Once upon a time, I made a short film about zombies and pizza and entered it into a contest. Because the film was essentially an advert for the pizza, it had to feature the pizza. This particular establishment was not local to me, and therefore I had to procure some of their frozen pies to use. When all of us gathered to make movie magic ate some of this pizza, we came to a startling realization: it was fucking gross. This hurt me deeply in my heart place because as you know, I love pizza. When pizza is disgusting, I'm not exaggerating when I say that I consider it to be a tragedy. I want the offending dough-cheese-sauce thing to be stripped of its "pizza" moniker. I want to emblazon it with a scarlet C (for crap) to warn others away from it, lest they feel the disappointment I feel.
In short, bad pizza makes me want to cry.
I don't understand how anyone could get it wrong...I mean, there's a formula, right? That formula gives you a nice solid foundation on which you can add your own flair (by "flair" I mean "black olives"), making it even better.
Okay, maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. This is all some awkward, post-lunch metaphor for formulaic horror movies- you know, like slasher movies and lesbian vampire movies. When the formula works, it's delicious. I'm not one to decry the same ol' same ol' when it's done well- and baby, Jose Larraz's Vampyres (1974) is done well!
Phew, awful metaphor over.
Vampyres opens with a cryptic scene that finds a figure, seen only in shadow, unleashing bullets (from a gun!) on our heroines, who happen to be engaging in some naked lesbionic antics. Questions abound: is this a flashback, or a flash-forward? Why would anyone shoot a couple of innocent, cavorting lesbians?
After this explosive, nudetastic intro, the movie becomes your typical lesbian vampire movie: a young couple runs into mysterious women, the mysterious women lure young men back to their castle, the young men are wined and dined (on), the mysterious women get it on with each other. Like I said, Vampyres is typical and formulaic, and the plot, as it were, is bare-bones...but who the hell cares?
This is an entertaining, stylish erotic horror movie that hits all the right notes for its genre: the women are gorgeous (the men...err, less so), the sex is racy, the blood and violence ample, the cloaks are velvet, the castle grounds are lush and mist-covered...essentially, it's everything you could want in a lesbian vampire movie.
In the end, you'll undoubtedly be left with questions, some of which are more frustrating than others. Are Fran (Marianne Morris) and Miriam (Anulka) really vampires? If so, where are their fangs...and more importantly, why do they spend so much time in the sunlight as they frantically attempt to get out of the sunlight? Of course, this may all be Larraz playing around with vampire tropes- although the scenes that bookend the film indicate that the women may not be vampires at all.
Look, I've got to get through a lot of lesbian vampire movies to fulfill Category 5 for Operation: 101010, and I know they're not all going to be gems (bad lesbian vampire movies make me want to cry). Believe me, that's almost as depressing as that shitty frozen pizza I was talking about earlier. I'm already imagining a future time when I'm on...oh, let's say entry #8 in Category 5, watching some horrible movie from 2007 that gets the formula oh-so-wrong, when I'm crying out that it shouldn't be that hard to get the formula oh-so-right and why can't actresses have real bodies anymore and why did I make this subgenre a part of Operation 101010...that's when I'll think back to Vampyres and I will smile. I will smile the smile of a gorehound-letch who likes to watch sapphic bloodsuckers...uh, suck blood and be all sapphic and stuff. And really, isn't that all of us?