I’m not a huge fan of vampire movies, and neither am I the type to lust after luscious ladies. In fact, you could even say I’m gay and I hate vampires. Therefore, I’m not sure what I think I’m going to get out of the lesbian-themed erotic horror film, The Vampire Lovers. I certainly don’t think that its famous scene of Ingrid Pitt chasing Madeleine Smith naked around a bed is going to do much for me. But still... it’s one of the last “big” Hammer films I’ve left to see, and I’m all for equal-opportunity bloodsucking.
For once, it can’t be said that Hammer added all the sex and sensationalism to a story themselves; by all accounts, the lesbian angle is pretty apparent in Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s source novel, Carmilla. Indeed, when the British Board of Film Censors objected to it, Hammer simply pointed out that the subtext had been there all along – in a piece of classical literature, no less – and, however surprisingly, the censors backed down.
I think it’s this rebel streak that appeals to me about The Vampire Lovers. That and the warning on the poster that it’s “not for the mentally immature”. Perhaps I’m not ready for it yet, after all.