Lust For A Vampire (England 1970)

Rating: **
Review Date: 3/2/02
Director: Jimmy Sangster
Cast: Michael Johnson, Ralph Bates, Yutte Stensgaard, Suzanna Leigh, Mike Raven

"Welcome to the finishing school where they really do finish you..." Lesbian vampires, breasts, and blood - all staples of classic erotic horror, but they're unfortunately not put to very good use in this sequel to "The Vampire Lovers" (1970). It's 1830 - forty years since the evil and undead Karnsteins last resurrected themselves, and now it's time for their terror to live again. Richard Lestrange (annoying Michael Johnson) is a novelist who arrives in town to research the vampiric legends of the Karnsteins, and craftily manages to land a job as an English teacher at an all girls finishing school while he's at it (what a slimeball). As soon as Mircalla (Yutte Stensgaard) shows up at the school, Richard gets a hard-on for the rest of the picture and other strange things start happening as well. Not surprisingly, Mircalla is a vampire, although sunlight appears to have no adverse effects on her. Curious... She mesmerizes everyone she comes into contact with, although she prefers sucking on her beautiful classmates. Can you really blame her? As many classic horror films go, this one ends with an angry mob and a lynching, but the Karnsteins will be back...

What starts out as a promising vampire romp quickly falls apart as the blood and black magic are replaced by sticky romantic goo. Ralph Bates is wonderful as the twitchy and lovably dorky schoolmaster, and is the only character who held my interest. Unfortunately, he doesn't last very long... Michael Johnson is so horny throughout the entire film that it's hard to take him seriously, although staying at an all girls school with a dozen half naked women might have that affect on a person. Mike Raven as Count Karnstein is quite amusing, only because he's trying SO hard to look like Christopher Lee. Sadly, the female characters are all undeveloped, and it's obvious that the actresses' ability to bear cleavage outweighed any other considerations in the film. An unremarkable outing from Hammer that tends to favor breasts over blood and sex over horror.