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4.0 out of 5 stars Middling Hammer vampire effort gets superior DVD treatment
Lust for a Vampire is the second and generally acknowledged as the least of Hammer's Carmilla Karnstein trilogy (Vampire Lovers, Lust, Twins of Evil). The movie is actually better than I expected, with most of the downside apparently due to postproduction fiddling by producers Harry Fine and Michael Style. The script by Tudor Gates contains a few fresh twists, Jimmy...
Published on Dec 13 2001 by Surfink

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3.0 out of 5 stars Camp Good Fun
Set in the 1830s in some fictitious east European country, it begins with the evil Count and Countess Karnstein catching themselves a young virgin from the village whom they sacrifice to the Devil in order to resurrect the beautiful Countess Carmilla (Yutte Stensgaard). We then switch scene to young writer of horror stories, Richard LeStrange (Michael Johnson) arriving...
Published on March 31 2004 by snalen


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3.0 out of 5 stars Camp Good Fun, March 31 2004
This review is from: Lust for a Vampire (Widescreen) (DVD)
Set in the 1830s in some fictitious east European country, it begins with the evil Count and Countess Karnstein catching themselves a young virgin from the village whom they sacrifice to the Devil in order to resurrect the beautiful Countess Carmilla (Yutte Stensgaard). We then switch scene to young writer of horror stories, Richard LeStrange (Michael Johnson) arriving in the local village to hear the usual stories about how the castle on the hill is a Place of Evil blah blah blah. So off he goes to investigate only to discover that, place of evil or not, it is now adjacent to a posh girl's finishing school brimful of stunning young women including a certain Mircalla who he is instantly smitten by, rather unhappily as her name being an anagram for 'Carmilla' is no accident. Smitten as he is he quickly contrives to get taken on as an English teacher and is given lodgings to share with the decidedly strange history teacher Giles Barton played by Ralph Bates. Obviously it isn't long before nubile young ladies start cropping up dead with strange marks on their necks.
A fair amount of confusion seems to have reigned over the making of this. It's a sequel to the earlier 'Vampire Lovers' where Ingrid Pitt played the role of Carmilla. Here they couldn't get her so they used the relatively unkown Stensgaard. Terence Fisher was originally pencilled in to direct but Sangster had to take over when that fell through. And Peter Cushing was originally to have been cast as Barton but was replaced by Bates when that didn't work out either. Not that any of these replacements prove so very disastrous. Sangster does a decent enough job. Stensgaard is pretty good in the lead: it was probably the high point of her short career before she quit to work for a Christian radio station in the USA. And Bates isn't Cushing but is still serviceably creepy. The weak point of the film and the main reason this is one of Hammer's less successful vampire movies is Johnson as LeStrange who should be the dramatic and emotional centre of the movie but who fails to breath life into a serious disappointingly feeble and uninteresting character. Suzanna Leigh is equally lacklustre as Janet Playfair, the main goodie female character, the virtuous young teacher who takes a fancy to LeStrange (who is surely just not interesting enough to be very credibly such a big hit with the ladies, both dead and undead, as he is here). So by no means the greatest of the Hammer vampires but great fun nonetheless. If you like this sort of thing (and I have to say love it) all the ingredients are there: blood, sex, evil old counts with V-shaped haircuts, muttering villagers, peasant girls with heaving bosoms, black carriages with big black horses, noctural assignations, vampires turning to skeletons after getting 'staked', bodies down wells, stalwart local policemen who don't really know what they're up against, creepy graveyards... Oh go on. You know you really want to.
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1.0 out of 5 stars HAMMER EMBRACES THE DARK SIDE, Feb. 3 2004
By 
K. Jump (Corbin, KY United States) - See all my reviews
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A poor follow-up to "The Vampire Lovers," no classic itself, "Lust for a Vampire" continues Hammer Sutidos' efforts to resurrect their vampire franchise with hopped up levels of sex and blood. Though based on J. Sheridan LeFanu's immortal novella "Carmilla," there's nothing literary about LFAV's script,which essentially meanders aimlessly from one lesbian vampire shot to the next until everything mercifully burns up at the end. Interminably paced, amateurishly written, and largely nonsensical as anything other than softcore cheesecake with a strong dash of blood, LFAV lacks even "The Vampire Lovers" strong cast to give it some buoyancy. Michael Johnson's writer/teacher is a pain, Yutte Stensgaard is more than attractive but totally unconvincing as a vampire, Mike Raven does a good Christopher Lee imitation but then disappears, and Ralph Bates, whose performance is certainly the best of the whole cast, doesn't have enough to do and vanishes too quickly.
It's a pity, because this could have been a good movie if it had only been taken in a different direction. The plot, background, and vampire movie experience are all there--Hammer just doesn't do anything with them.
"Lust For a Vampire" has more than its fair share of fans and I used to be one of them. Today it continues to appeal to red-blooded teen males of all ages despite its numerous shortcomings, largely because of its blood, nudity, and lesbian undertones. LFAV is surely light fare compared to many modern horror efforts, and looks like a model of restrained etiquette compared to some contemporary vampire films. But there are many better vampire films out there, such as the original "Nosferatu" or Bela Lugosi's "Dracula," not to mention Hammer's own "Horror of Dracula" or "Brides of Dracula." These are movies of class, distinction, imagination and mystery. Give one of those a try and I think you'll agree there's no comparison.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hammer's dishy sequel to Vampire Lovers . . ., June 14 2003
By 
Robert Cossaboon "devil doll" (The happy land of Walworth, NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lust for a Vampire (Widescreen) (DVD)
Lust For a Vampire is the second part of the Karnstein trilogy, that began with Vampire Lovers and which was to conclude with Twins of Evil. Of the three movies, this one is definitely the weak link in the three, but still has some merits. Originally, Peter Cushing and Ingrid Pitt had been tapped to star in this film, but due to family illness, Cushing opted out, and Pitt's prior committment to another project at the time made her unavailable. One can only wonder how the film would have benefited with Cushing's cultured experience and Pitt's stony, seductive approach. As it stood, we had to content ourselves with Ralph Bates and Jutte Stensgard, a Danish bombshell with no acting talent whatsoever. Bates wasn't so bad as the schoolmaster, he brought a sleaziness that improved the character. But Jutte Stensgard, however, just doesn't stack up to the role of Micarlla-although she is undeniably some very fine eye candy, she is neither menacing nor believable as a vampire. Also, another blow to the production was Terence Fisher's exit from the project and Jimmy Sangster taking up the directorial helm at the last minute. Did Sangster contribute more of an erotic element to this picture-watch the first 30 minutes of relentless toplessness and near nudity and judge for yourself. Where the film gets interesting is when the body count starts to grow, and when Bate's schoolmaster Giles character comes more into prominence. Chief strengths of the film are the night scenes, and the rustic location as a whole. I've always believed that the best vampire stories are set in small villages as opposed to cities. As a whole, the film suffers from weak characters ("I love you"s come at the weirdest, most implausible moments), a very thin plot that seems as if it has been padded by lots of gratuitous nudity, and a very bizarre decision on someone's part to place a pop song in the middle of a seduction scene! Also, you will need to suspend your knowledge of vampire lore, because these vampires walk and play in the daytime. The violence is almost non-existent. There is a sacrificial scene at the very beginning of the film, and a couple of graphic stakings later on, but that's about it. The DVD features are commendable. There are some nice poster galleries and a clear commentary track. There is a hidden treat for Stensgard fans (go to features and then hit right arrow to light up the cross on the dagger, and then hit enter). If you choose to bypass this film for something else, you will be none the worse for missing it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Middling Hammer vampire effort gets superior DVD treatment, Dec 13 2001
This review is from: Lust for a Vampire (Widescreen) (DVD)
Lust for a Vampire is the second and generally acknowledged as the least of Hammer's Carmilla Karnstein trilogy (Vampire Lovers, Lust, Twins of Evil). The movie is actually better than I expected, with most of the downside apparently due to postproduction fiddling by producers Harry Fine and Michael Style. The script by Tudor Gates contains a few fresh twists, Jimmy Sangster's direction is competent, the women, especially Yutte Stensgaard as Mircalla, are gorgeous, and Ralph Bates is excellent in a difficult role (originally intended for Peter Cushing). But what really mars the film and no doubt contributes to its poor reputation are some shockingly bad editing and soundtrack decisions: an otherwise effective scene of three 'vampiresses' stalking Michael Johnson in Karnstein castle is ruined by an idiotic voiceover; the unintentionally hilarious "subjective" murder shots were no doubt intended to be cut away from much sooner than they are; blatantly obvious, mismatched closeups of Christopher Lee's bloodshot eyes are substituted for Mike Raven's; Stensgaard and Johnson's big vampire attack/love scene is rendered completely ludicrous by an absolutely awful pop song ("Strange Love") warbling in the background, etc., etc. The movie's quite watchable but frustrating because you keep thinking, "if only Jimmy Sangster had been allowed to edit this it probably would've been much better." (After saving Hammer's bacon by replacing injured Terence Fisher at the last minute, Sangster was unceremoniously ordered off the film by the producers as soon as shooting wrapped.) As it is, it's worth a look for Hammer and vampire fans, but ultimately less than completely satisfying.
