Directed by: John Hough
Starring: Peter Cushing, Dennis Price, David Warbeck, Madeleine Collinson, Mary Collinson
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Synapse Films
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Running Time: 87 minutes
Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars
When it comes to Hammer and vampire films, nobody has done it better…ever! Hammer is known for their blend of horror with erotic undercurrent throughout their films. Synapse Films deserves an award for really being a pioneer for releasing these amazing horror classics. They continue to out due themselves with each release. This is not your basic “just-covert-and-put-out-in-HD” release. “Twins of Evil” includes an all-new 1080p high definition transfer. Synapse also does not play around when it comes to extras, this film includes some really amazing exclusive special features. If you are a fan of Hammer and classic 70’s vampire films, you don’t need my recommendation, this is a no-brainer to sink your teeth into.
“Twins of Evil” is the third film of “The Karnstein Trilogy”, based on the vampire novella “Carmilla” by Sheridan Le Fanu. Hammer released this classic horror film in 1971 and stars Peter Cushing (Hammer alumni) and real-life twins and Playboy Playmates, Mary and Madeleine Collinson. They star as Maria and Frieda, recently orphaned teenage girls, who move from Venice to Karnstein in order to live with their uncle Gustav Weil (Cushing). Their Uncle Weil is also the leader of a witch-hunting group. When Frieda comes under the power of local Count Karnstein, who is also a vampire. Frieda now needs to hide the fact she has become a vampire from her sister, while escaping her uncle’s hunt.
Synapse is just a company that aims to please its fan, they are not releasing these movies just for the hell of it. They are releasing movies that they want to see on Blu-ray and they make sure that it is done right. The 1080p transfer is beautiful and looks so crisp in its widescreen 1.66:1 ratio. The audio tracks are even better (if that is possible). There is an amazing DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono track. But that is not all there is also an amazing DTS-HD MA isolated score & effects only track, which I really enjoyed. Hammer films are known for their music and this is a great way to showcase it. This release also comes in a combo pack with a DVD copy of the film as well. The only thing I looked for with this release and didn’t see was a reversible cover, which Synapse is known for but it already has amazing cover art so it wasn’t even a problem.
Let’s finally get to these amazing special features. Firstly there is an 85 minute amazing feature length documentary called “The Flesh and the Fury: X-posing Twins of Evil”. It explores the background on Hammer’s classic “Karnstein” trilogy and ranges from the origin of Carmilla to the making of “Twins of Evil”. This is a feature not to be missed and is worth the purchase of this release alone. “The Props That Hammer Built: the Kinsey Collection” featurette looks into the amazing design that went into creating these amazing Hammer films. There is short deleted scene included as well. Lastly there is a Motion Still Gallery and Original Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots included to top off this great release.