Archive for June 25th, 2010
Hammer Studios takes on the Carmilla storyline and does so with virile force. The films breaks into action and rockets along, no time for dream like love affairs with this one, but what we have is a twist of sympathies, the audience supporting the vampire from the off.
The daughter of a Countess, Carmilla (Ingrid Pitt) is left in the trusting hands of her neighbour, General Von Spielsdorf (Peter Cushing), who it seems is possessed with the desires of her ancestor, one for the love of women and the blood in the veins. It’s not long before Von Spielsdorf’s daughter, Laura (Pippa Steele) is dread and buried. Carmilla flees, getting caught up in a traffic accident, but ends up rescued by a friend of the General’s Roger Morton, (George Cole) who incidentally also has a beautiful young daughter, Emma, (Madeline Smith)
This is fast and fun to watch. There are ridiculous, blatant scenes of nakedness just to emphasis the talents of Ingrid Pitt, but the film is solid, brilliantly filmed with sterling performances all round. The script is great, and well executed from the perfect cast. As I mentioned, the difference here really is the sympathy towards Carmilla is what makes this film stand out. The Vampire is beautiful and healthy looking, rich in character and charisma whilst those she feeds upon and lives alongside are pale and gaunt and in many ways, depict the archetypical look of the vampire themselves.
Ingrid Pitt here is amazing and stamps her mark not only on Hammer and the Vampire genre, but as one of the greatest actress’s in horror. She’s electric on the screen, absolutely perfect for this role.