of the Karnstein trilogy and this is my favorite of the three films, possibly my favorite Hammer film from the 70s era. I absoultely adore this film. It has the typical Hammer gothic setting, Peter Cushing, vampires and the Collinson twins! The issue that I have is the quality of the picture. I own many blu ray discs and notice when a film has...
Published 9 months ago by Lotus Scrum
Most Helpful First | Newest First
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "We walk the Earth, but we exist only in Hell.",The Vampire Lovers -which closely followed the original novella- and continued with the lame cash-in Lust for a Vampire, which relied entirely on sex appeal. "Twins of Evil" was also notable in that it combined two different horror genres (witchhunting and vampires) into one seemless entity. Then there is the fact that the horror studio's premiere hero, Peter Cushing, played a character whose righteousness was dubious at best. While the film itself may not thrill or chill as much as Hammer's best, it still stands as a solid entry to their (un)hallowed pantheon.
While it is generally implied that this film is sexploitation, that is not at all the case. But considering the twins in question were Playboy playmates and given the rife sexuality and lesbianism present in the preceding films of the series, it is an easy thing to assume. There is actually only one nude scene and the film often deliberately cuts away from unclothed ladyparts, which is actually quite annoying in a film from this era where the girls were so impossibly beautiful and charmingly seductive. But in the end, it helps the film that you stay focused on the central conflicts of the story rather than when the next sex scene is coming up. There is a rather suggestive shot involving a candlestick that will raise eyebrows, but gratuitous nudity is pretty nonexistent. But there is some decent blood, violence, and miles of cleavage so straight exploitation fans need not pass this by.
Cushing plays a fanatical witchhunter terrorizing the women of a town where Count Karnstein openly worships Satan under the protection of the emperor. Since the Count himself is untouchable, Cushing's character tries to find solace in purifying the young girls he feels may have been corrupted by his influence with fire. Meanwhile, Karnstein sates his increasingly vile appetite by offering a human sacrifice to The Devil, who in turn sends him an apparition of his ancestor Mircalla (check the anagram), who bestows upon him eternal unlife. The wicked Count then sets his sights on the witchhunter's beautiful twin nieces whom nobody can tell apart but are as different in personality as they are similar in appearance.
The main theme of the film is the grey area in the conflict between good and evil. While Cushing's character feels he is doing God's work in purifying corrupted souls, he knowingly allows the source of the corruption to thrive, fearing the consequences. This makes him a hypocrite and as good as a murderer as he waits for each victim to take out his personal anger on young girls. The Collinson twins play their parts well (though their voices were dubbed), and make for a mesmerizing onscreen pair. The cast is solid all around.
The region 2 DVD release features a lame musical deleted scene, a very cool image gallery, and extensive liner notes chronicling the film's history and even features some actor bios. Not a ton of special features, but better then most Hammer films get treated over here. "Twins of Evil" is not must-see material, but it is certainly a decent addition to any vampire fan's collection.
3 1/2 stars, rounded up for originality.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hammer's best vampire video,
By A Customer
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hammer's Twins Of Evil,
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hammers Vampire Holy Grail Part 2,
This review is from: Twins Of Evil (Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack) (Blu-ray)When Synapse Films announced that they would be releasing the Hammer Films which I always eluded to as the elusive three, I had great reservations. The titles were only available on Japanese Laser Discs and were promised to be released many times over the years. Anchor Bay Entertainment released many of the 20th Century Fox titles, Warner Home video and Universal Pictures released their output, Paramount sporadically released a handful and finally Sony/Columbia released their titles. But what about 'VAMPIRE CIRCUS', 'TWINS OF EVIL' and 'HANDS OF THE RIPPER'? 'THE VAMPIRE LOVERS' and 'COUNTESS DRACULA' were released by MGM as part of their Midnight Madness series and finally Synapse took up the gauntlet and came through with the DVD/BLU-RAY release of Director Robert Young's 'VAMPIRE CIRCUS'-1972 last year. It was an incredible set which destroyed my doubt about their announcement of the other titles. Now they have come through with their promise once again with Director John Hough's 'TWINS OF EVIL'- 1971, a prequel to the Mircalla Karnstein characters derived from screenwriter Tudor Gates and a film in Hammer's horror canon that was severely butchered by Universal Pictures when released in the US making it look like a costume picture peppered with the occult resembling Director Michael Reeve's 'WITCHFINDER GENERAL' aka 'THE CONQUEROR WORM'-1968 and a few fangs showing up amongst the characters. Synapse has gone back to the original negative released by the Rank Organization in a gorgeous high definition transfer and restored the film to its erotically bloody glory. After over 40 years, the film shows why any release by Hammer was an anticipated event at that time. The film has also one of actor Peter Cushing's greatest performances as the tortured Gustav Weil who appeared in the film after the death of his beloved wife, Helen. It is an astonishing characterization and he incinerates the screen every time he appears. There is also an appearance from past vampire femme fatale Isobel Black who erotically charged another Hammer opus, Director Don Sharp's 'KISS OF THE VAMPIRE'-1964' which also deals with a vampire cult. The highlight of the set is an excellent documentary called 'THE FLESH AND THE FURY: X-POSING TWINS OF EVIL' clocking in at over 85 minutes and gives you the history of Author Sheridan LeFanu's character Carmilla and how Hammer adapted the character within their trilogy of films. It explains everything about the state of eroticism and horror of that period with interviews with many top horror writers and critics and we also have interviews with Director John Hough and actor Damian Thomas who played Count Karnstein. There is also an extra on the rescued props from Hammer sets by Mr. Wayne Kinsey from his personal collection , a deleted scene which should have been deleted, two theatrical trailers including the double feature with 'HANDS OF THE RIPPER', and a stills gallery. Synapse promises the release of 'RIPPER' next year and also a BLU-RAY release of Director Peter Sasdy's 'COUNTESS DRACULA'-1970(will it contain a longer version?). Every Hammer Horror fan living or undead deserve to have this in their collections. Bravo, Synapse.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Twins of Evil...you might want to hold off...,
It should be noted that my DVD arrived without a DVD case! It was mailed flat with just the DVD and the DVD insert. However, I did buy a used copy. No playback issues to report.
