Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 4th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: UK, 1971
Director: John Hough
Writer: Tudor Gates
Cast: Inigo Jackson, Judy Matheson, Peter Cushing, Harvey Hall, Alex Scott, Shelagh Wilcocks, Madeleine Collinson, Mary Collinson, Kathleen Byron, Roy Stewart, Luan Peters, Damien Thomas, Dennis Price, Maggie Wright, Katya Wyeth, David Warbeck
BluRay released: July 10th, 2012
Approximate running time: 87 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.95
Twins of Evil was directed by John Hough, who’s other notable films include The Legend of Hell House and The Watcher in the Woods. The screenplay for Twins of Evil was written by Tudor Gates, who also two other vampire themed for Hammer films, The Vampire Lovers and Lust for a Vampire. All three of the vampire themed films were loosely adapted from the works of Irish novelist Sheridan Le Fanu, who is most known for the story ‘Carmilla’.
By the late 1960’s the cinema landscape had changed drastically with the arrival of such films like Easy Rider and Wild Bunch. What was once considered acceptable by audiences was now becoming passé. At the dawn of the 1970’s cinema took on a much darker and sexier tone, with each new film trying to be more shocking then the last film that had been unleashed on cinema goers. This drastic shift in the way in which content was to be presented in films not only affected Hollywood, it also found its way abroad, most notably in the cinema of the UK based film company Hammer Films. Where there production were known for relying heavily on atmosphere, they now were being given heaping doses of bloodshed and sex to keep the audiences coming back for more.
This brings us to Twins of Evil, the third and final install in lesbian vampire themed films often referred to as The Karnstein Trilogy. Content wise, Twins of Evil has all the ingredients that one would expect and want from a exploitation film from the 1970’s, Satanism, an overzealous witch hunter, an ample of flesh on display and a handful of gruesome set pieces.
With that being said, it should be noted that the actual story at hand is fairly routine and many of the themes explored in this film, have been done much better in other films. Fortunately none of these short comings ever become too much of an issue as this film’s narrative moves along nicely from one event to the next with no major bumps along the way.
Performance wise, this film’s stand out performance belongs to Hammer films regular Peter Cushing (Horror of Dracula, The Mummy) in the role of an overzealous witch hunter named Gustav Weil. Other notable cast members include David Warbeck (The Beyond) and Dennis Price (Venus in Furs, Theatre of Blood). Of course when talking about Twins of Evil one must not overlook the contributions of Madeleine and Mary Collinson (Some Like it Sexy), they are ‘twins’ at the center of this tale of the macabre and perversion.
Twins of Evil comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. This is another exemplary transfer from Synapse Films that does a superb job retaining the intended look of the film. Also there are no problems with compression and DNR is kept in check.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD Mono mix in English and a DTS-HD music & effects track. Though limited range, the audio track sounds very good as dialog comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented. Also included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles.
Extras included with this release include reversible cover art, the U.S. theatrical trailer (2 minutes 31 seconds – 4:3 full frame), original U.S. double bill trailer (2 minutes 39 seconds – 4:3 full frame), T.V. spots (1 minute 10 seconds – 4:3 full frame), a deleted scene (1 minute 9 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a motion still gallery, a featurette titled ‘The Props That Hammer Built: The Kinsey Collection’ (23 minutes 28 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and a feature length documentary titled ‘Flesh and the Fury: X-Posing Twins of Evil’ (84 minutes 34 seconds – anamorphic widescreen). There is a wide assortment of extras that give a detailed look not only into the film Twins of Evil, but also various other Hammer Films and many of this films key collaborators careers are also discussed. Overall Twins of Evil is another exceptional release from Synapse Films.
Note: Also included with this combo release is a DVD counterpart. It should be noted that the only extras included on the DVD are as follows, the U.S. trailer and the ‘Flesh and the Fury: X-Posing Twins of Evil’ documentary.