Countess Nadine Carody, a vampire with an insatiable thirst for female blood, lures women to her isolated island to love^Ethen kill^Eher victims! Linda Westinghouse comes to the island and falls under the vampire ^Rs sedu... more »ctive spell, only to find a living nightmare she may never be able to escape. A tripped out mixture of nudity, soft-core lesbianism, vampires, outrageous sets and a world famous soundtrack, Vampyros Lesbos is now available for the first time ever on home video in the United States. Recently resurfacing as a cult classic after almost thirty years, Vampyros Lesbos has restarted a dance craze phenomenon across the globe with its psychedelic musical score! So, be sure to watch Vampyros Lesbos today^Eor Countess Carody just might SUCK YOU DRY!!« less
William Errickson, Jr. | Raleigh, NC United States | 06/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Let yourself fall under the spell of this campy, corny and yet quite effective little '70s Eurotrash remake of DRACULA. I'd been wanting to see this film for well over a decade when I first heard of it in a book called THE SEAL OF DRACULA that contained some enticing photos from it. Finally, with the advent of DVD, movies previously difficult to obtain on VHS are now on sale down at Best Buy! Oh hooray for mass market American culture.In VAMPYROS LESBOS, director Jess Franco inverts the story so that all the male characters are female and has all the action take place in broad daylight. Perhaps the best example of this is is when Linda Westinghouse (Ewa Stromberg as the Harker character) meets Countess Carody for the first time--it's Soledad Miranda, the mysterious, exotic and doomed Portugese beauty in all her resplendent glory: tanned, moist and clad in a white bikini, her depthless eyes shielded by huge sunglasses. A vampire sunbathing! How cool. Of course they promptly head to a secluded beach for some nude frolicking. Delightful!Along with the well-known soundtrack, VAMPYROS LESBOS offers lots of funny arthouse satire, and a fairly efficient plotline. But the real reason to watch this film is for the one and only Soledad Miranda, who across thirty years still has the power to captivate viewers. With those surreal, dreamy sequences of her dancing with a mannequin, and her frequent nude scenes, you too will find her clouding your mind. Sadly, she was killed in a car accident not long after finishing this film. Alas, Soledad Miranda..."
Very challenging but wonderful
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 10/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jesus "Jess" Franco is a director that's sort of a secret amongst serious horror film fans. If you're the type of casual fan of the genre who thinks that "Friday the 13th," "Halloween," and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" are the best films the horror industry ever made, you have never heard of Jess Franco. If you think the "Leprechaun" franchise constitutes the apogee of the horror genre, you have never heard of Jess Franco. If you think collecting Wes Craven and John Carpenter films are as far as you need to go to balance out your DVD collection, you have never heard of Jess Franco. I don't mean to give the impression that Franco is the best directorial talent ever seen in the field, because he definitely isn't, but I have found that knowledge about some of this man's films is one of the best ways to distinguish the novices from the veterans. His best known film remains "Vampyros Lesbos," a fascinating take on the age-old vampire legend. This movie isn't for everyone, so look for something milder like "The Blood of Fu Manchu," "Faceless," or "Ilsa, The Wicked Warden" if you wish to adapt to his style by degrees. Whatever you decide to do, Jess Franco might just surprise you.
"Vampyros Lesbos" is an amazing film in ways not initially obvious. The plot is as thin as a communion wafer, and on the surface about as interesting as one. Linda Westinghouse (Ewa Stromberg), a beautiful blonde, heads to Turkey to assist the enigmatic Countess Nadine Carody (Soledad Miranda) clear up some paperwork about an inheritance. That the inheritance has something to do with a Count Dracula never impresses itself on Westinghouse's mind. Weird things start happening shortly after the affable Linda turns up; she starts having strange dreams about Nadine, and her meetings with Carody take on a decidedly sensual subtext. As for the Countess, she spends her free time performing erotic dance routines at a local club. It takes awhile to get around to specific plot points, but when the movie does "Vampyros Lesbos" takes off. We learn that Carody is, of course, an ancient vampire, and we also learn she has designs on the clueless Linda. Recall how nearly every vampire movie you've ever seen has a male bloodsucker preying on women? Well, Franco was one of the few who turned that archaic formula on its head by having a female vampire seek female companionship. Without coming right out and saying it, you do know what I mean, right? Look at the title of the movie again. Yep, you got it.
As the movie progresses, we see Linda rapidly falling under the spell of Countess Carody. The two women spend an inordinate amount of time frolicking together before Linda heads off to an asylum. Her husband Omar (Andres Monales) arrives on the scene and sees what's happening, so he enlists the aid of the asylum's doctors to figure out what his wife is up to. One of the shrinks, Doctor Seward, seems to know more about vampires than any reasonable person should. It turns out that Seward and Carody know each other, but the doctor has had enough of the Countess and tries to destroy her in order to free Linda. Confused? Yeah, you should be. The plot IS convoluted. Jess Franco even shows up in a strange minor role as Memmet, some weird killer that lives in a basement abducting women. But don't worry; the film does make sense as you watch it, and is in fact a fairly dutiful adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel. See if you can match the characters in the movie with the characters in the novel. That ought to help. But "Vampyros Lesbos" differs from Stoker's novel in fundamental ways. Miranda's vampire sunbathes, and religious iconography almost never appears in the film. Even the way to slay a vampire differs from nearly all other film versions of the Dracula legend.
