Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Vampyres (1974)

Who's In It: Marianne Morris (Lovebox), Anulka (Lisztomania), Murray Brown (Jonathan Harker in the Jack Palance Dracula), Brian Deacon (Jesus), and Sally Faulkner (who helped the Doctor, Zoe, and Jamie fight some Cybermen in "The Invasion").

What It's About: A couple (Deacon and Faulkner) park their RV on the lawn of an old mansion that's inhabited by two vampires (Morris and Anulka) who lure motorists (like Brown) there for sex and... well, not so much blood-sucking as blood-licking.

How It Is: For a movie about sexy vampires, Vampyres is pretty unsexy. All the women in it get naked at various points, but director Joseph Larraz seems to think that's all that matters. None of the sex is at all romantic and most of it's super clumsy. Morris is an especially awful kisser who's all about the pecking and the licking, but everyone is just attacking each other in the make-out scenes. And not in a good way.

The movie's not all about the sex, but the other parts aren't much more skillful. I don't understand why John and Harriet decide that the lawn of a clearly inhabited mansion - with cars driving up to it every night - is a good place to camp. I do like them as characters, thanks to some nice acting by Deacon and Faulkner, but there's not a lot of sense to their being there or getting involved in the vampires' business.

And with John and Harriet on the periphery of the goings on, that leaves the motorist Ted (Brown) as the audience surrogate. Ted's the first person we see brought into Fran and Miriam's web and for some reason, Fran takes a liking to him. Maybe because he's as bad a kisser as she is. Whatever the reason, she keeps him around for most of the movie. I think I'm supposed to care about whether he makes it out alive or not, but the movie tells me nothing about him and Brown's performance is just sort of cranky and sulky. Don't like Ted. Don't care if he dies.

The one thing I do unreservedly like about the movie is the introduction of Fran and Miriam. John and Harriet notice Fran hitchhiking (that's how she gets her prey) and Harriet sees Miriam back in the woods, just lurking. That raises all kinds of questions in Harriet's mind, but John blows it off. It brought me into the mystery, too, especially with the cool, gothy outfits that Fran and Miriam were wearing. Unfortunately, none of the answers are remotely as interesting as that set up.

Rating: 1 out of 5 vampire women running through cemeteries.


Venger Satanis said...

I think I might have seen this once long ago. Even though it sounds like you heartily disliked it, I now feel compelled to watch it again!

Michael May said...

I can imagine myself watching it again. Or at least rewatching certain segments. Some of the imagery - especially the outdoor stuff using the woods and the mansion's grounds - is quite cool.


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