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  Vampyres Ladies Of The Night
Year: 1974
Director: José Ramón Larraz
Stars: Marianne Morris, Anulka Dziubinska, Murray Brown, Brian Deacon, Sally Faulkner, Michael Byrne, Karl Lanchbury, Margaret Heald, Gerald Case, Bessie Love, Elliott Sullivan
Genre: Horror, SexBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 3 votes)
Review: A young married couple on a caravan holiday notice two figures lurking by the roadside as the near their destination. Thinking no more of it, they park their caravan near the grounds of an abandoned mansion, but that night, the wife is awoken by a mysterious scream, and alarmed by a hand appearing at the window. Meanwhile, the two young ladies (Marianne Morris and Anulka) who inhabit the mansion have picked up a man (Murray Brown) who doesn't know what he's letting himself in for...

This curious tale of eroticism and bloodsucking was scripted by the director José Ramón Larraz, under a pseudonym. It's very much in the European tradition of female vampires who are not averse to indulging in lesbian couplings as well as drawing the life out of the men they lure into their clutches, but this comes across as more of a sapphic vampire tale for readers of Mayfair, who have, er, mixed feelings about women, rather than something for connoisseurs of classy erotic fiction.

Nevertheless, the production does carry an air of mystery about it, despite the title apparently telling you everything you need to know. None of the characters have any background story at all, least of all the vampyres themselves. Everything they do is simply to carry the plot forward to its next sex scene or violent murder, but this has the effect of creating an eerie atmosphere, enhanced by the misty British landscape and the imposing mansion, which has plenty of corridors and cellars for the unwary to wander around in.

The suburban couple on holiday seem to belong in another film, with him spending his time fishing, and her painting. Harriet, the wife, becomes more and more fearful of the mansion and its inhabitants, even more so when the ladies give her a warning and a sign that they knew she would be here - which isn't really referred to later on, as Harriet ends up the way you would expect. Her husband seems like he would be a perfect sexual plaything for the vampyres, but they prefer to pose as hitchhikers and ignore him in favour of fortysomething drivers. Staging their victims' deaths as car accidents is a nice touch.

As for the man whom the ladies keep around the place, surely the sensible thing for him to do after waking up with a wound on his arm following a night of passion would be to get the hell out of there, but he hangs around - perhaps the vampyres have cast a spell over him. They certainly hold the attention, whether hurrying through graveyards, engaging in softcore sex or, in one memorable scene, brutally draining a victim of blood. Interestingly, they are never punished, they just get carried away. But what kind of name is Fran for a vampyre? Music by James Clark.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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