I think the obtuseness of the film, and it can be obtuse when it wants to be, is due to the dreamlike quality of the production. Franco relies heavily on symbolism, hazy cinematography, zoom shots, and the sun blasted atmosphere of Turkey to realize a beautifully complex film. The best aspect of the movie will always be the luscious Soledad Miranda. This is one beautiful woman, and it's quite tragic that she perished in a car accident shortly after production wrapped on this film. I suspect if all vampires looked like the Countess Carody, there would be a rush of male suitors willing to bare their necks at the drop of a hat. Aside from the wondrous Miranda, and the abundant nudity in nearly every scene of the film, the music usually draws many comments. I didn't think the organ heavy psychedelic score was that spectacular, which surprised me because I'm a big fan of organ heavy psychedelic music, but I began losing enthusiasm for it after the same pieces kept playing over and over.
I would like to personally thank Synapse for putting this film out on DVD. The version here is in German with English subtitles, and although the quality looks bad thanks to a lot of jumping around every time a scene changes, that's more the fault of the source material than it is of the company that put this film on disc. Unfortunately, this DVD edition contains only a trailer as an extra. Hopefully, a new edition will contain interviews with Franco and some other much needed goodies. I really liked "Vampyros Lesbos." It's a strange film that intrigues viewers who watch it with the right frame of mind. Don't go into this expecting a bloodbath because you will be disappointed. Instead, look for something more cerebral and you should have a good time.
Vampyros Lesbos:Very chic, Very Tantilizing, Very Satisfing!
fitztillie | Milpitas, CA USA | 02/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What can you (not) say about this movie: Mad trancendental set design, a hypnotic soundtrack and (a rare time-capsule)to the most wicked sick women ever to grace the high concept film genere. Soledad Miranda by herself sells the DVD! But the DVD also includes stunning Ewa Stromberg and bedroom eyed Heidrum Kussin. But this high concept "Adult Fantasy" is not just a cavalcade of Spanish and German beauties..NO SIR! With it's brash "1970 's style" hallucinogenic sets, idilic setting in Istanbul, Turkey (Precariously nestled between islands and the Black Sea) and an idea that still breathes full of life 30 years after it's release. Even though the DVD has slight distortions, blips and mild scratches,it does nothing but perhaps to serve as character for this film. This film screams 70's chic and I find it only appropiate that it look as such. The storyline is definitely one of the more abstract and twisted ones that I can remember. Even though the plot can become somewhat convoluted in parts, the movie still stands up visually, conceptually and phonically. In the years following this movie: Pink Flamingos, Gummo, Baxter and a few others have captured the same visionary outlook. But "Vampyros Lesbos" I think takes the cake. Originally shot in Spanish, the DVD version uses the uncut German language version - more risque content. The German dubbing adds to the feel of the feature, it helps in a way to make the film more erotic, with German being such a strong, forceful, yet pleasing and sensual language. Another intriguing aspect of the film is the lamentable sub-plot of tragic star Soledad Miranda (explained on the inside cover/leaflet) and the long uphill climb it took to get this movie to the U.S (also in leaflet that comes with DVD). In ending, THIS IS A CAN'T MISS DVD!!! If you love high art or if it is just pure beauty you crave-Do yourself a favor-Don't let this one pass you by-Who knows how long this copy will be available or even around?.?.. P.S. The movie does have a high degree of tasteful, artistic and some playful nudity--But don't be afraid to buy this movie, astonish your friends with your cult movie prowess.But dont fret-your not buying something x rated--it's not a porn--perhaps a hard R rating--with more erotic, tense situations that seem more forbidden-Thus the dirtier it seems. Thanks for reading! BYE %)"
A Super Sexy Swingin' Good Time!
frankenberry | Los Angeles, CA USA | 03/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've never been a big Jess Franco fan, but this movie is a real treat! It's a great time-capsule of sleazy euro-trash at it's sexiest...lots of cool sets, lots of great colors, lots of nudity, lots of ridiculous zoom shots...and whatta soundtrack! I've had the CD soundtrack for a long time and it's one of the best 60's bachelor-pad type scores ever...it's great to finally hear it in the movie! There's hardly any story, but if you like euro-trash, you won't be able to take your eyes off of it! Another great release from Synapse! A#1++++++"
Soledad 'screams' Cinema Erotique
Jason A. Levine | Seattle, WA USA | 02/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're familiar with Jess Franco's work, then you know that all of his films were truly collaborative efforts. By that, I mean that it was the culmination of music, acting, post-60s psychedelia and early eroticism that made them 'classics' of the genre...and why we're still interested in them today. This film IS brilliant simply because it takes you back to a time when the world was a much simpler place, albeit a sexier and certainly psychedelic one. Shot in Hungary and Turkey, recorded in Spanish, dubbed in German with French titling is enough to make this release intriguing, certainly for it's language history! Soledad Miranda is astonishing, and the jerky zooms and pans, mixed with bright colorations and simple techniques only accentuate how much can be said, without actually saying a great deal. And if it's plot you're looking for? Well, it's certainly here. Do any of the 'horror' or 'vampire' films of today have much more of a plot? Not really; and consider the slew of flicks that are released each year whose ONLY redeeming qualities are a pair of silicone that everyone's seen before...Not here baby; ain't nothin' like the real thing.So, to sum up this work, if you dig 1970, if you've heard the music (or know what true 'sexadelic dance music sounds like) and if you can appreciate a period piece that showcases the mediocrity of minimalist film-making techniques (including beautiful girls and fab color/sound) then this DVD is for you. And on a technical note...the remastering for this film is terrific. There are few glitches in the transfer (aside from a few scratches and 'greyed' scenes) and the MONO soundtrack (though suffering from some bad tape-edits) is clear and effective. So sit back, take a trip, and put yourself in 1970...and be on the lookout for Vampyros Lesbos!"