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Daughters of Darkness

 Unrated   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 19.99
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Product Description


Art-movie goddess Delphine Seyrig (Last Year at Marienbad) slinks through the plush Eurotrash settings as the deathless Elizabeth Bathory, Vampire Countess, in Harry Kümel's minor Dutch classic of lesbian erotic-gothic. Blood mingles with water during the languorous shower scenes. Set at an upper-crust seaside resort, the 1971 film recounts Bathory's plot to replace her current consort (Andrea Rau) with a fresher specimen, an abused newlywed whose brutal young husband is an inconvenience waiting to be eliminated. Although both the bi-sex and the neck-biting violence are tame by today's standards, the film has a graceful, gliding sense of pace that gets under your skin; something unspeakably kinky always seems to be just about to happen. It never quite does, but the mood lingers. See it with someone you love--or would like to. --David Chute

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Bewitching Vampire Tale... April 24 2004
Stefan, a British aristocrat with sadistic tendencies, and the beautiful Valerie, a simple girl, have eloped and are on their way home to break the news to Stefan's mother. However, Stefan is hesitant to bring his wife to see his mother as he delays the trip back to England on purpose by making up stories. The newlyweds decide to stay in an extravagant hotel on the seaside while Stefan attempts to buy some time. Stefan and Valerie are the only guests at the hotel besides the flamboyant Countess Bathory and her seductive secretary since it is off-season. During the stay the Countess Bathory has taken a liking to the couple and begins to seduce them both as she begins setting her wicked plan into action.
Daughters of Darkness is a vampire tale with a malevolently chilly and sexually tense atmosphere that haunts the mind with its subtle approach as Kümel avoids the popular approach of vampires. The vampires do not sleep in coffins nor attack the necks of their victims with sharpened elongated teeth. Instead Kümel disguises the threat of evil behind courteous behavior, alluring charm, and vivid gesticulations that become passionately seductive for the characters in the film. In addition, the mise-en-scene is strongly suggestive and vibrant colors are used in order to enhance the bewitching atmosphere that is viewed by the audience. This leaves the viewer with an uneasy, but artistic cinematic experience that selective audiences will appreciate.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pinnacle of Lesbian Vampire Movies Sept. 26 2003
There must be some subliminal message in this movie that I respond to. I have watched it over and over. The Countess is so beautifully evil; she made me fall under her spell. I have heard her described as a "Satanic Auntie Mame". She makes evil so seductive and fun. Even though I have a dark obessesion fop this movie, freinds I have shown it to describe it as boring and slow. (Hang on, talking about it made me get up and put it in the DVD player again). It's not for everyone, at least give it a try.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ehh, it's okay... 2.5 actually Sept. 3 2003
This film is about a newlywed couple who "honeymoon?" at a fancy palace like hotel in Europe somewhere, alone, and are seduced by a Countess and her sidekick who show up not too long after the married couple arrive. I normally adore art house flicks, but this one has the pacing of a snail. There are only a few "shocking" scenes, and it came long after this viewer had any interest left. I will say this though, over the last 25 minutes of the film the pace quickens and may be considered a "payoff", but like I said, I basically lost interest. Don't believe the hype. If you want an interesting "exploitation" vampire film from the 70's, check out Warhol's Blood For Dracula. Nuff said.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fangless but cool July 10 2003
Normally I don't go for the vampire film where you don't see the fangs - but in this case the subtly works so well.
If you like mood and visuals over plot - and are cool with Jean Rollin type lesbian vampires, then this film is for you. I'd seen it already years ago on VHS and had to own it on DVD!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic May 11 2003
I'm delighted this will be available on DVD. I watched it on VHS a long, long time ago. I'd heard about it in various books on vampire films and haunted every video store I could find to locate a viewing copy. When I finally found it, I watched it with the enthrallment of the very young with the object of an obsession. Based loosely on the story of Elisabet Bathory, this "contempory" tale is of a young newly wed couple who are seduced by a mysterious woman whose interest in them is predatory.
Compared to current movie fare, this is extremely tame with it's allusions to S&M and chic debauchery, but the european elegance of the film will satisfy the die hard vampire film fan who enjoys the older movies that defined the genre in the late 60s and into the 70s. Not as openly sexual as the lush offerings of a Hammer film, it has it's own more subtle erotic charm.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Guilty Pleasure Oct. 22 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Let's face it: "Daughters of Darkness" is, at most, a guilty pleasure. Despite the cheesy music, overly dramatic dialogue, and uneven acting, this film is totally watchable. Delphine Seyrig is suitably seductive and enigmatic as the world-weary Countess Elisabeth Batori who in her search for blood and eternal life pounces upon a young couple in the Belgian coastal town of Ostend. Andrea Rau plays the countess's slave (and lover). John Karlen of "Dark Shadows" fame plays the husband who tries to save his wife from Batori's clutches.
Notorious when it was released theatrically in 1971 for its brief explicitness, this unexpurgated version is pure escapist Eurotrash and wonderfully watchable! It should appeal to both fans of camp classics as well as vampire movie buffs.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but a bit Boring Jan. 25 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Daughters of darkness has what most recent horror flicks lack, georgeous yet creepy environments, unique somewhat complex characters, a slow buildup of tension, but it could simply use a little more action. The climax is disappointing given all the cinematic energy expended earlier in the film. The lesbian theme may have been provacative in 1970 but is very tame today. A must-see for art-house horror fans, but not on my top ten.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Glamour and Horror never looked better Sept. 26 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Sometimes it's better to suspend belief and enjoy the images
put forward. Who cares if the story doesn't make sense?
The visual beauty of this film will make you forget all about
silly things like plots! We must remember, Vampires don't really
exist everyone! And if they did, lets hope they are as beautiful
as the Countess is in this film. Lush costumes, hair, and make-up
can definatley save many a vampire film as can erie locations
and haunting photography. Reminds one of the Mario Bava films
of the 60's but a little hipper.
I loved it and all those technical snobs can stuff it!
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