Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars
When you think of Hammer films you think of sexy and erotic horror. “The Vampire Lovers” was always one of my favorites and delivers that and much more with the lovely Ingrid Pitt in the lead role. This film is based on the J. Sheridan Le Fanu novella “Carmilla”. The Vampire Lovers” is the first part of the Karnstein Trilogy followed by “Lust for a Vampire” (1971) and “Twins of Evil” (1972). It is arriving on Blu-ray for the first time, thanks to Shout! Factory’s sister company Scream Factory. If you are a fan of Hammer, then you are going to love this release.
Ingrid has such a presence on the screen and you can’t take your eyes off her. And boy does she look amazing on this Blu-ray. She was known as the “The Queen of Scream”. She not only survived a Nazi concentration camp as a child but who on to become one of the most well known faces of Hammer horror films and was billed as “the most beautiful ghoul in the world”. Hammer legend Peter Cushing also pops in and is charmingly eerie as usual, especially delivering the film’s final blow.
Official Premise: A female vampire with lesbian tendencies ravages the young girls and townsfolk of a peaceful hamlet in eighteenth century Europe who, years earlier, killed off her fellow vampires. A rousing hunt for the vampiress ensues as a group of men follow her bloody trail of terror through the countryside. If you dare, come into a twilight world of unspeakable horror and taste the deadly passion of the blood-nymphs!
Scream Factory delivers a very nice 1080p widescreen presentation with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. There is some notable noise in the darker scenes but it doesn’t plague the transfer much. Overall it is a real treat to see this film presented in high-definition. The film also packs a nice DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 surround track. It works perfectly with the nature of the film and carries the essence of Hammer very well.
The special features are all quite impressive for this release. There is a great audio commentary track with the director Roy Ward Baker, writer Tudor Gates and of course Ingrid Pitt, which is moderated by Jonathan Sothcott. “Femme Fantasique: Resurrecting The Vampire Lovers” is a great look back on the film and its cult following. There are excerpts from the novella “Carmilla”, that inspired the film, which are read by Ingrid Pitt. There are Original Theatrical Trailer and Original Radio Spot included. There are two new Interviews, the first with Madeline Smith, who played Emma and the second is with Hammer Films Scholars.