Somewhere between the Gothic gentleman vampire of old and our modern romanticized versions of the undead, film makers discovered the supernatural appeal of the lesbian vampire. When it comes to cult films, the lesbian vampire is a shining example of sexploitation cinema. Well, not quite so shiny as those hot young (in appearance anyway) sparkling vampires of the Twilight movies, put quite appealing nevertheless.
We’ve started with reviews of three cult classics of the erotic horror genre: Vampyros Lesbos, Requiem for a Vampire, and The Vampire Lovers. Each of these films is good in its way, even great. All three are also both bad and ugly, at least according to the way we like to define those terms.
The Count never looked this good.
The Vampire Lovers was made during an era where Hammer was still at the top of its game and the movie features all the hallmarks of classic British horror including fantastic settings, Gothic landscapes, beautiful actresses, and another star turn by the always classy Peter Cushing. The highlight, however, as is often the case with this genre, are the leading ladies, including Ingrid Pitt, Madeline Smith, and Pippa Steel. Except for the lesbian angle, this is a straightforward take on the vampire movie.
As great as it is, and it is one of Jean Rollin’s best, most coherent efforts, Requiem is pure Eurotrash sexploitation from start to finish. The set, the stars, the plot, and the direction are all classic examples of the bad things that make a good, possibly great, cult film. The prolonged (but not really that explicit) dungeon orgy has to be seen to be believed. Warning: watch out for bats. Starring a pair of lovely young (mostly unknown) french girls,
My favorite of the three in this Triple Feature, Vampyros Lesbos introduced me to the unique genius which is Jess Franco. And then there’s the stunningly beautiful Soledad Miranda in all her glory. On the surface, this is a straight forward vampire seduction flick, but it is also well structured for the erotic horror genre. While it includes everything necessary to be a cult classic, it is also beautifully filmed and well made. Easily one of Franco’s best.
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