Tuesday, April 27, 2021

#2,559. Vampyros Lesbos (1971)


The title alone should clue you in on what to expect from this trippy horror fantasy. Only there are times in the movie when director Jess Franco seems to have forgotten the “Vampyros” in favor of the “Lesbos”.

The story (what there is of it) centers on the exploits of Countess Nadine Carody (Soledad Miranda), a very attractive vampire who, with the help of her erotic nightclub act, lures female victims to her remote island getaway in the Mediterranean.

The Countess’s most recent conquest is Linda Westinghouse (Ewa Stromberg), an American working abroad. Linda’s boyfriend Omar (Andrea Montchai) has been unable to satisfy her sexual cravings, making her easy pickings for the alluring Countess.

But at what cost to Linda’s eternal soul?

There’s no shortage of nudity in Vampyros Lesbos (moments after they meet, the Countess somehow convinces Linda to shed her clothes and go skinny-dipping), and the film’s psychedelic musical score sets the perfect tone throughout. In addition, Franco takes full advantage of the exotic setting (the movie was shot on-location in Turkey), and Soledad Miranda makes for one hell of an alluring vampire.

Unfortunately, genre fans may walk away from Vampyros Lesbos a tad disappointed; there are scenes featuring a Dr. Steiner (Paul Muller) who has dedicated his life to studying the undead, and Franco himself plays the minor role of Memmet, a creepy, igor-like sidekick who gets his thrills torturing women, but aside from this (and a few scenes with the Countess and some fake-looking blood), this 1971 film comes up decidedly short in the horror department.

But if it’s any consolation, in the “naked-women-slithering-around-on-top-of-one-another” department, Vampyros Lesbos is a home run!
Rating: a generous 6 out of 10

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