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Lust for a Vampire
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Lust for a Vampire (1971)

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Plot Summary:
"In this film, Count Karnstein, through a magical ritual, relies on the feedings of the newly re-fleshed and voluptuous vampire Mircalla (Yutte Stensgaard) for his own sustenance. This keeps her very busy indeed. She finds a ready supply of victims at a girls' finishing school. Her troubles begin when two male teachers from the school decide to investigate."

Reviewer: Andrew Rowat @horrorasylum
Location:Surrey, UK
Review Date: 28 September 2004 My Rating: out of 5


Hammer's second instalment in the Karnstein trilogy, Lust For A Vampire sees a young, nubile blonde (Yutte Stensgaard) being the satanic resurrection of Carmilla (re: Ingrid Pitt from The Vampire Lovers) and joining a boarding school for girls. This obviously spells 'bloodshed' for the naughty English minxes.

This film has aged well, looking every bit the cult British horror it is - the image of Yutte Stensgaard saturated in blood is nigh-iconic. However, at further interrogation the film lacks the polish and dreamy visuals of its predecessor (vampire Lovers) and the character and sophistication of the last film (Twins Of Evil). Peter Cushing, who was also a major part in both other movies, is missing - replaced by a bookish Ralph Bates. The film is left with the sexual hook of the plot and it grasps it with relish. To some degree this is a problem.

Lust For A Vampire degenerates the vampire film into the same erotic malais occupied by Jess Franco and Jean Rollin, though it possesses neither the visual aesthetic or the philosophical nature of these cult director's works. It seems like a soft-core early 70s porno dressed up as a horror film. By today's standards it is not explicit, but neither is it scary. Personally, I found it disappointing and much of this was to do with the lead actress.

Had Yutte Stensgaard projected more character, generated more tension, I may have been more involved in this horror. Perhaps Hammer ought to have cast Linda Hayden from their previous Taste The Blood Of Dracula. That certainly would have been more interesting. Yutte Stensgaard is in deed very pretty and the plot was servicable but there needs to be more. Tension. Visuals. Atmosphere. Character.

For the Hammer completist certainly. There is also something to enjoy here for those curious enough to venture. It just falls way short of being a classic and unfortunately drags on the heel of two of Hammer's masterpieces (Vampire Lovers/Twins Of Evil).

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