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Blu Review – The Vampire Lovers (Scream Factory)

If you dare… taste the deadly passion of the blood-nymphs!

Director – Roy Ward Baker (The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, The Monster Club)
Starring – Ingrid Pitt (The Wicker Man, Countess Dracula), Pippa Steel (Lust for a Vampire, Guns in the Heather), and Madeline Smith (Theater of Blood, The Dark Knight)
Release Date – 1970
Rating – 4/5
Blu Release – 4.5/5

Peter Cushing is a cinema legend appearing in countless genre defying films but many know him for his contributions to horror. Many recognize him from his roles in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Dr. Who and the Daleks, and Tales from the Crypt. However, his work with Hammer Horror will always be what I remember him most for. He appeared in several of Hammer’s partnership films with Universal and dozens more horror titles.

Several weeks ago Scream Factory announced the release of 1970’s The Vampire Lovers. This was a Hammer production that I was familiar with but it had been several years since my last viewing. I reached out to Scream Factory and they were kind enough to send a copy my way. With my recent Shout/Scream Factory marathon I decided to revisit this one.

**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a wealthy family who finds themselves visited by a new family one night while throwing a lavish party. However, the matriarch is forced to leave and asks to leave her daughter in their care while she is away. He agrees and before long members of his family fall ill to a strange sickness before dying. She moves on to another wealthy family and the illness repeats before the locals realize that there is a vampire among them. **Spoiler alert**

The Vampire Lovers doesn’t have the following that many of the other Hammer releases do but I enjoy it very much. I love the characters, the story, the sets, and the acting. There is so much to enjoy with this one and it’s one that I can see myself revisiting multiple times without tiring of it. It’s one of my favorite Hammer films behind Night Creatures and Kiss of the Vampire which is saying something.

The acting in this one is great. Peter Cushing delivers another knock out performance but he’s not as much a part of the story as other films from Hammer. Regardless, he doesn’t disappoint. The star of the show, at least to me anyway, is Ingrid Pitt. She makes this movie what it is with her mix of on screen charm and sultry stares. When you combine that with the impressive supporting cast you find yourself with something unforgettable.

The story for this one is a little repetitive but the characters and ending makes it worthwhile. The characters are so well written and the story progresses along nicely. The dialogue doesn’t over do it and the pacing is great for a Hammer film. As I said earlier, it does get a little repetitive but it doesn’t ruin the experience.

Finally, the film has some blood and light practical effects but that is it which is what you would expect from a vampire film from the late 60s and early 70s. Overall, The Vampire Lovers is a fantastic Hammer release and one of the most underrated vampire films of the 70s. I highly recommend grabbing this release from Scream Factory. It’s worth every penny.

Special Features:
NEW 4K Scan From The Original Camera Negative
NEW Audio Commentary With Film Historian/Author Dr. Steve Haberman And Film Historian/Filmmaker Constantine Nasr
NEW The Rapture Of Cruelty: Carmilla In Classic Cinema – An Audio Essay Read By Actress Madeline Smith
NEW To Love A Vampire – An Introduction By Actress Madeline Smith
NEW Carnal Crimson – Film Historian/Author Kim Newman On The Carmilla Legend
NEW Fangs For The Memories – Film Historian/Author Jonathan Rigby Remembers THE VAMPIRE LOVERS
Audio Commentary With Director Roy Ward Baker, Actress Ingrid Pitt, And Screenwriter Tudor Gates
Audio Commentary With Film Historians Marcus Hearn And Jonathan Rigby
Feminine Fantastique – Resurrecting THE VAMPIRE LOVERS
New Blood: Hammer Enters The 70s – Film Historians Discuss Hammer Films During The 70s
Madeline Smith: Vampire Lover – An Interview With Actress Madeline Smith
Reading Of Carmilla By Actress Ingrid Pitt
Deleted Shot Of The Opening Beheading
Trailers From Hell: Mick Garris On THE VAMPIRE LOVERS
Theatrical Trailer
Radio Spots
Photo Galleries – Movie Stills, Behind-The-Scenes Stills, Posters, And Lobby Cards

Written by Blacktooth

(Staff Writer) Lover of all things horror and metal. Also likes boobs and booze.

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