HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
Bloodthirsty
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Demonic
Night Drive
Luca
Prospect
   
 
Newest Articles
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
   
 
  Daughters of Darkness Blood Lust
Year: 1971
Director: Harry Kümel
Stars: Delphine Seyrig, John Karlen, Danielle Ouimet, Andrea Rau, Paul Esser, Georges Jamin, Fons Rademakers
Genre: Horror, SexBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Newlyweds Stefan (John Karlen) and Valerie (Danielle Ouimet) are on the train to the coast, spending their wedding night in the confines of the compartment but not allowing that to dim their passion. After lovemaking, she asks him when he is going to call his mother, but he is reluctant for some reason and fobs her off with going to see why the train has stopped. As there has been an accident up ahead, they decide to check in at an Ostend hotel that is empty thanks to the season being the dead of winter, but it is there they will meet a Countess (Delphine Seyrig) who will change their lives...

One of those vampire films where nobody says "vampire", director and co-writer Harry Kümel's film is an elegant, chilly horror that centres on an unhealthy set of relationships. The wife is sadistic husband Karlen's doormat, something we can tell early on thanks to Stefan's menace bubbling under his personality (those familiar with Karlen as Hawv from Cagney and Lacey won't know what to think), and the Countess has what can best be described as a lesbian life partner in the verging on the unwilling Ilona (Andrea Rau), but has her eyes on the innocent wife as a replacement.

Men, according to the Countess, want women to be their slaves, so are only good for sucking the blood from (or burying bodies for you), yet while male sexuality is denigrated as aggressive and duplicitous, the female equivalent is no less up for criticism. With Valerie one of life's victims, a tug of love, or lust more appropriately, takes place between the Countess and the husband over who gets to claim both her body and soul. In contrast to the unsavoury Stefan, Seyrig makes a wonderful vampire: classy, arch and slightly sickly, so if we may be balking at her possessiveness and possible guilt over a spate of local murders, we're reluctantly on her side as she seems to truly appreciate Valerie.

Whether that's a healthy appreciation or not is questionable, however. There are many weird scenes, such as the Countess and Stefan rhapsodising over the Countess Bathory's crimes (Seyrig claims to actually be her) and working themselves up into an ecstasy in the process, finding out what the husband's mother looks like (yet more proof that the main male character is not to be trusted), the wrist-slashing death near the end where the battle of wits reaches its climax, and the eerie shot of Seyrig wrapping her bat-wing cloak around Ouimet on the crest of a sand dune in the dead of night. Strangely, all of those death scenes are almost farcical, yet not humorous.

You can soak in this film's sensuality, but the queasiness of being owned by someone else is not something that lends itself to much enjoyment, and so Valerie seems to be swapping one demeaning relationship for another. The car crash finale seems almost to come as a punishment for the Countess, in spite of Kümel appearing to be backing her all the way, as if he had a change of heart and thought, wait, I cannot allow her to get away with this. What comes across as a Van Helsing character in the early scenes is rather ignored after being run off the road at one point halfway through, so the director is the only one left to administer justice, though that does not last long - the cycle continues. Probably the only vampire movie that shows its vampire knitting. Haunting music by Francois de Roubaix.

aka Le Rouge aux Levres
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6294 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Jason Cook
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: