Studio: Lurco Films
Starring: Marianne Morris, Anulka Dziubinska, Murray Brown
Directed By: José Ramón Larraz
Running Time: 87 Minutes
This is a film that I wanted to see for a long time and a few years ago I finally got to see it. I first heard about the 1974 film, Vampyres in the late 80’s while reading my Encyclopedia of Horror Movies book. Later, in the early 90’s, I saw a trailer for it on the Drive-In Madness VHS tape.
Between now and then I’ve read articles in magazines and online about the film, but I got the movie on DVD and was finally able to watch it. The film is not a classic, but it is a pretty good film with an awesome gothic setting and two very beautiful vampires.
The film opens up with two women, Fran (Marianne Morris) and Miriam (Anulka Dziubinska) lying on a bed naked having sex. Suddenly someone bursts in and shoots them, killing them both.
The film then jumps a number of years and follows a traveling businessman, Ted (Murray Brown) and a young couple, John (Brian Deacon) and Harriet (Sally Faulkner). The young couple is traveling the English countryside and decides to camp out in their caravan in the woods close to an old mansion.
Ted ends up picking up a woman (who happens to be Fran) and he brings her back to her home, which is the old mansion. Ted spends the night with her, but discovers something bizarre about Fran and the old mansion. He later meets Fran’s friend and sometimes roommate, Miriam and finds the situation is getting stranger by the minute.
Meanwhile, Harriet sees the two women go in the mansion and bring in men every night. John tells her not to worry about them, but Harriet feels something is strange about the two women. Ted keeps coming back for more and can’t get enough of Fran.
One night while Ted is on a drunken bender, Fran and Miriam go into another bedroom with a young man that Miriam brought home and start to stab him and drink his blood. Throughout the film, the two continue to get victims for themselves and decide whether or not they are going to make Ted live or die.
What I liked about the film was the gothic creepy atmosphere that it gives off. The old mansion is a great homage to a classic haunted house or castle from classic horror films. There is great suspense throughout the film that keeps you on edge.
The cast does a good job with portraying their characters and both Morris and Dziubinska seduce the viewer every time they are on screen. It also helps that they are naked most of the movie and always looking very sexy.
I also like the fact that you are not sure if they are vampires. In the opening scene when they are murdered you are lead to believe they were killed a long time ago and have come back as ghosts or some type of vampire. The women don’t act like traditional vampires. They don’t have fangs or turn into bats or burn up in sunlight. There are scenes where the two of them are running for cover to get out of the sun around dawn and the mirrors in the place are covered.
Are they really vampires or do they think they are and follow the same rules that they read in books or saw in movies? They do drink blood, but only after they kill someone by using a knife. So, you never know if they are really vampires, but it really doesn’t matter and that’s what makes the movie unique.
There are some strange things in the film that don’t make any sense or that are not explained. One scene is in the beginning when Ted checks into a hotel. The manager there thinks he knows him and believes he has been to that hotel before. Ted says he doesn’t know him and has never been in this place before.
After that Ted goes in his room and acts very strange. This is really never explained and after this he is seen picking up Fran. You almost think that he is hiding something or he was someone else in another life by the way that scene plays out, but it is never touched upon again in the film.
Another odd thing in the film is why John and Harriet are parked in the woods right next to the mansion for a few days. It’s not like they broke down or something like that. Why couldn’t they pick a place more secluded? If I were the owner of the mansion, I wouldn’t want them parking on my lawn.
Then there is a scene where Harriet is painting a picture outside and Fran and Miriam approach her and say something to her like “you finally arrived”. You would think they wanted her to join them and become a vampire, but this plot line never goes anywhere either.
There are also a number of scenes where the women are shown in the daylight, but there are also a few scenes where they are running for cover when the sun comes up. Those day scenes may be at dusk when the sun has just gone down but it is hard to tell.
Vampyres’ director, Jose Ramon Larraz , also directed other erotic horror films, such as the twisted Black Candles, where a woman has sex with a goat in one scene.
Anulka Dziubinska was a Playboy Playmate in May of 1973. Marianne Morris appeared in British comedies both on the big and small screen and also appeared nude in a men’s magazine, the British publication, Mayfair.
Vampyres is worth a look. It is a good gothic horror film and a different type of vampire story.