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Vampyros Lesbos

Year: 1971
Production Co: CCC Telecine
Director: Franco Manera
Writer: Franco Manera
Cast: Ewa Strommberg, Susann Korda
I thought this was going to be a real Hammer-style sausage factory horror product, somewhere in the same vein as Lust For a Vampire, which I'd watched only a few days previously.

Instead, it's like an art movie done by Timothy Leary and Andy Warhol by way of Stanley Kubrick. The whole thing runs at a snail's pace, every shot a languid trip (except for the extremely cheesy dramatic crash zooms into the eyes of the shocked heroine or scheming villain).

The soundtrack is a head spinning panoply of steel drums, melodramatic crescendos and Indian sitars, and it was more Barbarella than Dracula.

A buxom Spanish lawyer (although the version I watched was all in German, making it even more bizarre) is sent to a remote island where a wealthy heiress means to settle her estate. The heiress is also a performer at a club the lawyer and her boyfriend have been to, where they've seen her lascivious show.

Once there, she's inexplicably drawn to the woman, who convinces her to swim nude together and promptly gets her into bed. What the heroine doesn't know is that the heiress is a descendant of Dracula himself and therefore a vampire... but only a lesbian one.

The two enter a Dracula/Mina sort of relationship, the heroine becoming withdrawn and fatigued after being fed on, the latter determined to make her an undead sexual love slave. The story descends into a confusing mess and you end up wondering if you've got a grindhouse-style copy complete with missing reels.

Interesting to watch once, but not for the story. It seems as much a statement on hallucinogenic drugs than homosexuality or vampirism.

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