Directed by Víctor Matellano
Two beautiful female vampires roam the English countryside, luring men and women to their home to satisfy their blood lust and sexual needs. When a group of friends set up camp nearby, they too quickly discover the dangers lurking in the seemingly abandoned house nearby.
A remake of the 1974 film of the same name, VAMPYRES attempts to recreate that erotic, sensual vibe of the 70’s that the era managed to produce so well. Despite its seductive hetero and lesbian scenes and visions of raven haired beauties parading around in the nude, the film doesn’t quite manage to convincingly pull it off. From an aesthetic perspective, it does better than most modern movies but the lack of character depth or real plot leaves the visuals rather redundant. Whilst scenes of the two vampires bathing together in the blood of their victim, who’s hanging upsidedown overhead (a la Hostel II), captures the erotic yet deadly side of their kind, the lack of context surrounding the scene in relation to what else is going on just turns it into another set piece or, at the most, another ‘sexy’ scene to admire.
When I watch a film, the main thing I look forward to is the story. A good story can save a movie even if the other elements, such as cast or script, leave much to be desired. Unfortunately, VAMPYRES struggles on all fronts. We have characters who appear in one scene and disappear the next with no explanation as to where or why they’ve gone. We have other characters who serve no purpose except for fodder for the thirsty lesbian vampires and, to top it off, the script is pretty much non-existant. Put all these aspects together and what we’re left with is a movie that looks quite pretty, though clearly not the English countryside it’s supposed to be (it was shot in Spain), but has nothing worth watching or investing in.
From a horror perspective, VAMPYRES has a few scenes that will pique one’s interest. Erotically smothering one another in blood, the vampires are keen to suck their victims dry but, as we see in the latter scenes of the movie, they can be quite vicious about their acquisition too. Almost bordering into torture porn, flesh is ripped from the face of the victims, throats are slit and, in the most shocking scenes of them all, their victims are impaled through the head and body. I’m not used to seeing vampires take this kind of route and not sure I approve as the film seems to be trying to shock its audience and cater for the modern horror fan rather than stick to the rules of its own mythology. Of course, this could be a nod to the inspiration for Dracula himself, Vlad the Impaler, who often dispatched his victims in this way. However, this is the first I’ve come across such scenes in an actual vampire movie where the vampires themselves are doing the impaling.
There’s very little to talk about with this film and I feel it would’ve worked better as a short horror rather than the 75 minute feature it’s ended up as. Catering more to the arthouse style crowd with its focus on visuals, not even a brief performance from Hammer Horror star Caroline Munro, who’s character seems to serve no purpose whatsoever, can save the movie. Nothing in the movie is explored or explained as the storyline meanders along before going out with a whisper.
VAMPYRES is a lacklustre effort which has unfortunately focused on style at the expense of substance.