Rumor has it that Synapse films has aquired the rights to VAMPIRE CIRCUS, HANDS OF THE RIPPER and TWINS OF EVIL for release on DVD and Blu-ray(!) in the United States by the end of 2010! So you might want to hold off on this title for a bit longer.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectedly Effective,
Loosely based on characters created by author Sheridan Le Fanu, TWINS OF EVIL concern twin sisters Maria and Freida (Mary and Madeline Collison) who have been recently orphaned and are sent to live with their guardian and uncle Gustav Weil (Peter Cushing.) Gustav is a most unpleasant man, the leader of a religious "brotherhood" whose ideas of salvation and repentance involves routing out every attractive woman in the district and burning them alive at the steak. Ironically, Gustav's hapless victims are innocent, and he finds himself unable to attack the real evil of the locality: the devil-worshiping Count Karnstein (Damien Thomas), who enjoys the protection of the Emperor.
Needless to say, it is not long before the sisters catch the attention of the Count, who has now been transformed by the black arts into a vampire--and one of the sisters soon falls under his sway. But truth be told, Gustav is such a distasteful creature himself that it becomes difficult to know which of the two men is worst.
Like most Hammer Horrors, TWINS abounds with well endowed women in plunging necklines and enough colorful gore to float a small boat. But in this instance, the splashes of blood are all the more effective for the muted background against which they are seen. The usually baroque settings of most Hammer films is not in evidence here, little is romanticized, and the atmosphere is quite tense.
The Collison twins (whose last film this was) give reasonable performances and are so attractive that you do not mind the fact they have very obviously been dubbed by English-speaking actors. Damien Thomas makes for an impressively suave vampire, and David Warbeck is appealing as the hero of the piece. But the real drive of the film comes from Peter Cushing, who gives a surprisingly powerful performance as the maniacal Gustav; if given the choice between facing him or trying to ward off Thomas' vampire, well, most of us would probably feel we had a better chance against Count Karnstein! It is an unexpected effect, and it is quite powerful.
This is not to say that TWINS OF EVIL is without flaws, and now and then some pretty big ones. The script is no winner, and the details of the story are a bit loose, to say the least. The sisters are supposed to be from Vienna, but they somehow wind up in what seems to be a very unappealing area of Germany where the men all dress like American Puritans! There are also one or two scenes that border on the unintentionally comic. But most viewers will be able to suspend disbelief for the film's duration. Recommended for fans of both Hammer and gothic horror.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully-filmed classic vampire movie,
The story itself centers on twin sisters, Maria (played by Mary Collinson), and Frieda ( Madeleine Collinson) who are brought from Venice to live with their uncle Gustav Weil (Cushing) after their parents' deaths. It is apparent from the beginning that Maria is the more obedient girl, and Frieda the rebellious one. Both girls become aware that their uncle is part of a Brotherhood that traipses around the countryside, looking for mainly young girls that they have singled out for execution on the assumption that these women are witches. The real truth is that Weil and his men are impotent against the debauched acts of Count Karnstein (Damien Thomas), who lives in Karnstein Castle and enjoys the protection of the Emperor.
Frieda's rebellious streak takes her into the Count's company, and soon gets into all sorts of trouble. The Count has since resurrected the vampire Mircalla Karnstein and become a vampire himself. The story follows the twins and what happens to them. It was a pity that Ingrid Pitt did not reprise her role as Mircalla Karnstein, as she was compelling in her performance - seductive and provocative. Here, Katya Wyeth's performance is ok, but not as effective as Pitt's.
