ⓘ Vampyres (film)

                                     

ⓘ Vampyres (film)

Vampyres is a 1974 British erotic/lesbian vampire horror film directed by Jose Ramon Larraz and starring Anulka Dziubinska, Marianne Morris, and Murray Brown. It was filmed on location in England.

                                     

1. Plot

Two beautiful women, Fran Marianne Morris and Miriam Anulka Dziubinska roam the English countryside. They lure unsuspecting men to their estate for orgies of sex and blood. But when an innocent young couple John and Harriett Brian Deacon and Sally Faulkner stumble into the vampires lair, they find themselves sucked into an unforgettable vortex of savage lust and forbidden desires.

                                     

2. Production

Vampyres was shot on a modest budget of £42.000 equivalent to £441.000 in 2019.

Effective use is made of erstwhile Hammer horror set Oakley Court and interiors were shot in Harefield Grove, a grade-II listed, early-nineteenth-century country house in the London borough of Hillingdon.

Eroticism and graphic violence are interspersed with poetic dreamlike sequences, as when Fran and Miriam, after showering away the blood from their latest victim, flee to a nearby cemetery Denham churchyard at break of dawn.

One of Vampyres unique improvisations on the vampire genre is the decision for its vampires to feed out of a cut in the arm of victim Ted. Larraz explains his impetus behind this choice, saying, "I imagine my vampires turn almost to cannibalism, to eat somebody, to take the blood from anywhere, no matter if it is on the arm or on the balls!" Film theorist Barbara Creed called this wound "one of the most grotesque sights in the film."

Anulka had been featured in Playboy s "Girls of Munich" pictorial in 1972, and appeared as the magazines Playmate of the Month in May 1973. While Vampyres was her first acting role on film, Anulka went on to appear in Ken Russells Lisztomania 1975 and Michael Tuchners The Likely Lads 1976.

Prior to Vampyres, Marianne Morris had appeared in Corruption 1968, Lovebox 1972, Just One More Time 1974, and Percys Progress 1974. Morris appeared naked in the October 1976 edition of British mens magazine Mayfair.

The making of the film was briefly covered in the 1974 BBC documentary The Dracula Business.

                                     

3. Release

The film was bought by the British distributor Fox-Rank in 1974, who did not release it until 1976 as a double-feature with The Devils Rain. Vampyres was distributed in the US by Cambist, who released it uncut with an X certificate.

It was initially censored in the UK, with 2 minutes and 21 seconds of gory and sexual content cut. Larraz called this cut of the film "the Vatican version". Vampyres is now available uncut on DVD. The uncut Blu-ray was released by Blue Underground on 30 March 2010, and includes commentary with director Jose Ramon Larraz and producer Brian Smedley-Aston, interviews with stars Marianne Morris and Anulka, the international trailer, and the U.S. trailer.

Alternate titles

  • Satans Daughters
  • Vampyres, Daughters of Dracula Brazil, Mexico
  • Daughters of Dracula U.S.
  • Blood Hunger
  • Vampyres: Daughters of Darkness U.S.
                                     

4. Reception

Vampyres received a mixed reception, with many reviews focusing on the films explicit depiction of female bisexuality. The Independent Film Journal suggested that the film "bares enough flesh and suggestive coupling to link it to the softcore circuit rather than the traditional horror market". Variety s Frank Segers wrote that the film "indicates b.o. potential in appropriate adult situations.combining lesbian predilections with the usual bloodthirsty vampirical ways."

The UK press response also concentrated on the films sexual content, despite its cuts. David Pirie wrote in The Monthly Film Bulletin, "it is rare for sex and violence to be so completely and graphically integrated in a British movie left surprisingly intact by the censor." Screen International s Marjorie Bilbow called Vampyres "A let down for horror addicts, with fringe benefits for voyeurs."