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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Vampire > Lust For A Vampire

Lust For A Vampire


Picture:  B-     Sound:  C+     Extras:  C     Film:  B-



Lust For A Vampire (1971) is Hammer's semi-sequel to The Vampire Lovers (1970).  This time Swedish actress Yutte Stensgaard stars as the reincarnated Carmilla Karnstein in this film directed by Hammer veteran Jimmy Sangster.


The backdrop is a school for girls where Carmilla, known now as Mircalla, has found a new hunting ground. Author turned literary teacher, Richard Lestrange (Michael Johnson), as well as history professor Giles Barton (Ralph Bates, in a terrific supporting role), are both enchanted by the youthful vampiress. Lestrange is drawn by love, or lust, whereas Barton has discovered Mircalla's secret and wishes to become a disciple.


Stensgaard isn't as talented an actress as the previous Carmilla, Ingrid Pitt. Still, she is physically appealing to the eye and has a certain charm which makes her believable in this role.Sangster does a fine job of telling the story, including the way the head of the school, Miss Simpson (Hellen Christie), is manipulated by Countess Herritzen (Barbara Jefford) into covering up the disappearance of one of the girls. Suzanna Leigh, as the aptly named Janet Playfair, seems to be the lone force of good trying to withstand the temptations of evil.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is not bad, but its similarity to the original release color is still uncertain, since this DVD does not have the heightened colors Hammerís films are known for.Cinematographer David Muir does help the studio make the transition form its studio-bound look, which they needed so badly to do at this point.The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is not bad, but shows its age, though the music score by Harry Robinson (actually Robertson) holds up better than normal for a Hammer film.Extras include an audio commentary with director Jimmy Sangster, actress Suzanna Leigh, and Hammer films historian Marcus Hearn, plus the theatrical trailer, radio spots, poster and still gallery, and talent bios.These are all good and Hearn continued to be a big plus in joining the filmmakers, behind and in front of the camera, in all the commentary tracks.Anchor Bay was lucky to get him.


Tudor Gates tries to continue what Hammer attempted to have as a very successful trilogy, adapting the screenplay from Sheridan Le Fanuís story Camilla, but there are more than the usual differences between films that go out to do this.Though the film doesn't possess the sheer eroticism of The Vampire Lovers, it still gives one every reason to lust for a vampire!



Michael M. Burkett


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