Posts Tagged ‘Hammer Film’

She’s a vampire I Yutte

Decades before Twilight’s vampires walked in the daylight there was Hammer Horror’s vampires. It’s 1830, at a finishing school in Styria, Mircalla arrives as a new student. As the young female students in the school begin to die the villagers suspect the Karnsteins located in their ominous castle are to blame.  A visiting author, Richard Lestrange, instantly falls in Mircalla but she is a vampire – Carmilla Karnstein – who has been resurrected by her vampiric family. 

Lust for a Vampire is a well produced Hammer film that arguably is only led astray by its reused footage of Christopher Lee’s blood shot eyes and “Strange Love,” a 1970’s song which plays over LeStrange and Mircalla’s saucy love scene.
The Jim Carrey look
Amongst the abundance of cleavage and boobs on display there is quiet a tight story, there’s the usual vampire cliches hardly surprising given the source material of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s classic Camilla. Fog, horse-drawn carriages, mysterious cloaked figures and a castle on a hill. Theres some modest effects and interesting scenes, a throat is slit, a resurrected skeleton and a blood covered naked body.

I’m not Christopher Lee
I’m actually a lot cheaper
The school location gives it a fresh look and complements the authenticity of the costumes. Dancing autumn leaves around forests and a powerful score  synonymous with hammer are present. There’s the local Inn and obligatory village mob on a witch hunt.

Dimpled chin lead Yutte Stensgaard (replaces Ingrid Pitt who refused to return as she disliked the script) is on fine form. Nobly for me  is an apperance by Barbara Jeffordd seen more recently Polanski’s Ninth Gate. But the star of the show is the underused co-star (Honor Blackman and Elizabeth Montgomery alike) beautiful Suzanna Leigh as dance teacher Miss Playfair. 

Suzanna Leigh 1945 was a good year 
born in Belgrave, Leicester UK,
There is an array of sub characters from an inspector to a concerned father and headmistress to name a few. Dear John’s (UK TV hit) Ralph Bates plays the quirky but ill-fated character Giles Barton. Cheeky chappy Lestrange is played by Michael Johnson. Interestingly Johnson replaced Peter Cushing (as his wife was ill) but Peter clearly would have been unfittingly for the dashing love interest, as in the finished film. Lestrange’s character has quite an arch unusual for the standard vampire affair.

The adult themes give this an edge  over some Hammer outings even if it is light heartedly hammy in spots.The climax is effective with some nice effects although somewhat a little rushed. Overall, classic Hammer that is sexual charged and ghoulishly gory.