Saturday, November 14, 2009


Views and Reviews by David Szurek

First off, this was directed by Jose Larraz, who gave us the abortive HOUSE ON STRAW HILL but is certainly a better movie. Secondly, despite the title(s) -- it’s also known as VAMPYRES, VAMPIRESS, DAUGHTERS OF DRACULA (not to be confused with the singular Universal) and DRACULA’S VAMPIRE DAUGHTERS -- no mention whatsoever of Vlad’s clan is made and indeed plotline, set in modern times by the way, makes any direct connection unlikely. Third, the film’s whole attitude causes it to lean in the direction of feminism, which is pleasantly surprising for anticipating the customary grade-Z bloodbath without viewpoint. Fourth, it is often quite amusing, although the bottom-budget sound system combined with exceptionally thick British accents deems it initially annoying, but either that improved or my ears adjusted in time. Fifth, ever notice that that most actresses who pose nude have no business doing so? Luckily stars Marianne Morris and Anulka flash their bare bods at us more than once and prove an exception to the unflattering rule.

Seems that Morris and Anulka are a pair of bisexuals (ever notice that screen lesbians rarely look like the stereotype?) murdered by a homophobe for having indulged mutual desires. Many years later, however, they return to life as vampires and decide to combine their need for sustenance with revenge on the male sex whom had persecuted them beyond toleration in life. Posing as hookers, they take up residence in an abandoned castle to which they take a succession of sleazy would-be johns and drink their blood. They decide to be merciful toward one particular traveling salesman and drain him of only a minute quantity. Unaware that the origin of his malady lies in his visit to the regal whorehouse, upon falling ill, the guy seeks assistance from a nearby couple who live in a trailer. Upon recovery, he finds that he has a crush on one of the girls, and keeps returning for more. In time, she falls for him too, which throws a monkey wrench in their plans to systematically drain him to death. The trailer couple, with whom he maintains ties out of gratitude, catches wind that something fishy is going on and poke their noses in where some might say they don’t belong, finding that all clues lead to a couple of mysterious girls whose nearby residence has been strangely unknown. Played almost sympathetically up to this point, the vampire girls, feeling that their scheme is about to be blown, set out after a certain couple who’d have done better leaving well enough alone.

A minor programmer to round out drive-in triple bills, VAMPYRES is no classic, not by a long shot, but is entertaining for what it is. You could (and probably have) done worse. Purchase is not recommended, but discount rental is.

[Originally published in Temple of Schlock #11, September 1988]

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