Blu-ray Review: Scream Factory Releases Hammer’s ‘The Vampire Lovers’

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CHICAGO – Scream Factory, the horror branch of Shout Factory, continues to impress with their releases of arguably lesser-known horror films, including some ’70s and ’80s classics like the upcoming “The Burning,” “The Town That Dreaded Sundown,” “Lifeforce,” and “The Howling.” All four of those will be covered here. All four of those are better than “The Vampire Lovers,” a fun addition for Hammer Films fans but a movie that’s still not really all that good. Blu-ray rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

“The Vampire Lovers,” a film that the cover cautions is “Not for the mentally immature!,” is a ridiculous take on the vampire myth with a heavy, HEAVY dose of lesbian activity. It is a film that illustrates what happens when the Gothic horror aesthetic of Hammer Films meets the free love of the era in which it was made. Released in 1970, “The Vampire Lovers” features a fun performance from the great Peter Cushing, plenty of skin, and a few nice pieces of atmospheric filmmaking but the dialogue and storytelling here seems even more ridiculous than one might expect from a film that promises to let you “taste the deadly passion of the blood nymphs!” The transfer is also a little lackluster and the special features are kind of thin. I’ve loved some recent Scream Factory releases (“From Beyond,” “They Live,” and “Phantasm II”) and will surely love some of the upcoming potential gems. I can’t quite love these vampires.

The Vampire Lovers was released on Blu-ray on April 30, 2013
The Vampire Lovers was released on Blu-ray on April 30, 2013
Photo credit: Shout Factory

A female vampire with lesbian tendencies ravages the young girls and townsfolk of a peaceful hamlet in eighteenth century Europe who, years earlier, killed off her fellow vampires. A rousing hunt for the vampiress ensues as a group of men follow her bloody trail of terror through the countryside. Adapted from J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s novella “Carmilla,” The Vampire Lovers stars Ingrid Pitt, George Cole and Peter Cushing.

Now this “rather erotic Hammer chiller” (Leonard Maltin) appears on Blu-ray for the first time… If you dare, come into a twilight world of unspeakable horror and taste the deadly passion of the blood-nymphs!

Special Features:
o Femme Fantastique: Resurrecting The Vampire Lovers
o Reading Of “Carmilla” By Ingrid Pitt
o Commentary With Director Roy Ward Baker
o Interview With Actress Madeline Smith
o Photo Gallery
o Theatrical Trailer
o Radio Spot

“The Vampire Lovers” was released by Shout Factory on April 30, 2013. content director Brian Tallerico

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