Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Sexy Female Vamps of the Karnstein Trilogy

If you're a younger female vamp fan and aren't aware of the legendary Hammer Horror studio and their plethora of vampire films, this will be lesson 1 for you.  If you are older and are well aware then you've probably looked forward to this one. 

The Karnstein family were an evil devil worshiping clan who lived in Austria.  By day they were noble high society types.  By night they were blood sucking vampires who (unlike Dracula) were very careful about how they fed, often transforming into common house animals and attacking in dreams.

The Trilogy for the most part follows presumably the youngest of the Karnsteins "Mircalla".  Mircalla has a youthful appearance which helps her in going after her favorite prey which is young girls (yep, she's very much a lesbian).  Her methods have her going by the anagrams "Carmilla" and "Marcilla" and usually include befriending her potential prey to the point that they become REALLY close friends and then draining them little by little till the eventually die from it.   So without further ado

The Vampire Lovers (1970)

Kirsten Lindholm
Lindholm is the first vampire glimpse you get in the trilogy.  The movie "The Vampire Lovers" begins with a flashback scene were a creature covered in white leaves it's grave for a quick bite.  Once it leaves, a vampire hunter goes to the creatures grave and takes it's shroud.  Legend has it that a vampire cannot return to it's grave without it so when the creature comes back and see's the shroud missing it panics.  The slayer then gets it's attention by showing that he has the shroud and luring the creature to him.  Once it gets to the slayer it removes it's covering revealing this perfect 10 of a woman.  Like any guy he gets lost in her beauty letting her get close enough to seduce him but lucky for him he was wearing his cross and after the greatest areola shot in movie history she fangs out.  He snaps out of his trance and cuts her head off.  THAT is how you start probably the greatest female vamp movie franchise of all time!

Ingrid Pitt (Carmilla/Mircalla/Marcilla #1)
Arguably the greatest female vampire actress in film and television history, the late great Ingrid Pitt is to the genre what Bella Lugosi was to Dracula. In The Vampire Lovers the Karnsteins had a racket in which they played the role of a noble family who after some type of emergency would have to leave their young daughter Carmilla (under one of her aliases) with a local family until they got back.  All the while Carmilla would slowly suck the life out of the young women who live in the household that takes her in.  In most cases she would also have to take out people who would start to put two and two together as they'd figure out that people were dying only when she was around.  Oh and I almost forgot, Lots of lesbian sex in between all the other stuff I just mentioned.

 Lust For a Vampire (1971)

Yutte Stensgaard (Carmilla/Mircalla #2)
 In Lust for a Vampire Mircalla is resurrected into the body of a hot young blonde and is enrolled in an all girls finishing school in Austria (can you say all you can screw and eat buffet?) .  This is the first and only time she shows signs of not being all lesbian as when she's not in vamp mode she seems to have feelings for an author named Richard Lestrange who became enamored with the vampiress Karnstein during his visit to the school.   He's not the only guy to fall for her (obviously) but the fact that she doesn't kill him immediately like she does the others is a pretty good sign (though she does eventually go after his throat). 

 Twins of Evil (1972)

Katya Wyeth (Mircalla #3)
1972's "Twins of Evil" is the only movie of the Trilogy in which Carmilla is not the focal point of the story.  In fact she only has a short cameo in this film.  Played by Katya Wyeth she appears when the most recent Count Karnstein (who looks like Jimmy Fallon A LOT) calls upon her after sacrificing a young girl.  She then appears to him gives him the cliffs notes version of how their family are vampires and bites him.  He then immediately turns (as shown by his reflection disappearing from the mirror he's looking into) and off the movie starts with Camilla/Mircalla never to be seen again.

Madeleine Collinson (Frieda Gellhorn)
Despite the title only one twin is actually "evil" and that is "Frieda" played by former Playboy Playmate Madeleine Collinson.  Frieda has a bit of a bad girl streak so sneaking off behind her uncles back in order to go visit Count Karnstein in his castle isn't out of character for her at all.  More often then not the good twin "Maria" (played by Madeleine's real twin Mary) was always stuck covering for her.  When it came to just sneaking out it was OK but after Frieda got turned by the Count, covering for her became much more difficult.  To make matters worse Frieda (once it was discovered that she was a vampire) even tried to portray herself as Maria so that it would be the real Maria who got the stake and decapitation treatment and not her all the while she tries to seduce and snack on Maria's boyfriend.  She was cold blooded to say the least and would've made a fine Countess had the Count not sacrificed her to save his own butt.

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