Directed by Jose Larraz
Part of the Blood Hunger: The Films of Jose Larraz boxset
A pair of lesbian vampires prey on unsuspecting drivers in the English countryside as they hitch a ride and lure them back to their dilapidated manor for what their male victims think is for a ‘good time’.
If you were travelling down the road and a pretty lady asked for a lift, would you say no? Being plied with the finest wine you’ve ever tasted and then being pounced on for a session of hot sex back at her abode… many would call this a good night out. That’s just the scenario that the many conquests of Fran and Miriam find themselves in in this lesbian romp from Spanish director Jose Larraz.
One of cinema’s more erotic vampire tales, Larraz’s VAMPYRES has been given the full uncut treatment in the Arrow Video BLOOD HUNGER boxset much to the delight of Euro cinema fans. With plenty of blood and boobies on display, what’s there more to say? Well, unfortunately, not that much because the plot outlined above is pretty much the long and short of it as Fran and Miriam bring back fresh blood to devour in the same way, every single day. The only exception to the rule is one man named Ted who Fran has decided to keep alive, either as a play thing or because she truly has feelings for him, despite him picking her up only 20 minutes earlier. You’d think that the comings and goings of two cloaked women, who always seem to be hitch-hiking, would have come to the locals attention especially when the bodies of their victims are always found naked and bloodied in their crashed motors at the side of the road. Surely the police would be questioning the number of similar incidents that seem to occur on a daily basis unless this is one of those villages like the one in Midsomer Murders where it’s a wonder there’s anyone left to be killed. However, that’s not to say the duo don’t arouse suspicion. A couple by the name of John and Harriet spot Fran loitering near the side of the road in one of those rare moments where she doesn’t flag down a car, instead opting to stop a later vehicle. Harriet, however, spots another female hiding behind a tree and begins to question the motives of the two women in the middle of nowhere. Whilst John brushes it off, Harriet becomes obsessed with the duo, especially when she sees them enter a house nearby to where they’ve decided to set up camp. Could Harriet be the one that foils the lesbian vampires’ plan?
As a fan of the 60’s/70’s erotic cinema, I expected more from VAMPYRES. It doesn’t have quite the same stylish mystique as the Jess Franco films nor the tongue-in-cheekiness of Tinto Brass, despite there being a couple of wonderful shots such as Fran and Miriam sharing a shower together. The sex scenes involving John couldn’t be any more of a turn off with Ted appearing to want to devour Fran with his insatiable sexual appetite, chomping at her body and face. Little does he know that it is he who’s going to be consumed. What would’ve been interesting is to see how each of the women woo their prey but instead it’s more of the same old sex scene between Fran and Ted with the odd occasional boob fondle with a fresh victim or a glimpse of a lesbian romp.
There’s nothing that feels sexy or clever about VAMPYRES which leaves it as a bit of a let down especially when you compare it to modern tales that show a lot less flesh but ooze more charisma. Larraz’s vampire tale feels more like an experiment in patience as we wait to find out just how the bloodsucking duo meet their grisly demise – a scene which is shown right at the beginning of the movie. Unfortunately, that is never resolved either but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work it out.
If sucking on an open elbow wound turns you on, then VAMPYRES may hold something unique for you. Other than some beautiful eye candy in the form of Marianne Morris as Fran and Playboy starlet Anulka as the quiet, caped Miriam, the film feels little more than Larraz’s wet dream.