Vampyros Lesbos (1971) Review: Nudity & Not Much Else
” A Psycho-Sexadelic Horror Freakout!”
Synopsis: An erotic horror tale about a vixen vampiress seducing and killing women to appease her insatiable thirst for female blood.
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Vampyros Lesbos is half art house film, half softcore porn. (Not that the two things are mutually exclusive.) I’d call it an exploitation movie, but it’s not quite clear who is being exploited (vampires? lesbians? the audience?) What little story there is is hard to follow, and the acting is subpar… but again, that’s not why anyone is watching this movie.
The title is accurate in that there are (definitely) vampires and (possibly) lesbians, though I doubt the filmmakers have ever met a lesbian. There is excessive, gratuitous nudity – which is, of course, why we’re all watching – and plenty of suggested and actual woman-on-woman action. The Countess (Soledad Miranda) is also compellingly beautiful, which definitely helps.
But if you’re trying to take the movie as something more than an excuse to see naked ladies, you’re going to run into trouble. It’s slow, drawn out, and literally has repeated sequences in it. The filmmakers were also overly fond of cutting in random footage of animals and scenery – which in a better movie, I might call metaphoric, but here it just feels like some drugged-out art student thought it would be super cool.
Speaking of drugs, there were definitely some involved in the making of this movie. Outside of the shots of scorpions, the random torturing kidnapper, and the red tassel ceiling, you’ll take definite note of the music. The psychedelic ’70s soundtrack is something special, and while it doesn’t fit with the movie, it’s pretty entertaining.* Still, you’re going to want some company and some alcohol to get through this artsy trainwreck of a movie.
*There’s also a repeated musical riff that reminds me of the sounds the Imperial probe droid makes in Empire Strikes Back, which I found HUGELY distracting. But I don’t expect most of you to have that problem.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: C-
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