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Film / Lust for a Vampire

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Lust for a Vampire is a 1971 British Hammer Horror film directed by Jimmy Sangster, starring Ralph Bates, Barbara Jefford, Suzanna Leigh, Michael Johnson, and Yutte Stensgaard.

In the year 1830, Count and Countess Karnstein conduct a Satanic ritual to resurrect their daughter Carmilla (Stensgaard). Later, she enrolls as a new student in a finishing school run by Miss Simpson under the alias Mircalla Herritzen.

Meanwhile, Richard LeStrange (Johnson) makes his way into the school after an encounter with a few of the students and takes an interest in Mircalla.

Not long after Mircalla's enrollment, however, things go south quickly when one of the girls disappears. When she is found dead, it is assumed to have been an illness. However, the school dance teacher Jenny Playfair (Leigh) suspects something else is going on, and the Karnsteins are connected to this.

The second in the Karnstein trilogy, film was produced after The Vampire Lovers and would be followed by Twins of Evil.

Lust for a Vampire gorges on the following examples:

  • Adaptational Dye-Job: Carmilla's hair color changed from brunette to blond, oddly.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The Karnsteins, hands down.
  • Body in a Breadbox: Susan's body is found dumped in the bottom of a well.
  • Boy Meets Ghoul: When Richard meets Mircalla, he takes a fancy to her even after learning of her vampiric nature.
  • The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: The Karnstein's private physician - actually Count Karnstein - claimed that Susan and Headmaster Barton died of natural causes. Jenny doesn't agree and notifies both Susan's father and police, prompting deeper investigation.
  • Daywalking Vampire: Mircalla doesn't seem to have any problems going about in the daytime.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Carmilla doesn't just prey on the schoolgirls, but she preyed on the headmaster and Richard.
  • Did Not Die That Way: Susan's father argues this when confronting Miss Simpson's attempts to cover up the nature of his daughter's death.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Mircalla seems to genuinely fall for Richard, at least insofar as a monster can. She's moved to tears by their lovemaking and tries to spare him her fate in the end, but still takes her victims to bed and is forced to attack Richard by a more powerful vampire.
  • Fanservice: Let's see - Carmilla's resurrection while only covered by a white shroud, Carmilla and Susan skinny dipping in a lake, low-cut dresses worn by the ladies...
  • Holy Burns Evil: Jenny's cross necklace saved her from being preyed on by Carmilla.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Jeez, Richard, how can you be so trusting of Mircalla when you've heard stories about vampires?
  • Human Sacrifice: To resurrect their daughter, Count and Countess Karnstein sacrificed the blood of a kidnapped peasant girl.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: A piece of fallen burning timber impales Carmilla, effectively killing her.
  • Kill It with Fire: The angry mob attempts to do this to kill the Karnsteins. Though, it's possible that the Count and Countess, who claim immunity to fire, will survive.
  • Lesbian Vampire: Carmilla demonstrates this again, this time on the girls in the school.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Notably, the count and the priest both claim that fire cannot slay them. They can resurrect their fellows through a blood ceremony and an elder vampire can apparently override the free will of a lesser.
  • Same Language Dub: Despite Mike Raven being a well-known radio presenter, his voice was dubbed by Valentine Dyall.
  • Significant Anagram: Much like The Vampire Lovers and the novella before, Carmilla operates under an alias to integrate with her victims. This time, Mircalla is the anagram for her true name Carmilla.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Karnsteins' coachman probably would have been better off taking refuge in the castle.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: When talk gets around a student was a victim of a vampire, the people rally to burn Castle Karnstein to the ground.
  • Voluntary Vampire Victim: After discovering Mircalla's secret, he willingly offers himself to her...but she only drinks his blood and leaves him to die.
  • Witch Hunt: Against Castle Karnstein at the film's climax.