I’ve been burned quite a few times by “erotic horror classics,” so forgive me if I went into this film with more than a bit of trepidation. Too many times it seems that filmmakers confuse “erotic” with “misogyny” and “horror” with, well, “misogyny.” I’m happy to say that Vampyres, while not perfect, is still pretty good.
The first five minutes pretty much tell you what the entire movie will be like: Fran and Miriam (Marianne Morris and Playboy centerfold Anulka) roll on a bed in a fit of lesbian passion, only be shot by someone and later become vampires. Practically no reason is given for really anything in the movie, and you end up having to take a lot on faith. You never find out why they became vampires, or who shot them, or why the police are so incredibly un-curious about the dead, bloodless men they find just about every day. Really, the whole movie is about blood and boobs, but it works pretty well provided you can turn off your brain for a little while.
Anyway, when they’re not having hot lesbian sex, Fran and Miriam like to stand out on the side of the road and pretend to be hitchhikers. Everyday they lure a new man back to their manor house with this hitchhiking routine, have sex with him, and then kill him to drink his blood. When they’re done, they leave the man, naked and bloody, in his car somewhere down the road, staged to look like he had an accident. That the man is nude never seems to bother the local police—they just cart the body away on a stretcher, radio for a tow truck, and call it a day.
Oh, and there’s a bit of plot about Fran keeping around one driver as a food source/love toy, and there’s a couple on vacation that are unlucky enough to park their Winnebago outside a vampire’s house, but those are ancillary to the aforementioned boobs and blood.
The movie is presented in Widescreen 1.85:1 in 1080p HD Resolution with the audio in English in 7.1 DTS-HD or 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround EX or the original Mono. English and French subtitles are provided. Considering this is a 70s movie, it looks and sounds quite well in Blu-ray. There were no problems with either the audio or the video.
Return of the Vampyres – Interviews with Stars Marianne Morris and Anulka (13:39) – Good interview with the stars. It seems like they had a good time making this movie.
Audio Commentary with Director Jose Ramon Larraz and Producer Brian Smedley-Aston – Pretty standard commentary fare here. Fans of commentary tracks will enjoy this.
International Trailer (2:32)
U.S. Trailer (3:04)
Atmospheric, sexy, and bloody as all get-out, Vampyres won’t win any awards for plotting or characterization, but it’s not a bad erotic horror movie. If you’re a fan of this genre (subgenre?) then I’d say check it out, but if you’re a bit more discerning in your tastes, I’d skip this one.
Blue Underground presents Vampyres. Directed by: Jose Ramon Larraz. Starring: Marianne Morris, Anulka, Murray Brown, Brian Deacon, Sally Faulkner, Michael Byrne, and Karl Lanchbury. Written by: Diane Daubeney. Running time: 88 Minutes. Rating: NR. Released on DVD: March 30, 2010. Available at Amazon.com