Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Thursday, 15 October 2015


With Holloween coming up before too long, and those October horror movie challenges (over at IMDB) here is one horror film to track down and savour, if one does not know it already. It is of course DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS, Harry Kumel's stylish essay into ageless vampires, from 1971, and now a cult item. Let's see how they put it:  

Another European slice of lesbian vampirism, this time influenced by a real-life monster – Elizabeth Bathory, the Hungarian countess who allegedly slaughtered hundreds of young women and bathed in their blood to retain her youth. Belgian director Harry Kumel sets his dark tale in Ostend, transforming an off-peak holiday destination into a landscape of perpetual menace. In this modern setting, a mysterious countess, with female sexual companion in tow, becomes obsessed by a couple of newlyweds, with gruesome results.
Grande dame Delphine Seyrig (in Marlene Dietrich mode) gives a performance of great wit as the bloodthirsty aristo, pitching the role perfectly between sinister and comical. It’s an elegant and constantly surprising flirtation of a film, featuring lashings of nudity and sadism, not to mention death by salad bowl.
Then there is that aged hotel porter who remembers seeing the ageless Countess arrive there when he was young - and that strange telephone call the husband makes to "mother" back home .... stylish thrills don't get much better. See Delphine label for more on this stylish treat 
Having said that, I am soon going to re-see Roger Vadim's 1960 BLOOD AND ROSES another lesbian vampire tale which impressed me a lot at the time, let's see if it still works.

Delphine Seyrig (1932-1990) remains one of the most stylish actresses in movies, and collaborated with the likes of Bunuel, Losey, Resnais, Duras.  We will soon be re-discovering her in the late Chantal Akerman's mesmerising JEANNE DIELMAN, 23 QUAI DE COMMERCE, 1080 BRUXELLES, and I like her lilac fairy godmother in Demy's PEAU D'ANE.

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