Vampyros Lesbos

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Vampyros Lesbos
Vampyros-lesbos-poster.jpg
German film poster
Directed by Jesús Franco
Produced by Artur Brauner
Karl Heinz Mannchen[1]
Written by Jaime Chávarri
Jesús Franco[1]
Starring Soledad Miranda
Ewa Strömberg
Andrés Monales
Dennis Price
Paul Müller
Music by Jesús Franco
Manfred Hübler
Siegfried Schwab
Cinematography Manuel Merino[1]
Edited by Clarissa Ambach[1]
Production
company
Fénix Films
CCC Telecine Film[2]
Release dates
  • July 15, 1971 (1971-07-15) (Germany)
  • 1973 (1973) (Spain)
[3]
Running time 89 minutes[1]
Country West Germany
Spain[1]
Language German[1]

Vampyros Lesbos (Spanish: Las Vampiras) is a 1971 West German-Spanish horror film directed and co-written by Jesús Franco. The film stars Ewa Stroemberg as Linda Westinghouse, an American who works in a Turkish legal firm. Westinghouse has a series of erotic dreams that involve a mysterious vampire woman who seduces her before feeding on her blood. When she travels to an island to settle an inheritance, Linda recognizes a woman as the vampire from her dreams.

The film was shot in 1970 in Turkey. It was a popular success in theaters in Europe on its release and was the first film to have a more psychedelic score for a Franco film and the first to have a lesbian theme as a prominent feature of the film. The film's score became popular in the mid-1990s when it was included on the compilation Vampyros Lesbos: Sexadelic Dance Party, an album that became a top ten hit on the British Alternative charts.

Plot[edit]

On a remote island, beautiful bloodsucker Countess Nadine Oskudar (Soledad Miranda) lures unwary victims with her seductive nightclub act and sets her sights on silky blonde Linda (Ewa Strömberg), initiating her into the realm of love beyond the grave. After their first carnal encounter, Linda wanders the beach in a daze and falls under the care of Dr. Seward (Dennis Price), who's intent on using Nadine to become a vampire himself.

Cast[edit]

Jesus Franco (pictured) had an uncredited roll in the film as Memmet.[1]

[1]

Production[edit]

Vampyros Lesbos was filmed in Turkey between June 1, 1970 and July 10, 1970.[3][4] Franco applied film devices that were used in his previous film such as long strip club sequences and female protagonists while the lesbian subtext was more prominent in this film than any previous work.[4] The music score also differs from the jazz soundtracks of his previous films with a more psychedelic music influenced soundtrack.[4] The soundtrack was composed by Manfred Hübler, Siegfried Schwab and Jesús Franco who credited himself under the alias of David Khune.[1] The film went under several titles before being released as Vampyros Lesbos including 'Das Mal des Vampirs (Evil of the Vampires) and Im Zeichen der Vampire (Mark of the Vampire).[1] Less than a month after finishing production on Vampyros Lesbos, Franco began working on his next film She Killed in Ecstasy (1971).[5]

Release[edit]

Vampyros Lesbos was released in July 15, 1971 in Germany and in Spain in 1973 where it was a popular with audiences in Europe.[3][5] The film was released on DVD by Synapse Video on January 4, 2000.[6] Image Entertainment released the film on December 27, 2000 on DVD.[6]

A remake of Vampyos Lesbos directed by Matthew Saliba was released in 2008. The film follows the story of Franco's film.[7]

Reception[edit]

Critics praised the film for its score made by Siegfried Schwab (pictured), Manfred Hübler and Jesus Franco

Total Film gave the film three stars out of five, noting that "Despite (or perhaps because of) the hilariously leaden acting, dull script and amateurish direction, this film still exerts a certain fascination."[8] Jonathan Rosenbaum of The Chicago Reader gave the film a negative review, comparing director Jesús Franco to Ed Wood.[9] Slant Magazine gave the film a positive review of three and half stars out of four, finding the film "effortlessly dreamlike" as well as praising the soundtrack.[10] Film 4 gave the film a mixed review, noting that "you never come to Franco's films (over 150 of them) for the plots, but his dreamy, unsettling direction does develop the central tragedy of Carody's love for Westinghouse." as well as praising the film's soundtrack.[11]

