Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1970s Lust for a Vampire (1971)

Lust for a Vampire (1971)

In 1830, the Karnstein heirs use the blood of the beautiful and innocent Mircalla (played this time around by the stunning Yutte Stensgaard) to bring forth the evil reincarnation of their long-dead vampire relative, Carmilla Karnstein.

Adjacent to their home is a finishing school for girls (location shooting was at Hunton Park in Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire) – where having at least a D-cup seems to be a prerequisite for the nubile young ladies to gain admission – which offers rich pickings for the vampires.

Having a school full of half-naked teenage girls right next to an old haunted vampire castle. What could possibly go wrong?!

The school headmaster (Ralph Bates) is desperate to become Mircalla’s disciple, and occult novelist Richard Lestrange (Michael Johnson), who scams a job teaching English at the school, falls in love with her.

Hammer had originally intended for Peter Cushing to play the lead but he had to bow out shortly before filming so he could look after his seriously ill wife. Ralph Bates was cast at short notice.

Director Jimmy Sangster and star Ralph Bates disowned this sequel to The Vampire Lovers (1970) when they saw the finished product. It’s a wonderful mix of blood, nudity, lesbianism and some Satanic mumbo-jumbo but Bates considered it “one of the worst films ever made.”

The casting of Radio One disc jockey Mike Raven as Count Karnstein was certainly a bizarre move (they dubbed his voice for the film).

Countess Herritzen
Barbara Jefford
Giles Barton
Ralph Bates
Janet Playfair
Suzanna Leigh
Mircalla/Carmilla Karnstein
Yutte Stensgaard
Richard Lestrange
Michael Johnson
Miss Simpson
Helen Christie
Count Karnstein 
Mike Raven
Christopher Cunningham
Inspector Heinrich
Harvey Hall
Michael Brennan
Susan Pelley
Pippa Steel
Amanda McBride
Judy Matheson
Isabel Courtney
Caryl Little
Raymond Pelley
David Healy
Arthur Biggs
Jonathan Cecil

Jimmy Sangster