Plot – Two mysterious women lure various passers-by to their rural mansion in the English countryside and hold them captive in order to feed on them to satisfy their insatiable thirst for blood – Vampyres.
Director – José Ramón Larraz
Genre – Horror
Released – 1974
One of the most popular exploitation sub-genres in the ’70s was the lesbian vampire flick. though the combination of creatures of the night and homosexuality was hinted at as far back as vampire literature has existed, most notably Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s novel Carmilla or Bram Stoker Dracula, but not fully explored and embraced on film until the late ’60’s when Hammer Studios found there was money to be made with more adult-focused Horror movies, the Grindhouse circuit was born and Spanish director Jose Ramon Larraz gave us another in a long line of exploitative low-budget creature features that uses sex to make up for a script filled with plot holes and a significant lack of scares. Vampyres.
Based around 5 other principal characters – Ted, John and Harriet – the protagonists and two vampires Fran (Morris) and Miriam (Dziubinska). None of which are given anywhere near enough development or anything to do for most of the film. While we may relate to the protagonists as normal people caught up in strange circumstances, beyond that we only get brief hints about who they are or what their personalities are like, such as one likes to paint another enjoys fishing, nowhere near enough to form a lasting connection or fear for the characters. We can say the same for the two Vampires, with the fact that they’re creatures of the night they’re only defining feature and although most people are accustomed to what a vampire is and what they can do hardly any of the lore gets utilised in the movie. Failing to develop their motivation past the fact they’re monsters and like to screw and murder. Not something
There are a few sex scenes that might titillate some viewers, however, not nearly as much as the advertising would lead you to believe and while Vampyres is one of the most explicit examples at likening of vampires drinking blood to the pleasures of the flesh, it has been done many times before with much greater skill and without turning lesbianism into voyeurism purely for the male gaze. In the end, this is just another trashy exploitive adult movie that uses sex to make up for its weaknesses.