In his 2009 book The Pleasure and Pain of Cult Horror Films: An Historical Survey, Bartomiej Paszylk took umbrage with some of the high-brow critics of the film, though ultimately acquiescing to its shortcomings, "Truth be told, Franco's vampyros are far more interested in being lesbos than in drinking human blood, but the movie is so mesmerizing and so outright sexy that you really shouldn't mind that.[12]

Soundtrack[edit]

Vampyros Lesbos: Sexadelic Dance Party
Soundtrack album by Vampire's Sound Incorporation
Released 1995
Genre Film music, psychedelic
Length 48:46
Label Motel

The soundtrack to Vampyros Lesbos was released as Vampyros Lesbos: Sexadelic Dance Party on compact disc in 1995 by Motel Records.[13] The music on the album is compiled from the albums Psychedelic Dance Party and Sexadelic and consists of film music of three Franco films: Vampyros Lesbos, She Killed in Ecstay and The Devil Came from Akasava.[14] The album was released during a period where there was a resurgence of interest in Space age pop music, a style focused on easy listening music from the 1950s and 1960s.[14] The track "The Lions and the Cucumber" from the album was later used again on the soundtrack of Jackie Brown by American director Quentin Tarantino.[15] The album is dedicated to actress Soledad Miranda.[16]

The soundtrack was a top 10 hit on the British Alternative charts on its release over 20 years after the film was released.[5] On September 29, 1997, a remix album titled The Spirit of Vampyros Lesbos was released. The album was a collection of remixes from various electronic artists including Two Lone Swordsmen, Cristian Vogel and Alec Empire who released their own mixes of the films soundtrack.[17]

Allmusic gave the album a negative of three stars out of five referring to the album's music as "excruciating" as well noting that a track on the album is "built on a shameless ripoff of the "Satisfaction" guitar riff".[13] Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B+ rating, opining that it was "not for cheese lovers only."[18]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Manfred Hübler and Siegfried Schwab[13]

No. Title Length
1. "Droge CX 9"   5:11
2. "The Lions and the Cucumber"   5:10
3. "There's No Satisfaction"   3:10
4. "Dedicated to Love"   2:32
5. "People's Playground Version A"   0:50
6. "We Don't Care"   5:20
7. "People's Playground Version B"   1:17
8. "The Ballad of a Fair Singer"   4:35
9. "Necronomania"   2:09
10. "Kama Sutra"   4:03
11. "The Message"   3:21
12. "Shindai Lovers"   4:21
13. "The Six Wisdoms of Aspasia"   4:20
14. "Countdown to Nowhere"   2:27

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Browning, 2010. p.183
  2. ^ "Credits: Las Vampiras". British Film Institute. London. Retrieved September 28, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "Vampyros Lesbos - Erbin des Dracula". Filmportal.de (in German). Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Shipka 2011, p. 203.
  5. ^ a b c Shipka 2011, p. 205.
  6. ^ a b "Vampyros Lesbos". Allmovie. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 
  7. ^ Vasquez Jr., Felix (July 6, 2008). "Vampyros Lesbos (2008)". Film Threat. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Vampyros Lesbos". Total Film. February 1, 2001. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 
  9. ^ Rosenbaum, Jonathan. "Vampyros Lesbos". The Chicago Reader. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 
  10. ^ Gonzalez, Ed (April 16, 2002). "Vampyros Lesbos". Slant Magazine. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Vampyros Lesbos". Film 4. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 
  12. ^ "The Pleasure and Pain of Cult Horror Films: An Historical Survey". Bartomiej Paszylk. 2009. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  13. ^ a b c Anderson, Rick. "Vampyros Lesbos: Sexadelic Dance Party". Allmusic. Retrieved September 28, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Walters, Barry (1996). "Undead Dykes". The Advocate (710). ISSN 0001-8996. Retrieved 28 September 2012. 
  15. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Jackie Brown -- Music from the Motion Picture". Allmusic. Retrieved September 28, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Vital Reissues". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) (108): 95. 1996. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 28 September 2012. 
  17. ^ Bush, Josh. "The Spirit of Vampyros Lesbos". Allmusic. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 
  18. ^ Flaherty, Mike (May 10, 1996). "Vampyros Lesbos". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Browning, John Edgar; Picart, Caroline Joan (2010). Dracula in Visual Media:Film, Television, Comic Book and Electronic Game Appearances, 1921-2010. McFarland. ISBN 0786433655. 
  • Shipka, Danny (2011). Perverse Titillation: The Exploitation Cinema of Italy, Spain and France, 1960-1980. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-4888-1. 

External links[edit]