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Vampyres [Blu-ray]

Marianne Morris , Anulka , Jose Ramon Larraz    Unrated   Blu-ray
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 36.99
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"Naked girls and lots of blood, that's what Vampyres is about," says Joseph Larraz in the notes to the film. He rewrites the vampire myth to make his bloodsucking lovelies the restless ghosts of lesbian lovers murdered while making love in their shadowy castle. Reappearing nightly in the twilight forest, they lure men to their castle for blood feasts until the brunette vampire, Fran (Marianne Morris), falls for her latest victim (Murray Brown) and decides to keep him alive, a sex slave she slowly drains dry. "You're playing a dangerous game," warns blonde Miriam (Anulka), perhaps just a tad jealous. As the local cops watch a veritable wrecking yard of car crashes fill up the sleepy back roads (all with naked dead men behind the wheels), you have to wonder if anyone finds this a bit suspicious. It's a slim story filled with misty forests, candlelit castle interiors, and the above-mentioned blood and naked flesh. Larraz adds a few poetic flourishes--blood dripping down pale faces, clouds crawling past a castle--but, more important, gives the living dead girls a genuinely passionate relationship and a zest for nightlife. The DVD features commentary by Larraz and producer Brian Smedley-Ashton. --Sean Axmaker

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bosoms and bloodshed, a potent combination! Feb. 23 2004
VAMPYRES (UK 1974): A motorist (Murray Brown) is lured to an isolated country house inhabited by two beautiful young women (Marianne Morris and Anulka) and becomes enmeshed in their free-spirited sexual lifestyle, but his hosts turn out to be vampires with a frenzied thirst for human blood...
Taking its cue from the lesbian vampire cycle initiated by maverick director Jean Rollin in France, and consolidated by the success of Hammer's 'Carmilla' series in the UK, Jose Ramon Larraz' daring shocker VAMPYRES pushed the concept of Adult Horror much further than British censors were prepared to tolerate in 1974, and his film was cut by almost three minutes on its original British release. It isn't difficult to see why! Using its Gothic theme as the pretext for as much nudity, sex and bloodshed as the film's short running time will allow, Larraz (who wrote the screenplay under the pseudonym 'D. Daubeney') uses these commercial elements as mere backdrop to a languid meditation on life, death and the impulses - sexual and otherwise - which affirm the human condition. Shot on location at a picturesque country house during the Autumn of 1973, Harry Waxman's haunting cinematography conjures an atmosphere of grim foreboding, in which the desolate countryside - bleak and beautiful in equal measure - seems to foreshadow a whirlwind of impending horror (Larraz pulled a similar trick earlier the same year with SYMPTOMS, a low-key thriller which is all mood and very little action, until it erupts into a frenzy of violence during the final reel).
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Okay, 1974's VAMPYRES admittedly has numerous nude scenes--full frontal female nude scenes, in some cases--that was a prerequisite for the sexploitation horror pouring out of Europe in the 1970s. And yes, the two female players have hourglass figures, ample bosoms, and beautiful faces. However, this British indie film, directed by Spanish auteur José Ramón Larraz, has a cinematic aesthetic that makes it stand out above its contemporaries as a horror film of true quality. Larraz does a fantastic job of directing, working in close conjunction with cinematographer Harry Waxman to ensure that nearly every shot of every scene is a balanced, well-framed image. In keeping with the spooky atmosphere of the moldering English manor house and surrounding grounds used for location shooting, production designer Ken Bridgeman maintains the perfect ambiance throughout. And unlike many other buxom sexploitation actresses of the era, erotic stars Marianne Morris and Anulka (Dziubinska) can actually act, and they do a superb job in making the eponymous characters both scary and sympathetic.
