I remember sometime ago reading an article from the team at Diabolique Magazine about this fascinating, prolific film director Jesús Franco, who was synonymous for his exploitative work in the horror genre, and was immediately intrigued.
Celebrating 50 years since its initial release back in 1971, Vampyros Lesbos is an erotic horror story which follows Linda Westinghouse (Ewa Strömberg) who has a series of erotic dreams about a vampire Countess Nadine Carody (Soledad Miranda) who seduces her and feeds off her blood. Despite being warned not to, Linda travels to an island to seek a new home, but in doing so, soon encounters the afore-mentioned Countess in a house where the infamous Count Dracula once resided. It is not long before Linda succumbs to Nadine’s advances and they are embroiled in a sexual encounter and ultimately drawing blood from her neck.
The story itself takes some convoluted turns through its telling, including a nod to another Stoker creation, Dr. Seward (Dennis Price) who treats Linda from her wounds. But he has an ulterior motive in trapping Nadine and convincing her to turn him into a vampire.
There is also a warped and malicious torturer, Memmet, (played by Franco) who seems hellbent on kidnapping Linda and carrying out his salacious desires upon her. All of which leads to Linda needing to expel her curse by killing Nadine.
Where the film suffers from a fairly leaden acting across the board, Vampyros Lesbos makes up for this through its visual exposition combined with the psychedelic funk soundtrack (which had a reawakening of its own in the 90s when remixed and released as an album called Vampyros Lesbos: Sexadelic Dance Party). It hardly stretches the imagination, but has a certain appeal to it that marks an identity of its own and along with Franco’s other ‘71 release She Killed in Ecstacy make a cracking double feature.
- Saul Muerte