The Curator of Schlock #179 by Jeff Shuster

Lust for a Vampire

Don’t lust after a vampire, kids! 

So we’re continuing Hammer Month here at The Museum of Schlock. Tonight’s entry is a vampire picture called Lust for a Vampire from director Jimmy Sangster. If memory serves, lust is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. I was taught to avoid the Seven Deadly Sins because the Seven Deadly Sins will lead you to do stupid things. Like lusting after a vampire. Why is lusting after a vampire so stupid? Because vampires eat people!

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We’ve got some truly evil vampires in this motion picture. They kidnap this barmaid in broad daylight. They then bring her to some ruined castle and start performing some kind of Satanic Mass. They slit the girl’s throat and pour her blood all over the desiccated remains of Carmilla Karnstein, a dead countess or something. Tendons and muscles form on the bones and before you know, there’s a beautiful, young, blonde woman sitting up the coffin.

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Oh, and she has fangs because she’s a vampire. Looks like vampires can be resurrected with black magic by other vampires. Kind of puts the kibosh on the whole stake-through-the-heart solution.

Enter the movie’s hero, Richard LeStrange (Michael Johnson), writer of horror stories and heir to some title. While visiting the town of Styria, Austria, he happens upon a finishing school for young ladies. The prim and proper Miss Simpson (Helen Christie) runs the academy and she does not approve of the kinds of stories LeStrange writes, but she still allows him to lurk about the campus since he’s royalty. Let’s see. There’s also a creeper history teacher named Giles Barton (Ralph Bates) who always seems to linger around the girls while their doing their Roman jazzercise sessions. These sessions are lead by another teacher, Janet Playfair (Suzanna Leigh), who would be a potential love interest for LeStrange if not for the arrival of a new student, Mircalla Herritzen (Yutte Stensgaard). Yeah, she’s the vampire we saw get resurrected at the beginning of the film. 

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Mircalla manages to capture the obsessive eyes of a few characters in this movie. First there’s an American student by the name of Susan Pelley (Pippa Steele), who has a passionate affair with Mircalla. You could say she lusts after a vampire. Mircalla sucks her blood and kills her. You know, there’s something I just don’t get about the vampires in these movies. Whenever they bite someone, they only drink a little bit of blood and just leave the rest of the body to rot in a field somewhere. That’s a lot of blood going to waste. Can’t they get someone to drain it for them, store the blood in some milk bottles somewhere?

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Anyway, the creeper history teacher finds Susan’s body and dumps her in a well. Through research, he’s discovers that Mircalla is vampire. When Barton confronts Mircalla on this, he tells her that all he wants is to serve her. Mircalla bites Barton and leaves him behind to die while he screams her name. What a maroon? Didn’t anyone tell him that nerdlingers never get the girl, vampire or no vampire? Next up is the dashing LeStrange who manages to capture the heart of Mircalla. There’s even a cheesy song that accompanies their love scene. And the two of them live happily ever after. Not really.

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There are more deaths. A castle is set on fire by a mob of angry villagers. Mircalla gets a stake through the heart. The end.

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Jeffrey Shuster 1

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

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