In addition to the outstanding efforts of cast and crew, the tight, well-written script is refreshingly new--even from this vantage point of some thirty years hence. Avoiding the usual vampire clichés, these VAMPYRES are really more like ghosts who have some inexplicable but insatiable desire to feed on the blood of the living. They don't have fangs, they can tolerate moderate sunlight, and instead of resting in musty old caskets, they sleep in a wine cellar during the brightest of the daylight hours. They also can eat, drink liquids other than blood, and seem to genuinely enjoy sex.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An unusual turn for British horror... Dec 30 2003
By A Customer
In an unusual turn for the British horror film, Spanish-born director José Larraz helmed a trio of interesting, sometimes overlooked U.K. genre efforts: SCREAM AND DIE (aka THE HOUSE THAT VANISHED), VAMPYRES, and SYMPTOMS. Of the three, VAMPYRES is the one that garnished a considerable cult following to this day, as it's an outstanding slice of erotic goth that compares favorably to similar bloodsuckers from Jean Rollin and Jess Franco, and is far bolder than the classic sexy Hammer vamps of the period.
A pre-credit sequence shows two beautiful nude young ladies making love, and then being shot by an unseen assailant. We later see these ladies alive and well and black-garbed. Fran (Marianne Morris) and Miriam (Anulka Dziubinska) have a habit of flagging down cars on the countryside highway, and getting strange men to pick them up for insidious reasons.
VAMPYRES is one of the finest British horror films of the 70s, utilizing the lesbian vampire to full effect, and brimming with atmosphere and crimson-soaked grisliness. Although very inexperienced at the time and post-dubbed by other actresses, Marianne Morris and Anulka Dziubinska are mesmerizing as the female savages, easily alluring men and quickly caught up in a frenzy of animalistic blood drinking that becomes a carnal ordeal for them. Larraz keeps the duo very ambiguous, as the word "vampire" is never mentioned, they don't possess fangs, and their onscreen presence is often ghost-like. Although plotted in modern day and bathed in sex and violence, the film is furnished in a traditional gothic style, with the famous Oakley Court--the manor house of numerous Hammer films and THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW--providing haunting exteriors, and some decaying interiors as well.
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Most recent customer reviews
Published on June 18 2004 by John Micheal Tucci
2.0 out of 5 stars Too slow
Even allowing for the fact that this film is low budget, and from the 1970s, doesn't make up for its monotony. Read more
Published on Feb. 9 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Unsettling!
Although a lot of the reviews have focused on the sex in this movie (and yes, there are plenty of soft-core scenes), this movie was quite unsettling. Read more
Published on Dec 29 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars stylish, gory and very, very sexy
Ever since I read about this movie in a British horror magazine I wanted to watch it. And finally - it was released by Blue Underground on DVD, for the first time ever uncut (a... Read more
Published on Sept. 13 2003 by Manfred Zeichmann
4.0 out of 5 stars Sexy Seventies Horror Fun
I was a kid in the 1970s and loved horror movies. I watched a lot of late night creature features and read every book on horror films I could find. Read more
Published on Sept. 13 2003 by The JuRK
5.0 out of 5 stars Blue Underground Proves Once Again Why They're The Best
Up until recently, Anchor Bay Entertainment used to be the undisputed king of releasing horror, exploitation, foreign, art house and cult cinema on DVD with all the bells and... Read more
Published on Sept. 2 2003 by Stephen Dedalus
5.0 out of 5 stars READ BEFORE ORDERING!!!
Make no mistake this film is a cult classic along side the other female vampire film Vamyros Lesbos. It is bloody and sexy and fun. Read more
Published on July 9 2003 by Roule Duke
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooray for Blue Underground
For those already familiar with the film: I decided to trade in my Anchor Bay copy of Vampyres and get the Blue Underground edition, and I'm glad I did. Read more
Published on June 25 2003 by Blahblahblah
5.0 out of 5 stars Sexy, fun vampire flick
In a cinema dominated by PC- PG-13 horror movies afraid to push the limit on gore and sex, it's great to see a movie that is more than willing to push the boundaries. Read more
Published on May 29 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars As far as an erotic vampire movie goes, look no further
Where to begin.....
As far as an erotic vampire movie goes, look no further. As far as a savage and gory vampire movie goes, look no further. Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2002 by Troy M. Ros
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