‘What kind of Plumage is this?!’ exclaims Gustav Weil (Cushing) as he finds the two Twin girls in his living room.
This is a fine plot, I’m sold on the title and the basic story. Twins of Evil. Two young girls are orphaned from Venice to live with their Witchfinder Uncle, meanwhile, a rich bloke in a castle is in league with the legendary Camilla, the vampire queen. Back to the two girls again, one is good, the other very naughty. I can hear the pitch for this film now, a producers dream.
So, it sounds great on paper, but does it work on celluloid? Damn right. Peter Cushing is perfect here, as always, as the religious focused witchfinder, whilst Damien Thomas is the evil Count in the castle, not quite Christopher Lee, but he’s pretty good. Katya Wyeth plays Camilla (or Mircalla) as her brief appearance. (I understand Ingrid Pitt was offered this role, but turned it down. Shame) Next we have the legend that is David Warbeck, as the love interest Anton, is stunning as always, but obviously, the stars in this film are the twins, Maddie and Mary Collinson as Frieda and Maria. Which ones Virgin, which ones Vampire is the tagline. Stunning.
The film works a treat due to plot and pace. It’s a classic looking Hammer film, and similar to Vampire Lovers in look and style, but with the added Witch trial business going on. Two in one you could say. The film is also quite brutal in some scenes, and even though the women in this film are empowered, we have plenty of violence towards them, derogatory actions. The gore too is very impressive. Scenes of stabbings and a great machete to the head is always a good thing.
Other highlights include some great photography tricks, a bloke drunk in the woods, captivated by Frieda (or is it Maria) but as he’s drunk, he see double. Good fun, and clever too. The fight with Frieda and Anton in the bedroom is brilliant though, all crucifixes and floaty gowns.
Watching this has really sparked my interest in digging out some more Hammer. This is a glorious film, probably my favorite Hammer.