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Finally saw it. -- So what's all the fuss about?
on January 1, 2005
Well, after literally decades of hearing tales of the notoriety of this film and seeing the most highly titillating stills from it prominently featured in my vampire movie books, I finally took the "daring" plunge and actually sought it out and watched it. -- And my opinion of it? Well I dunno, maybe I've been letting my naughty imagination get the best of me all these years or maybe my moral standards are especially low, but my reaction was kind of "oh, is that all there was to it?"
For all the hubbub, I was actually expecting there to be much more sex, violence and gore than there turned out to be. By today's standards, I actually found it quite tame. Yes, there is a lot of nudity in it, but none of it is of the full-frontal variety showing the genital area. What simulated coitus there is, is neither particularly graphic nor convincing. And the worst of the film's violence all occurs off-screen. Granted, if you find lots and lots of fake blood scary, you MAY get a chill or two. But heck, these vamps don't even have FANGS fer cryin' out loud!
Anulka doesn't really have to act much, just stand/lie there and look pretty. Marianne Morris does do a bit more and does make an adequate female vamp. And the much-hyped lesbian scenes are also quite limited and nothing particularly special by today's standards.
What I did like very much was the ambience that the wonderful locations of the manor house and the English countryside in autumn give to the film. I would say that it was this, and also the tasteful direction which shows a nice appreciation for the value of quiet and silence, which combine with the actors to create a film a bit better than adequate.
Overall I'd rate this movie a bit better than 3.5 stars, and thanks to the outstanding job they have done on this DVD I have no problems with bumping it up to a full 4 stars. Not only does the film look fabulously and immaculately restored, but the extras are also good. The best part was the 15-minute interview segment with the actresses today. I would say that Anulka Dziubinska looks even hotter today, some 30 years later. -- No small feat, and certainly a very rare occurrence!
You also get a commentary from the director and the producer of the film, as well as a still gallery of a missing scene, an Anulka modelling career still gallery, plus the usual trailer, and even a computer file version of the classic but out of print book on this film. All in all, a wonderful package. Blue Underground deserve to be very proud of the excellent job they have done on this DVD. It's great to see a classic B-movie like this given the proper respect it deserves.
As for me, well I guess I'm still in the market for a lesbian vampire flick which lives up to the expectations I've created in my head all these years. (Attention, filmmakers....!) What I'm looking for is something more extreme and graphic than this, but still without the yucky tackiness of porn and with the polished production values and great atmosphere of this film. (--Yeah I know about the Donald Glut videos, but I said WITH production values.) So the market is out here, folks. Now let's see what you can do.
Meanwhile, I'm gonna go run off my fave lesbian vampire film of all time, "The Vampire Lovers". Yeah nowhere near even as graphic as this one, but just brimming with delicious atmosphere, and ahhhh, Ingrid Pitt... (*swoons*)