If this is meant to be a follow-up to The Vampire Lovers, there are some problems in terms of plot. In The Vampire Lovers, the Karnstein family was meant to have died out with the true death of Mircalla, yet in this installment, Count Karnstein appears to be alive and well, and mortal at the beginning. Despite this, the movie flows well, and is beautifully-filmed with scenes of the countryside, Gothic castles, etc. The twins who play Maria and Frieda are actually quite good, especially the one who plays slutty Frieda. At least one is able to tell which twin is which by their portrayals of their distinct characters! This is sure to please fans of the classic vampire genre - atmospheric, sensual, and beautifully-filmed.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the battle of good and evil - with a twin twist!,
Beautiful twins Maria and Frieda Gellhorn (played by real-life twin sisters Mary and Madeleine Collinson) have gone to live with their aunt and uncle, close by the ancient Karnstein castle where evil Count Karnstein (Damien Thomas) still seduces and murders innocent country maids.
The twins' Uncle Gustav (Peter Cushing) is the leader of a group overzealous witch-hunters; and immediately senses something amiss in his teenage charges. His fears are soon realised when black-hearted Frieda is seduced by Karnstein, becoming his blood-crazed lady of the night. Innocent Maria becomes another pawn in the game after Frieda is caught by Gustav's henchman and looks certain to burn at the stake, until Karnstein uses the old switcheroo, substituting Maria for her depraved twin. Can she be saved in the nick of time?...
One of the better Hammer productions of the period, TWINS OF EVIL (1971) provides a fitting climax for the Karnstein saga, started so evocatively with THE VAMPIRE LOVERS the previous year. It was a shame that producers couldn't lure back the lovely Ingrid Pitt to reprise her role of Mircalla; the character makes a brief return in this film, but sadly played by another actress (Katya Wyeth).
The Collinson twins are truly fetching playing the leads--though their dubbed English voices are painfully obvious. The cast also includes Dennis Price, Isobel Black, Kathleen Byron, David Warbeck and Harvey Hall.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rating for the Blu Ray NOT the film!,
This review is from: Twins Of Evil (Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack) (Blu-ray)First off I am a big fan of the Karnstein trilogy and this is my favorite of the three films, possibly my favorite Hammer film from the 70s era. I absoultely adore this film. It has the typical Hammer gothic setting, Peter Cushing, vampires and the Collinson twins! The issue that I have is the quality of the picture. I own many blu ray discs and notice when a film has been upscaled, remastered etc. For this release I can't believe how much digital noise is present here (not film grain). The opening scene looks very bad, some bad print damage that clears up a little but returns later in the movie. I put the blu ray picture up against the dvd picture and the differences are well, slight to be honest.
Dvd - It has a slightly darker/murky look to it than the blu ray, the grain is present here as well but no digital noise really but it is slightly hazy looking like many dvds are now on modern digital tvs.
Blu Ray - The Blu ray has considerable digital noise but the colors are more vibrant but not really eye poppping. The blu ray also seems to be a bit lighter but the picture is still quite soft in places and other times it looks a bit sharper. It is very uneven looking for a blu ray.
I am quite sad to see this because I have recently bought many films on blu ray ranging from the 60s, 70s and 80s and they all have GREAT picture quality so to compare this to blu ray titles like (flash gordon, Basket Case, the new Bond releases, Fulci's Zombie put out by Blue Underground etc..) it just doesn't stand up to the quality of these other releases. I really love Synapse too as they have put out MANY classics over the years so I am quite shocked to see it look dvd quality for a modern blu ray. However there is no alternative, it's this or nothing at the moment so I'll have to keep it but hope that maybe another company (like blue underground or Shout Factory) will get a better print and do it justice in the future.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twins of Evil!,
You start to wonder who the bad guys are as you can't really think of the Brotherhood as the Heroes. The funny thing is the Count, played by Damien Thomas, becomes a vampire after the movie has already started. Which brings up the point - who was killing people BEFORE he turned into one of the undead? By the way, this actor would also appear in Shogun, Blakes 7, and A.D. so keep an eye out for him! Oh, and be on the look out for Kathleen Byron - she was one of my favorite actresses in Black Narcissus. She plays the wife of Cushing's character.
The story seems to focus more on Cushing's character, which does give it that realistic twist, a flawed man trying to be a good man. The twins do a very good job for their first film - and as far as I know their last. One is turned into a vampire and the other falls in love. In other words, the good twin and the bad twin. This IS kind of funny as in real life the two twins had different educations - one went to a commercial college and one went to a convent!
Of course things sometimes get a tad silly, such as when the Count tries to switch the girls to save the one who is a vampire - his plan almost works.
The settings are wonderful - Hammer films could always find a good castle - and the outfits are also delightful. The whole atmosphere is dark and thrilling and it seems that the Count, even as a vampire, can move around during the day. Thank you Hammer for getting that RIGHT!
This Portuguese Edition is 83 minutes long, in color, and still in English so don't worry. Sadly, unlike most DVDs with Hammer films, there are no fun extras. I got this edition because I could not find one cheaper and only wanted THIS movie but now I believe there are more available so I would suggest shopping around for the edition you want. Sometimes the movie will be part of a bigger collection so it really depends on if you just want this film or are looking for a bunch of Hammer Horror films. Enjoy!
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Twins Of Evil (Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack) by John Hough (Blu-ray - 2012)