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Daughters of Darkness


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Product Details

  • Actors: Delphine Seyrig, John Karlen, Danielle Ouimet, Andrea Rau, Paul Esser
  • Directors: Harry Kümel
  • Writers: Harry Kümel, Pierre Drouot, Jean Ferry, Manfred R. Köhler
  • Producers: Alain C. Guilleaume, Henry Lange, Luggi Waldleitner, Paul Collet, Pierre Drouot
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Paradox
  • Release Date: June 3 2003
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000092T68
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #136,298 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

International screen icon Delphine Seyrig (of LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD fame) stars as Elizabeth Bathory, an ageless Countess with a beautiful young ‘companion’ (Goth goddess Andrea Rau) and a legendary legacy of perversion. But when the two women seduce a troubled newlywed couple (French beauty Danielle Ouimet and John Karlen of DARK SHADOWS and CAGNEY & LACEY), they unleash a frenzy of sudden violence and depraved desire that shocked both art house audiences and grindhouse crowds worldwide.

Co-written and directed by Harry Kümel, DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS remains one of the most exquisitely mesmerizing adult horror films ever made. Blue Underground is now proud to present the Director’s Cut of this classic psychosexual shocker in stunning widescreen and featuring new Extras produced exclusively for this definitive edition.

Amazon.ca

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 24 2004
Format: DVD
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 By Wil-n-Tally on Sept. 26 2003
Format: DVD
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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Format: VHS Tape
We've read about the "artiness" of "Daughters of Darkness," its lesbian themes, its hommage to "Marienbad" in the person of Delphine Seyrig (whose marcelled coif gives her more the look of a 1970s Jean Harlow than anyone previously associated with the genre). I'd rather focus on something else --- the film's confused handling of the Elizabeth Bathory legend.
While an entire mystique has developed around Bathory, let's remember that she was a real person, who actually believed that bathing in virgins' blood would sustain her youthful beauty. Perverse, in other words, but strictly material --- there was nothing supernatural about her.
The problem with "Daughters," though, is not that it reinterprets Bathory as a supernatural being. Bram Stoker was guilty of the same thing in his reconfigured version of Vlad Tepes. But at least Stoker was consistent --- he reinvented "Dracula" in his own terms, and did not arbitrarily mix the supernatural laws governing one sort of vampire with those of another.
By contrast, "Daughters" mixes legends. Why, for example, do we hear a sudden outburst of "cue music" when Stefan accidentally nicks his neck shaving? It's obviously a moment that director Kumel carefully prepares us for, but the strategem backfires, because the Countess is not that sort of vampire.
Why, moreover, does the Countess hold a seemingly supernatural, Svengali-like hold over her victims, rather than merely erotic control? And why does she keep "reincarnating" in body after body, when this, too, has no connection with either Bathory or conventional vampire lore?
Why, too, does "Ilona" recoil from a shower near the end of the film? Her fear of running water has us connecting Bathorian vampirism with the Stokeresque variety, but for no legitimate reason.
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Format: VHS Tape
"Daughters of Darkness" (originally titled "La rouge aux lèvres") is a 1971 Belgian-French-West German production directed by Harry Kümel that stars Delphine Seyrig as the Countess Elizabeth (Erzsebet) Bathory (a real historical figure who murdered hundreds of young women in her quest for immortality). In the film, Bathory and her young female companion (Andrea Rau) cross pathes with a young couple, Valerie and Stefan (played by Danielle Ouimet and John Karlen - Willie Loomis from TV's "Dark Shadows") who are honeymooning during the off-season in Europe. At first the couple seem fairly normal, but things quickly sour, as the woman is shown to be emotionally unstable and the man is very violent and turned on by death. Their relationship is also undermined by homosexuality on both sides. There are intimations that Stefan is in thrall to an older man back in England, and Valerie - of course - soon falls under the spell of the ageless and beautiful Countess Bathory. This mesmerizing and hypnotic film makes brilliant use of sound, mood, and color to paint an understatedly savage tableau, and it has a well-deserved cult following. It's probably too slow-moving for the average horror movie fan, however. "Daughters of Darkness" is very self-consciously an "art" film. The carefully constructed images, the nonsensical dialogue, the use of vivid reds and blues, and the extremely deliberate pacing all serve to create a film that - despite a few shockingly strange death scenes - is much closer in spirit to "Last Year at Marienbad" than it is to "The Lost Boys."
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