Lesbian Blood: Hammer’s Karnstein Trilogy (1970-1971)

 
 
The Vampire Lovers (1970)
“You must die! Everybody must die!”
On November 23rd 2010, two days after her 73rd birthday, Ingrid Pitt left this world.


She has worn the crown of Queen of vampires for 40 years despite having only played two true vampire characters. Her first vampire role, 1970’s The Vampire Lovers, not only made her an instant horror icon but also set the bar for the subsequent sequels.
In 1968, Ingrid was cast in the WW2 actioner Where Eagles Dare opposite Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton. It was this film that caught the attention of Hammer head James Carreras who cast her as the lead in Vampire Lovers.
 
The famous novel Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu was the basis for the film and it remains quite faithful to the source material. The film opens with the Baron Hartog, a vampire hunter, witnessing the rising of a white shrouded vampire, as he watches the graveyard from the dilapidated Castle Karnstein. The vampire, still cloaked, heads towards town in search of a fresh victim. In the meantime, The Baron heads down to the cemetery to retrieve the burial shroud of the vampire for without this, it cannot return to the grave.  Continue reading