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Two men and a woman are camping in the English countryside. The woman photographer becomes fascinated with a nearby, apparently abandoned house. When a man tells them to leave the area while they can, the trio shrug it off. However, he soon returns begging for their help. It seems they have stumbled into the hunting territory of two voluptuous but deadly female vampires. Erotic scenes of sex and bloodshed ensue…but will anyone survive the consequences...?
As far as a synopsis goes, that’s it really. There’s no doubt this film has been designed very much with the visuals at the forefront. To a certain extent it’s style over substance. This is erotic horror, which was teasingly introduced by Hammer with titles such as, Lust for a Vampire, and then much more explicitly realised in Vampiros Lesbos, and Daughters of Darkness, as part of what became known as the lesbian vampire cult subgenre.
After watching the DVD I found myself leaving the review for a few days, pondering what would be a torn decision. First impressions are normally the most reliable, though. The first problem lies with Caroline Munro, the First Lady of Fantasy. It’s not just the fact the marketing print from Soda Pictures misspells her name! What a lovely friendly person, with looks to match. I’ve met her on a couple of occasions, and possess some very nice signed photos. It was certainly exciting news to learn that she had returned to acting recently – and in horror films, too! The truth is that in Vampyres she is woefully underutilised. In fact, the character is superfluous to the events taking place. She plays a hotel manager who it seems is clairvoyant – or at least mildly conversant with the mystery surrounding the Arts. Although she seems to be aware of what is going on nearby she says nothing and warns no one, merely pottering about and doing not very much in particular. This is Caroline Munro, for goodness sakes! Give her something to work with.
Vampyres: Lust for Blood is a remake of the 1974 film directed by Joseph Larraz. It’s very much retro, in that it doesn’t feel like a reimagining. Even the campers – and the vampires, come to that – are very much stuck in the seventies. It would have been nice to see what could have been achieved with a fully contemporary version, because this just looks like a by-the-numbers copy.
The scenes are similarly constructed, too. Particularly the blood-soaked orgies; one blood-letting is very much like another. Sex and horror are two contrasts which have made a resurgence in recent years, and that may be the major reason for this modern, but at the same time ‘old’, remake. Personally, I’ve never seen the sense in remaking a perfectly fine movie.
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