Vampyres – UK, 1974

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‘They shared the pleasures of the flesh and the horrors of the grave!’

Vampyres is a 1974 British erotic vampire horror film directed by José Ramón Larraz (Symptoms; Scream – and Die!; Deadly Manor).

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The film’s delightfully discordant score was by James Kenelm Clarke who directed Exposé aka House on Straw Hill a year later.

Vampyres was initially released in the UK by Rank Film Distributors on a double-bill with The Devil’s Rain but played on a variety of double-bills for many years after.

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A novelisation was belatedly published in 2001 by Tim Greaves via FAB Press.

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Though initially heavily censored in the UK, an uncut Blu-ray was released in the USA on 30 March 2010 by Blue Underground, including a commentary by director Larraz and producer Brian Smedley-Aston, interviews with stars Marianne Morris and Anulka, the international trailer, and the US trailer.

Two beautiful undead women roam the English countryside, luring unsuspecting men to their estate for orgies of sex and blood. But when an innocent young couple stumble into the vampires’ lair, they find themselves sucked into an unforgettable vortex of savage lust and forbidden desires…

Reviews:

‘ … quite decent, achieving some good shock moments and showing a taste for the sombre visual…’ Films Illustrated, 1974

‘A non-too-original idea loses through poor acting and the film that emerges is a stock sex-horror exploitation vehicle that gets better direction than it deserves’. Alan Frank, The Horror Film Handbook, Batsford, 1982

‘… the film is essential viewing for the serious aficionado of British screen terror. Even as the decades pass, it remains one of the most haunting and atmospheric pieces ever committed to celluloid. Few films of such limited funding can claim to be the subject of continued celebration so long after their lensing.” Tim Greaves, Ten Years of TerrorFAB Press, 2001

Vampyres Blu-ray

Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.com

Vampyres certainly unfolds like a dream … The inconsistencies can partly be explained away by the rush to get the script written and the film into production, as well as the director’s penchant for creating shocking tableaux, irrespective of any logic. In that latter respect, Larraz is spectacularly successful, his use of hand-held camera contributing to some ferocious murder scenes in which the gore was literally sprayed over the actors with a stirrup pump.” John Hamilton, X-Cert 2

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Buy: Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

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Cast and characters:

  • Marianne Morris … Fran
  • Anulka Dziubinska … Miriam
  • Murray Brown … Ted
  • Brian Deacon … John
  • Sally Faulkner … Harriet
  • Michael Byrne … Playboy
  • Karl Lanchbury … Rupert
  • Margaret Heald … Receptionist
  • Gerald Case … Estate Agent
  • Bessie Love … American Lady
  • Elliott Sullivan … American Man

Filming locations:

Oakley Court, Bray, Berkshire
Denham churchyard, Buckinghamshire
Harefield Grove, Harefield

The film has also been released as Daughters of DraculaVampyres, Daughters of DraculaVampyres: Daughters of DarknessSatan’s Daughters and Blood Hunger.

Also directed by José Larraz:

La Momia Nacional – Spain, 1981

Symptoms – UK, 1974

Scream – and Die! – UK, 1973

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