Thursday, February 27, 2014

Vampyres (1974)

Title: Vampyres (1974)

Director: Jose Ramon Larraz

Cast: Marianne Morris, Anulka, Dziubinska

I’ve been catching up with the whole Lesbian Vampire sub-genre and it’s been a trip. Weirdest thing about these movies is that most of them are very well made and beautiful to look at, also, most of the time they lean more towards being artful and beautiful to look at. Vampiros Lesbos (1971) and The Living Dead Girl (1982) surprised me in that way, as did Daughters ofDarkness (1971), which I like to call 'the classy one'. Vampyres always gets mentioned as an important part of the sub genre, so I decided to finally give it a spin. Up to this point, I’d seen nothing but good lesbian vampire movies, this I’m sad to inform was the first of the bunch to disappoint me. Why? Well, my disappointment lies in the film being so simple minded, I mean, there’s no meat to this film. The story starts with these two lesbian chicks making out in bed and suddenly this mysterious dude comes in and shoots them. Talk about coitus interruptus! So anyways, after that they become vampires. Their modus operandi in order to feed is to use their female powers on men who pass by their castle. Then they ask for a ride and wham, guys fall in the trap like flies on a spider web.

I don’t mind simplicity in a film if said film compensates with something else, like for example style, or action. Gore will do the trick as well. Maybe even funny elements? The only thing this film has to offer is nudity, and tons of it. These vampire girls are naked practically throughout the whole film, in fact, the film starts with the girls naked in bed! I don’t complaint when there are beautiful women up on the screen, but when that’s all the film has to offer, and everything else falls flat, then the film feels like a poor excuse for a porn film. It feels empty. I mean, this literally feels like soft porn. I didn’t get this empty feeling with films like The Vampire Lovers (1970) or even Vampiros Lesbos (1971). In those films, the nudity is tantalizing and yeah, why not, gratuitous, but at the same time, the nudity wasn’t these films main focus, the nudity is like an extra. Plus, there was always the beautiful cinematography, the locations, the atmosphere, the gore! Vampyres lacks a lot in all these places, all it has going for it are the naked girls, everything else is simply put: boring as hell.

The films plot reminded me a bit of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser (1987) because it is a film about women using their sensuality to reel in their victims, unfortunately, Vampyres has none of the shock value seen in Hellraiser. The film did have a couple of chances to be shocking, but it completely wasted them to completely bore us to death. For example there’s this scene in which the girls feed on this guy, and we see blood all over the place, but where are the wounds? The blood seems simply put on the actors before filming the scenes, it wasn’t gushing out of any wound. And speaking of wounds, there is this one scene that kind of got my attention in which one of the vampire girls slits this dudes wrist and starts sucking on the open wound, it was a pretty nasty sequence, which by the way just went on and on and on. I have to admit it had me cringing, but unfortunately that’s as far as this movie went in terms of getting a reaction from me. The other thing I did enjoy where some of the shots of the castle during the night, these scenes where truly eerie, made even cooler because this is the same castle in which The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) was shot in! I thought I recognized that castle!

Now if you’re the kind of person who is satisfied with a film that focuses entirely on nudity and sex, then by all means indulge! These actresses are beautiful and well, they do go down on each other on more than one occasion. Speaking of the sex scenes on this movie, they are feral, almost animal like. The girls are vampires so that’s to be expected I guess, but one dude is like all beastly when he has sex with one of the vampire vixens. So anyhow, I wasn’t impressed at all with this one, I’d recommend it to hardcore fans of vampire films, but even then you might be disappointed because there are no fangs, no gore and none of the traditional things you’d expect to see in a vampire film. You almost feel like these girls are simply weird girls who like to drink blood. Vampyres was my first real disappointment in the lesbian vampire sub genre, I recommend seeing other films in this genre before wasting your time with this one.

Rating:  2 out of 5 



Kev D. said...

When exploring a sub-genre as specific as VAMPIRE LESBIANS, you're pretty much guaranteed to be disappointed at some point :)

Franco Macabro said...

Thing is that so far, I'd seen nothing but the good stuff, this was the first one to let me down, so far. I've seen most of the important ones, but I've still got more Jean Rollin to watch.


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