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Twins of Evil [Blu-ray]

 Unrated   Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Twins of Evil [Blu-ray] + Vampire Circus [Blu-ray] + The Vampire Lovers [Blu-Ray]
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Product Description

Special Features

THE FLESH AND THE FURY: X-POSING TWINS OF EVIL (84 min.) - Feature length documentary on the making of TWINS OF EVIL!

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better Than I Remembered. July 3 2012
Format:Blu-ray
TWINS OF EVIL was one of the few early 1970s Hammer Films that I got to see in a theater (or in this case a drive-in). As was often the case, a Hammer title was doubled up with some film of lesser quality which I had already forgotten by the time I got home. This one I remember well for the notoriety surrounding its use of Madeline & Mary Collinson, Playboy magazine's first twin centerfolds, but that wasn't why I went to see it. Like any true Hammer fan, I wanted to see Peter Cushing in his latest outing. I remember not liking it as much as THE VAMPIRE LOVERS because there was no Ingrid Pitt and the movie started off like a ripoff of WITCHFINDER GENERAL / CONQUEROR WORM although it did get better. Old pro Dennis Price (KIND HEARTS & CORONETS) was completely wasted, Damien Thomas (Count Karnstein) was definitely no Christopher Lee and Mircalla Karnstein was only in the movie briefly as a plot device. Still there were several visual and musical moments that managed to stay with me so that when I saw it some years later on TV I was suprised by how much of it I remembered.

I first encountered TWINS on a pretty good quality VHS in the late 1980s and then a few years ago on a restored Region 2 copy which looked absolutely stunning. I'm sure that this Severin Blu-Ray/DVD will be using the same source material which should look even better in a new transfer. Since several other reviews go into the plot in great detail, I will summarize it briefly. Twin girls, one good the other bad go to live with their puritanical uncle (Cushing) who leads a religious brotherhood that scours the countryside looking for young women to burn as witches (sound familiar?).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Vampire Movie Feb. 11 2014
By Ed Duplissie TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I really enjoy these Hammer Productions. This movie lives up to their reputation for atmospheric and classy horror movies. If you collect vampire movies you will need this one.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fun vampire flick! Aug. 6 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Good transfer on blu ray, excellent special features. One of Peter Cushing's best performances. I hope Synapes Films releases the Quartermass films on blu ray.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  47 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "We walk the Earth, but we exist only in Hell." March 3 2009
By trashcanman - Published on Amazon.com
"Twins of Evil" is a Hammer vampire classic of note for several reasons. First, it is the conclusion of the Carmilla trilogy which began with my favorite of all Hammer's works, The Vampire Lovers -which closely followed the original novella- and continued with the lame cash-in Lust for a Vampire, which relied entirely on sex appeal. "Twins of Evil" was also notable in that it combined two different horror genres (witchhunting and vampires) into one seemless entity. Then there is the fact that the horror studio's premiere hero, Peter Cushing, played a character whose righteousness was dubious at best. While the film itself may not thrill or chill as much as Hammer's best, it still stands as a solid entry to their (un)hallowed pantheon.

While it is generally implied that this film is sexploitation, that is not at all the case. But considering the twins in question were Playboy playmates and given the rife sexuality and lesbianism present in the preceding films of the series, it is an easy thing to assume. There is actually only one nude scene and the film often deliberately cuts away from unclothed ladyparts, which is actually quite annoying in a film from this era where the girls were so impossibly beautiful and charmingly seductive. But in the end, it helps the film that you stay focused on the central conflicts of the story rather than when the next sex scene is coming up. There is a rather suggestive shot involving a candlestick that will raise eyebrows, but gratuitous nudity is pretty nonexistent. But there is some decent blood, violence, and miles of cleavage so straight exploitation fans need not pass this by.

