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  Lust for a Vampire Fangs For The MemoryBuy this film here.
Year: 1971
Director: Jimmy Sangster
Stars: Michael Johnson, Yutte Stensgaard, Ralph Bates, Barbara Jefford, Suzanna Leigh, Helen Christie, Pippa Steel, Harvey Hall, Christopher Neame, Mike Raven
Genre: Horror, Sex
Rating:  5 (from 4 votes)
Review: When a slightly raffish writer (Michael Johnson) takes a position as an English teacher at an exclusive boarding school for young ladies, he is taken with Mircalla (Yutte Stensgaard), one of the students. But the vampiric curse of the Karnsteins is upon her...

Scripted by Tudor Gates, this is the middle one of the the trilogy of Carmilla vampire horrors that Hammer produced in the early seventies. Up until then, the company had displayed young actresses with bosoms heaving at their bodices to add sex appeal to their films, Now, in an attempt to boost interest in their product, they started showing the heaving bosoms without the bodices.

But they failed to find much else new to add, as Lust for a Vampire makes obvious. It's a predictable affair that gives the impression of Hammer going through the motions for want of anything different to say. Stensgaard takes her clothes off a few times, but doesn't really convince as a melancholy vampire, isn't particularly threatening and is badly dubbed. Still, for many people she is the main reason for watching this.

It does, however, feature two aspiring horror stars in the same film: Ralph Bates was being groomed to be the next Peter Cushing and Mike Raven the next Christopher Lee. While Bates was a capable actor, he plays a weak villain in this, and Raven is distinctly unimpressive, spending most of his time lurking in bushes.

There were only a few more years of Hammer films left after this. The same year their biggest hit would be the movie version of the TV sitcom On the Buses. Oh well. I suppose turning up with a name like Mircalla is the female equivalent of turning up with a name like Count Alucard. Listen for: the song "Strange Love" (sung by Tracy... well, Tracy) which turns up during the love scene and is almost as inappropriate as Yutte's eye-crossing routine. Watch for: the camera crew in the vampire coachman bit.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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Jimmy Sangster  (1924 - 2011)

British screenwriter who scripted many Hammer horrors. In the fifties, he wrote The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy for the legendary studio; in the sixties, he wrote suspense films like Maniac, Taste of Fear and The Nanny for them. In the seventies, he directed Horror of Frankenstein, Lust for a Vampire and Fear in the Night, then moved into many scripts for American television.

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