Reviews May Contain Minor Spoilers

If you're reading a review you should expect to hear some spoilers. I try to keep them to a minimum though.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Lust for a Vampire

Thus, a dreaded sequel rears its ugly head, but will it follow the character depth and strong plot or the gratuitous nudity and pointless subplots of the first...

Pilgrim Hat Returns! With Goatee!
Lust for a Vampire (1971) is the second of the Karnstein Trilogy is loosely based on the forced plot thread of Pilgrim Hat Guy from The Vampire Lovers.

Captain Pilgrim Hat kills a girl and uses her blood to resurrect Carmilla. Afterward, Richard Lestrange, a writer of horror fiction arrives to study Karnstein Castle, so he can write a novel about it. He encounters nutty history professor and genealogist Giles Barton who shows him to the girl's school. They are just in time to meet the new student Mircalla Herritzen. Lestrange falls instantly in love with Mircalla and even ignores the disappearance and death that follow her arrival.

What this film gives us is some pointless history of the Karnsteins and a lot of pointless nudity. It halfheartedly attempts to capture the multifaceted nature of Carmilla, but only manages to have a stupid love at first sight romatic plot with Lestrange. After he sexes her up, she's no danger to him!
Yes, stare harder at his neck, that means true love, right?

Our Sap
Richard Lestrange is the kind of insipid, boring main character who would be right at home in most of today's horror films. He's so cute all the girls and even the gym teacher immediately have the hots for him. However once he's seen Mircalla or Carmilla (as I'll refer to her once again), he deceives the school's English teacher into going to Vienna, so he can take the job. By far, his proudest day is when he finds out Carmilla's a vampire immediately after finding out she's killed Professor Barton. His first reaction is to confront her alone and at midnight. The worst part is that this idea works.

Ms. Playfair, I really wish I was making that name up.
Nonsensical Observers
Ms. Playfair is the gym teacher who falls in love with Lestrange at first sight. She's about as well written as her name. Playfair, who names a gym teacher that? She's just there to rouse suspicion and pick up our sap when he's done doing nothing.

Lady Simpson is the schoolmistress who's under the spell of Carmilla's mother, the countess. She mostly whines about how she's going to lose everything.

Professor Giles Barton is a wannabe occultist, genealogist, and schoolteacher. He tries to be comic relief; I think.
A rare shot of 19th century Pilgrim Hat Guy, complete with hat!

Pilgrim Hat Guy raises Carmilla from the dead and is also a pretend doctor. In the 40 years since the first film, he's grown a goatee and learned to speak. Well, that speaking thing isn't exactly his strong suit; fortunately, he can still stand around and do nothing like a boss. Oh, and his signature pilgrim hat is only in a few scenes... Maybe he wants to be called goatee guy? That'll never happen.

Spoiled Villainess
Carmilla is reduced to a bimbo who must suck blood to survive; unless it's a sexy dude, then she is his helpless lover. Oh, and she's under the control of Pilgrim Hat guy, she's blond, and Carmilla is her real name now. Basically, she's not a likeable Carmilla anymore.

Yes, on the right there, that's what this movie is about.
Okay Atmosphere
The story is so paperthing and cliche that this may as well have been turned into softcore pornography, but effects got better. Yay.

In the End
A priest randomly shows up and they form a lynch mob to kill the Karnsteins. Lestrange moans about saving Carmilla; she dies randomly; the castle burns down; the end credits play; nobody cares.

This film is both bad and boring, a winning combination. It uses the love at first sight trope more than any film I've seen. Seriously, it happens at least three times. This adaptation gets so far from its roots that I'd hardly consider it a sequel. Do yourself a favor and skip it.

Next time: I complete the Karnstein Trilogy with Twins of Evil. I hope that is not a bad double entendre.

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