Blood and Roses (1960)

Carmilla has been made so many times — VampyrDracula’s Daughter, Crypt of the VampireThe Vampire Lovers, The Blood Spattered Bride — but the Roger Vadim-directed movie moves the setting to Italy in the 20th century.

Carmilla (Annette Stroyberg, Vadim’s wife at the time) is torn apart by the engagement of her friend Georgia (Elsa Martinelli, The Tenth Victim) to her cousin Leopoldo (Mel Ferrer, Nightmare CityThe Visitor, both versions of Eaten Alive (with and without the exclamation mark), The Antichrist and dude, Mel Ferrer has been in so many movies I love, even The Norseman) and she has no idea who she loves more. Yet she’s also found a dress that belonged to a vampiric forebearer and gone into her grave and nothing good is going to come of that.

And yes, Leopoldo is Count Karnstein, which would make him from the same family as the vampire in Twins of Evil and the rest of Hammer’s Karnstein Trilogy (we already mentioned the other two films, the third is Lust for a Vampire). The role was originally intended for Christopher Lee, which makes sense.

This is the artier side of vampire films when so much of this week has been wallowing in the mire and muck. See, sometimes we can be classy when we share a lesbian vampire movie.

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