This English-language Belgian/French/West German co-production – a smorgasbord of 1930s-style glamour meets art school cool meets vampirism – was originally released as Les Lèvres Rouges and was released in some markets as Blood on the Lips, Children of the Night, The Promise of Red Lips, The Red Lips and The Redness of the Lips.
Newlyweds Stefan (John Karlen) and Valerie (Daniele Ouimet) are on their way to meet Stefan’s ‘mother’ in England but stop off in Ostend to break up the journey. It’s a bad decision . . .
They are initially the only guests at the deserted and out-of-season Thermae Palace, an imposing and sprawling beachside hotel, until an old luxury car arrives, driven by the striking Ilona (Andrea Rau), with Countess Elizabeth Báthory (Delphine Seyrig) in the back seat.
The elderly hotel clerk (Paul Esser) stares with incredulity as he’s seen the Hungarian Countess at the hotel before – when he was a small boy. How could this be? I think we all know how!
Meanwhile, the newspapers are full of stories of young girls being drained of blood and a retired police detective/vampire hunter (Georges Jamin) is taking an interest in the countess. But the countess and Ilona are more interested in the newlyweds.
It’s an obsession that leads to the break-up of both couples – not to mention some sadism, death and more than a couple of unexpected twists and turns.
There are many holes in the plot and the ending is more than a little silly, but Daughters of Darkness is a treat for the eyes and one of the most stylish horror films you’ll encounter.
Countess Elizabeth Báthory