Cushing plays a fanatical witchhunter terrorizing the women of a town where Count Karnstein openly worships Satan under the protection of the emperor. Since the Count himself is untouchable, Cushing's character tries to find solace in purifying the young girls he feels may have been corrupted by his influence with fire. Meanwhile, Karnstein sates his increasingly vile appetite by offering a human sacrifice to The Devil, who in turn sends him an apparition of his ancestor Mircalla (check the anagram), who bestows upon him eternal unlife. The wicked Count then sets his sights on the witchhunter's beautiful twin nieces whom nobody can tell apart but are as different in personality as they are similar in appearance.

The main theme of the film is the grey area in the conflict between good and evil. While Cushing's character feels he is doing God's work in purifying corrupted souls, he knowingly allows the source of the corruption to thrive, fearing the consequences. This makes him a hypocrite and as good as a murderer as he waits for each victim to take out his personal anger on young girls. The Collinson twins play their parts well (though their voices were dubbed), and make for a mesmerizing onscreen pair. The cast is solid all around.

The region 2 DVD release features a lame musical deleted scene, a very cool image gallery, and extensive liner notes chronicling the film's history and even features some actor bios. Not a ton of special features, but better then most Hammer films get treated over here. "Twins of Evil" is not must-see material, but it is certainly a decent addition to any vampire fan's collection.

