escrita y dirigida por vicente aranda
Part of the early-to-mid-’70s lesbian vampire movie mini-craze, this Spanish offering is actually a very stylish affair, even as it doesn’t skimp on some more questionable themes or visuals. One of many retellings of important Dracula precursor Carmilla, the tale follows a newlywed couple back to the groom’s palatial ancestral home, where strange occurrences soon are afoot. And at hand. Namely, the young bride begins having eerie, violent dreams that involve a mystery woman she has glimpsed more than once while awake. Her chauvinistic husband is dubious. A doctor who apparently doubles as a detective of sorts is downright dismissive. The caretakers’ strange little girl … is strange. An accomplished piece of art, despite its exploitative carnality.
why did i watch this movie?
It was in my queue for so long, I couldn’t possibly tell you, but at some point I was stockpiling turn-of-the-’70s vampire flicks, so …
should you watch this movie?
“You mean the two women were howling?”
“Mm-hm, like two cats in heat – that’s when I ran away. They sounded … like vampires.”
highlight and low point
Should you need proof of how mores have changed in male/female relationship dynamics since the early ’70s – or, perhaps, seek illustration of the difference between Spain and the USA in terms of attitudes toward such things – you’ll be delighted by how Susan’s new husband treats her. If you’re of a certain bent, you’ll also appreciate her eventual response. If you’re like me, you’ll love exchanges such as this:
“How many times does something have to be repeated before it ceases to be a coincidence?”
“Some cases, twice would be sufficient.”
Performances are very deliberate. Maribel Martín, in her inaugural star vehicle, delectably transforms a moue into a death stare, often.