Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 19th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: UK, 1974
Director: José Ramón Larraz
Writers: D. Daubeney, José Ramón Larraz, Thomas Owen
Cast: Marianne Morris, Anulka Dziubinska, Murray Brown, Brian Deacon, Sally Faulkner, Michael Byrne, Karl Lanchbury, Margaret Heald, Gerald Case, Bessie Love, Elliott Sullivan
BluRay released: March 30th, 2010
Approximate running time: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 English, DD-EX 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
BluRay Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0
Retail Price: $29.95
Vampyres was co-written and directed by José Ramón Larraz, who’s other notable film’s include The Coming of Sin and Black Candles. Vampyres was also released under the alternate title Daughters of Dracula.
The plot for Vampyres revolves around two women who has an insatiable appetite for sex and blood. These two women lure there male victims to a remote estate. Once there they drain their companions of all their blood. To cover their tracks the two dress up the corpses as though they had been in a car wreck.
The plot keeps things simple with the film’s bookend opening / ending being anchored by a series of blood-soaked soft-core romps which make up the bulk of the film. What the film lacks in character development and logic it more than makes up for with its abundance of atmosphere. The one area where this film does not gel is the sub plot involving a young couple who are camping in a trailer which is near by the remote estate where the two women have been luring their victims too.
The main reason why this film works as well as it does is because of the performances from its two lead actresses Marianne Morris and Anulka Dziubinska, who are cast in the role of the female vampires. Both women more than hold their own from a psychical stand point and it is not hard to see how so many feel prey to their seductive charms.
There are the many similarities content wise in Vampyres, which echo themes that are prominent in many of Jess Franco and Jean Rollin films. These similarities and the way in which Vampyres plays up its more exploitive elements are why the film holds up as well as it does. Ultimately Vampyres is a down and dirty exploitation film that never strays too far away from its greatest asset lesbian vampires, who never shy away from showing a little skin.
Vampyres comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Vampyres was previously released by Blue Underground on DVD in 2003. This is another good transfer from Blue Underground that improves upon the transfer from their previous release of Vampyres. Colors, flesh tones and grain all look natural throughout. The image looks detailed and black levels look consistent throughout.
This release comes with three audio options, a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 English, a DD-EX 5.1 English and a Dolby Digital Mono English. The film’s original mono mix has been carried over from Blue Underground’s 2003 DVD release. All three audio mixes are in very good shape as they always sound clear and balanced throughout. The two remix audio tracks, a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 and a DD-EX 5.1 are rather limited in range with the bulk of the action coming through the front and center. The strongest mix of the lot is easily the Dolby Digital Mono audio track. Removable English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles have been included.
The bulk of the extras included on Blue Underground’s DVD release of Vampyres have been carried over, except a poster & still galleries, a glamour gallery for actress Anulka, “Lost Caravan Scene” a deleted scene that was reconstructed using stills, a bio for director José Ramón Larraz and a DVD-Rom text based extra “A tribute to the ultimate in Erotic Cinema”, which have not been carried over from the previous release. Extras for this release include the film’s international (2 minutes 33 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and U.S. trailers (3 minutes 5 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a featurette titled “Return of the Vampyres” (13 minutes 39 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), which includes comments from actresses Marianne Morris and Anulka and a audio commentary with writer / director José Ramón Larraz and producer Brian Smedley-Aston. The featurette with Marianne Morris and Anulka only glosses over their experiences working on Vampyres. With the bulk of the time spent discussing the various stages of their careers. The audio commentary does a reasonably good covering the various aspects of this production like locations, the cast and more sensational aspects of this production. All of the extras are presented in a standard definition. Overall Vampyres is another strong BluRay release from Blue Underground.