Lust For a Vampire

Year: 1971
Studio: Hammer
Director: Jimmy Sangster
Cast: Ralph Bates, Yutte Stensgaard
A classic Hammer-style (hence the name, where 'ham' is a great deal of the content) film. What better place to set a vampire story than in a boarding school full of nubile teenage girls, where the hero is a young cynical man who doesn't believe in anything but the fresh pussy he's surrounded by, many of whom are swimming naked and seducing each other?

Short of hardcore porn, this Hammer title goes as far as it can into erotica (which isn't much farther than a liberal sprinkling of naked breasts) and still be true to its 'serious' horror origins.

It's a mild grindhouse classic sure to appeal to any Tarantino wannabees, but if that's not you you'll just howl with laughter at the long, baleful stares meant to be terrifying as crap actors stand very still on sets held together with plywood and duct tape.

A small vampire clan who lives in the castle overlooking the boarding school engage their bizarre rite to use the blood of a virgin to bring their evil countess back to life, in the form of the shapely student. She attends the nearby school, fooling everyone and having investigating author Lestrange almost bursting out of his pants for her.

When it becomes clear the winsome girl is the reincarnation of the evil vampire queen, it's up to the plucky PE teacher to bring Lestrange back from the brink so they can destroy the creature and her laughably serious minions.

It has a minimum of blood, might have been scary in its day and the foray into soft porn by Hammer makes it essential viewing for fans of the studio, but the absences of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee cast long shadows - both bowed out.

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