Twins Of Evil (England 1971)

Rating: **
Review Date: 5/25/05
Cast: Peter Cushing, Damien Thomas, Madeline Collinson, Mary Collinson

The third and final outing in Hammer's Karnstein trilogy, "Twins Of Evil" features Peter Cushing as Gustav Weil, a religious hypocrite who gets his thrills from burning pretty young girls at the stake. His greatest rival is Count Karnstein (Damien Thomas), who worships the devil and partakes in all sorts of unholy pleasures. Karnstein unwittingly reincarnates his ancestor, the vampire Mircalla, and she turns him into a vampire as well. Then she mysteriously disappears from the script. Gustav has his hands full when he becomes the guardian of his two twin nieces (nineteen year olds Mary and Madeline Collinson), one of whom takes a liking to "the wild life." Frieda, the evil twin, is seduced and turned by Karnstein and is eventually caught after gnawing on several of the townsfolk. She shrewdly switches places with Maria, the good twin, who nearly gets burned at the stake before the truth comes out. Gustav and his KKK boys finally summon up enough courage to storm Karnstein's castle and put him out of business.

A nice and moody piece from Hammer that features exquisite photography and costuming. Peter Cushing is at his maniacal god-fearing best, and the heaving bosoms of the Collinson twins are wickedly delightful. The film also features a wonderful decapitation scene that must have been quite shocking for the time. Unfortunately, the story is rather weak, the pacing is slow, and there are really no likable characters. Once again, vampire lore is kind of sketchy, and the Karnsteins are clearly not affected by sunlight.