The Vampire Lovers was Hammer’s first and only co-production with Hollywood’s leading horror specialists – American International – who had been responsible for most of the Edgar Allan Poe pictures.
This film tapped a new source of classic horror literature, the work of J. Sheridan Le Fanu, and injected an audacious dose of sex into the proceedings.
Ingrid Pitt plays a beautiful female vampire, Marcilla Karnstein (alias Carmilla). Carmilla rises from the grave to avenge the deaths of her relatives, claiming not only the odd male as victim, but also several attractive young girls, a lesbian aspect emphasised by her fanged attention to their breasts.
Moving on to the family of Roger Morton (George Cole), Carmilla continues her revenge afresh on his impressionable daughter Emma (Madeleine Smith).
Douglas Wilmer’s Baron Hartog is Carmilla’s chief adversary, arranging for a stake to penetrate her heart, while Peter Cushing‘s General Spielsdorf, father of one of her victims, makes doubly sure by removing her head!
General von Spielsdorf
Baron Joachim von Hartog
Roy Ward Baker