Whatever one thinks of the film, you can't complain about Anchor's DVD package. The uncut, anamorphic widescreen (1.77:1) source print is a wee bit soft, but otherwise virtually flawless, with great color, contrast, detail, and nary a speckle to be seen. Extras include an equally gorgeous trailer, radio spots, poster and still gallery, filmographies, and a commentary by Jimmy Sangster, Suzanna Leigh, and Hammer historian Marcus Hearn. This is a real treat, since they spend most of the time discussing a wide range of personalities and topics, including some behind-the-scenes Hammer dish, rather than just focusing on the movie. Overall another fine release from Anchor, who've really been setting the standard for "special edition" DVDs lately, horror or otherwise. 5 stars for the DVD, 3 or 4 for the movie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, Oct. 25 2001
By 
Blahblahblah (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lust for a Vampire (Widescreen) (DVD)
Today, Hammer studio's the Vampire Lovers (an adaptation of LeFanu's Camille) is an erotic gothic film that could be easily shown on prime time TV (except for a bit of nudity) and is still a good piece of filmaking. However, Lust for a Vampire, which was rushed out by Hammer to cash in on the Vampire Lovers' success, is a more exploitative piece of schlock, but one that is nevertheless fun to watch. An author arrives in a small town where women are being brutally murdered (the locals know it is a vampire, but he is too rational to believe this). Much to his sinful delight, he finds himself with the opportunity to replace the professor of literature at a local all-girls academy where every student is gorgeous and they exercise outdoors in flimsy gowns and no underwear. One of the students is a bisexual female vampire (who has a few sexy but very brief scenes with her roommates), and she and the author fall in love. Alas, their love is doomed for they are from two different worlds. The film is, by today's standards, also relatively tame and it gets a bit dull at times when the script attempts to become a more serious gothic thriller, but most of it is harmless exploitative fun with a self-depricating sense of humour.
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3.0 out of 5 stars So wonderfullly bad, March 26 2003
By 
A. Gammill (Tupelo, MS United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lust for a Vampire (Widescreen) (DVD)
The middle chapter of Hammer's Karnstein trilogy (between The Vampire Lovers and Twins of Evil), LUST FOR A VAMPIRE is a textbook example of the studio's penchant for excess in the early '70s. Fans of classic Hammer fare like Horror of Dracula and Curse of Frankenstein will be disappointed with the weak script and atrocious acting. But if the lesbian vampire sub-genre is your thing, you'll, uh, get off on this film.
Treasure or trash, LUST FOR A VAMPIRE looks fantastic thanks to the wonderful folks at Anchor Bay. There's a commentary track that is fairly pedestrian, and the goofy theatrical trailer.
If this sort of thing is your cup of T (and A), by all means, sink your teeth into it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lust for a Vampire Movie, Aug. 11 2002
This review is from: Lust for a Vampire (Widescreen) (DVD)
A good adaption of story Carmilla. Hammer films decided to make a trio of lesbian vampire films, (this film, the Vampire Lovers, & Twins of Evil).
This is much better than Twins of Evil, & more explicit in its nudity & vampirism than the Vampire Lovers.
I remember seeing this on video in the early 1980s when my hormones were a popping - and thus it's always held a special place in my staked heart.
The major inconsistency with the plot is that at the vampire's vicitms scream when they are attacked at the beginning of the film, but by the end of the film the last victim's almost in orgasm as she's being attacked - did the vampire just get better at biting?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sequal to "THE VAMPIRE LOVERS"., Sept. 27 2001
By 
chucky (veazie, me usa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lust for a Vampire (Widescreen) (DVD)
Once again, Hammer Films make a fine vampire flick. This is the film that followed behind Hammer's "The vampire Lovers". In this movie, YUTTE STENSGAARD plays Carmilla and she is resurrected by another vampire. There she blends in with the other villagers and begins preying on innocent male victims. RALPH BATES plays a professor who figures out who she is and what's she's been up to! This film isn't as good as "The vampire Lovers", but it is a good vampire movie from Hammer films. This DVD will be uncut and contains 5 additional minutes not seen in the previous version on REPUBLIC home video! Buy it today!
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Straaaaaaaaaaaaange Loooooooooooove!!!!!!!!", Jan. 8 2004
By 
James R. Blevins (Somerset, Kentucky) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lust for a Vampire (Widescreen) (DVD)
What an awsome movie!! Kicks all modern so called "horror" films to pieces!!! I even liked the song "Strange Love" and thought it was very touching to add to the love and/or lust scenes hahaha!!! Wish the other Camilla films would get released to DVD!! SERIOUSLY, Anchor BAY did it's usual high quality job on the DVD release, even including the soundtrack on the opening menus ( And I love the music so much I pop it into the machine and let it play for hours, my wife says I'm ill but I caught her humming the tune as well HAHA!!! Great way to spend 95 minutes in front of the tube!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Anchor Bay Does It Again, Jan. 19 2002
By 
Dr. Freeman (Perry, Iowa United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lust for a Vampire (Widescreen) (DVD)
Here is another excellant DVD from Anchor Bay. They have done marvelous things with this and other Hammer films. Lust for a Vampire, while not known as one of Hammers great films is in my opinion well worth the price of the DVD. Of course while Lee and Cushing would have made it all the better it is still one of the better, later Hammer films. My only problem with this picture is the silly song, Strange Love!!! Very distracting and totally uncalled for. Im hoping to see the other two in this trilogy,Vampire Lovers and Twins of Evil, offered on DVD soon.
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Lust for a Vampire (Widescreen)
Lust for a Vampire (Widescreen) by Jimmy Sangster (DVD - 2002)
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