Review: Female Vampire
DVD: Female Vampire (1975)
With more wild 70’s bush on show than an entire series of Percy Thrower’s Gardeners’ World, Female Vampire sets it stall out early from the very first shot when Countess Irina Karlstein (Lina Romay) walks slowly towards camera dressed in only knee high boots, a leather belt and a cloak that is wide open to reveal every curve of her body. No wonder this was also known as ‘ The Bare Breasted Countess”!
Mute, and usually naked, Irina is the last descendant of the cursed Karlstein family and lives on the Madeira island of Portugal with her man servant…also mute. Needing to feed off the living to continue her existence, Irina is torn between her will to survive and the demise of the innocent people who inadvertently meet her. At least they get a good sucking off before shrugging this mortal coil.
Yes, Female Vampire is more ‘Eurosleaze’ softcore erotica than out and out horror. With Jess Franco at the helm you’re usually guaranteed one or the other, and in this movie the blood is kept to a bare minimum, while writhing naked flesh usually engulfs the screen. On many occasions the camera slowly zooms into Irina’s ‘lady garden’ only for the picture to go out of focus for a few seconds before quickly getting the focus correct for a long lingering shot of her fingering herself. The cameraman/focus puller obviously thought he could multitask and operate the equipment with one hand…they were wrong!
Anyway, my childish immature attempt at humour so far in this review is only used to reference what the best mindset is to be in when watching this. As of course I’m not REALLY immature and childish…honest!
With far more sexually graphic material and infinitely more visceral horror freely available at the click of a button on your smartphone, Female Vampire fails to deliver in both of those fronts, yet is still worth your time if viewed in the correct frame of mind.
Long languid shots tell what little story there is, mostly focusing on when Irina kills her victims. There is one lesbian sex scene that seems to go on forever, which climaxes (figuratively and literally) with the victim eliciting a scream of pain/delight before passing away as Irina slowly appears from between her victims open legs with not blood dripping from her mouth but ‘lady joy juice’. Irina must be damn good at oral sex, as a previous male victim screamed so loud upon ejaculating that he was heard miles away by a man in a cafe…as you will see at the very start.
Apologies for the rather flippant nature of this particular review, but as already mentioned, this is a movie where it is best to be forewarned not to take it too seriously and to be prepared for what is essentially something that is neither ‘fish nor fowl’ when it comes to delivering what you would like from a particular genre.
Definitely a product of its time that is worth watching if only for one of the most attractive female vampires to ever appear on screen. Lina Romay had a long and prolific career in European horror and exploitation movies, and this is as good a place as any to begin if you want to explore any more of her work.
Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from an online streaming link kindly supplied by Aim Publicity.