3 1/2 stars, rounded up for originality.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hammer's best vampire video Jan. 3 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Twins of Evil, Hammer's third entry in the Karnstein trilogy, stands as the most erotic and visually stimulating of all Hammer's films. Unavailable for many years in the United States as a result of claims that one of the actresses appearing disrobed was underaged, the film concerns two orphaned sisters who travel from 18th century Venice to the village of Karnstein as wards of their uncle. The village elders, led by Peter Cushing,practice a reign of terror against supposed witches- primarily single, young women, as a symbol of their frustration against the real evil and debauchery of Count Karnstein. Karstein, protected by the Emperor, spends his evenings attending mock satanic ceremonies in the attendance of nubile young peasant girls. However, he becomes increasingly bored and finally raises the spirit of the long dead carmilla Karnstein who transforms him into a vampire. It is here that the real evil begins. Twins of Evil is fascinating for a number of reasons. Unlike its predecessors- Lust for a Vampire and The Vampire Lovers- Twins of Evil captures the tension between the 18th century Age of Enlightenment and a refusal to let go of superstitions deeply rooted in the history of Europe. Furthermore it pits the tyranny of European monarchies against that of religious fanaticism.Cushing is outstanding as Gustav Vile, as he is tortured by his helplessness against Karnstein and his desire to see God's will done. Cushing had lost his wife prior to the shooting of the film and his greif is evident in the film adding to the darkness and angst of Cushing's character. Lastly, Hammer's use of the Collinson twins adds to the visual beauty of the film juxtaposed against vivid scenes of violence. As a lover of the Hammer genre I quickly snatched this film into my possession and it certainly belongs in the collection of any true horror fan.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hammer's Twins Of Evil April 27 2002
By Melvin Bridgeman - Published on Amazon.com
Director John Hough steers this Hammer Films Classic with absolute relish ~ The film stars Hammer Master 'Peter Cushing' as Gustav Weil, leader of the 'Brotherhood', a Puritan Witch-hunting vigilante group determined to stamp out vampirism ~ the 'Twins' are played by identical twins Mary & Madeleine Collinson, born in Malta in July 1952 ~ they were the first twins to appear in Playboy ~ like many Hammer films, sex was always an underlying theme used to sell the production, & explicit pre-production artwork made the film more like an expensive X-movie ~ much of which showed up in the films publicity shots, depicting the female cast clad in very loose nightgowns & less ~ even so, the film is stubborn in its anti-pleasure theme ~ ...'Twins' was to be the last round in the "Mircalla Trilogy", based on characters & settings by le Fanu ~ Mircalla is mostly absent, as Hammer concentrates on decedent Count Karnstein, praised as perhaps the most promising successor to Christopher Lee's Dracula ~ of great worthy note is the fact that just two months earlier Cushings wife had passed away, & yet he continued on, giving possibly his hardest & most gritting performance ever, casting himself fully into the role ~ he left production of Blood From the Mummy's Tomb due to her illness, & such a return makes the film even more important ~ though looking taunt & tired his performance alone makes the film worth watching ~ dark moody & atmospheric settings, horrifying special effects, & great acting by all involved make it a winner ~ Fun Stuff!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hammers Vampire Holy Grail Part 2 July 19 2012
By William Amazzini - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
When Synapse Films announced that they would be releasing the Hammer Films which I always eluded to as the elusive three, I had great reservations. The titles were only available on Japanese Laser Discs and were promised to be released many times over the years. Anchor Bay Entertainment released many of the 20th Century Fox titles, Warner Home video and Universal Pictures released their output, Paramount sporadically released a handful and finally Sony/Columbia released their titles. But what about 'VAMPIRE CIRCUS', 'TWINS OF EVIL' and 'HANDS OF THE RIPPER'? 'THE VAMPIRE LOVERS' and 'COUNTESS DRACULA' were released by MGM as part of their Midnight Madness series and finally Synapse took up the gauntlet and came through with the DVD/BLU-RAY release of Director Robert Young's 'VAMPIRE CIRCUS'-1972 last year. It was an incredible set which destroyed my doubt about their announcement of the other titles. Now they have come through with their promise once again with Director John Hough's 'TWINS OF EVIL'- 1971, a prequel to the Mircalla Karnstein characters derived from screenwriter Tudor Gates and a film in Hammer's horror canon that was severely butchered by Universal Pictures when released in the US making it look like a costume picture peppered with the occult resembling Director Michael Reeve's 'WITCHFINDER GENERAL' aka 'THE CONQUEROR WORM'-1968 and a few fangs showing up amongst the characters. Synapse has gone back to the original negative released by the Rank Organization in a gorgeous high definition transfer and restored the film to its erotically bloody glory. After over 40 years, the film shows why any release by Hammer was an anticipated event at that time. The film has also one of actor Peter Cushing's greatest performances as the tortured Gustav Weil who appeared in the film after the death of his beloved wife, Helen. It is an astonishing characterization and he incinerates the screen every time he appears. There is also an appearance from past vampire femme fatale Isobel Black who erotically charged another Hammer opus, Director Don Sharp's 'KISS OF THE VAMPIRE'-1964' which also deals with a vampire cult. The highlight of the set is an excellent documentary called 'THE FLESH AND THE FURY: X-POSING TWINS OF EVIL' clocking in at over 85 minutes and gives you the history of Author Sheridan LeFanu's character Carmilla and how Hammer adapted the character within their trilogy of films. It explains everything about the state of eroticism and horror of that period with interviews with many top horror writers and critics and we also have interviews with Director John Hough and actor Damian Thomas who played Count Karnstein. There is also an extra on the rescued props from Hammer sets by Mr. Wayne Kinsey from his personal collection , a deleted scene which should have been deleted, two theatrical trailers including the double feature with 'HANDS OF THE RIPPER', and a stills gallery. Synapse promises the release of 'RIPPER' next year and also a BLU-RAY release of Director Peter Sasdy's 'COUNTESS DRACULA'-1970(will it contain a longer version?). Every Hammer Horror fan living or undead deserve to have this in their collections. Bravo, Synapse.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Twins of Evil...you might want to hold off... April 17 2010
By Scott Atkins - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This region free DVD offers just the film in an enhanced anamorpic presentation. This transfer won't blow you away like some of the recent Hammer film releases via Sony. Some digital artifacts are present but overall this is a decent if unremarkable transfer.

It should be noted that my DVD arrived without a DVD case! It was mailed flat with just the DVD and the DVD insert. However, I did buy a used copy. No playback issues to report.

Rumor has it that Synapse films has aquired the rights to VAMPIRE CIRCUS, HANDS OF THE RIPPER and TWINS OF EVIL for release on DVD and Blu-ray(!) in the United States by the end of 2010! So you might want to hold off on this title for a bit longer.
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