The Vampire Lovers (1970)

R | 89 or 91 mins | Horror | 28 October 1970

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HISTORY

The 14 Jan 1970 DV announced that American International Pictures (AIP) would release twenty-one films by mid-Oct 1970, a distribution slate representing the company’s “most ambitious schedule” in its sixteen-year history. The Vampire Lovers, a British co-production with Hammer Films Productions, Ltd., was included in that slate, with a scheduled release date of Aug 1970.
       Principal photography began in London, England, on 19 Jan 1970, according to a 23 Jan 1970 DV production chart.
       On 3 Sep 1970, the picture premiered in London, as noted in a 9 Sep 1970 Var brief. The event was attended by actresses Kate O’Mara, Ingrid Pitt, Pippa Steel, Kirsten Betts, and Madeline Smith, all of whom signed up to donate for the National Blood Transfusion Service as part of the night’s festivities. In the U.S., the film debuted on 28 Oct 1970 in Chicago, IL, where it garnered $27,000 in box-office receipts in its first week of release, the 4 Nov 1970 DV reported. The picture was released in San Francisco, CA, around the same time, and the 5 Nov 1970 DV reported its first-week earnings there as $11,500. Openings in Los Angeles, CA, and New York City followed on 25 Nov 1970 and 3 Feb 1971, respectively. After several months in release, the film had grossed a cumulative $151,675, according to a 12 May 1971 Var box-office chart.
       The Vampire Lovers received positive reviews in the 27 Nov 1970 LAT and 4 Feb 1971 NYT, both of which praised its “opulent” production design and Roy Ward Baker’s direction. In both ... More Less

The 14 Jan 1970 DV announced that American International Pictures (AIP) would release twenty-one films by mid-Oct 1970, a distribution slate representing the company’s “most ambitious schedule” in its sixteen-year history. The Vampire Lovers, a British co-production with Hammer Films Productions, Ltd., was included in that slate, with a scheduled release date of Aug 1970.
       Principal photography began in London, England, on 19 Jan 1970, according to a 23 Jan 1970 DV production chart.
       On 3 Sep 1970, the picture premiered in London, as noted in a 9 Sep 1970 Var brief. The event was attended by actresses Kate O’Mara, Ingrid Pitt, Pippa Steel, Kirsten Betts, and Madeline Smith, all of whom signed up to donate for the National Blood Transfusion Service as part of the night’s festivities. In the U.S., the film debuted on 28 Oct 1970 in Chicago, IL, where it garnered $27,000 in box-office receipts in its first week of release, the 4 Nov 1970 DV reported. The picture was released in San Francisco, CA, around the same time, and the 5 Nov 1970 DV reported its first-week earnings there as $11,500. Openings in Los Angeles, CA, and New York City followed on 25 Nov 1970 and 3 Feb 1971, respectively. After several months in release, the film had grossed a cumulative $151,675, according to a 12 May 1971 Var box-office chart.
       The Vampire Lovers received positive reviews in the 27 Nov 1970 LAT and 4 Feb 1971 NYT, both of which praised its “opulent” production design and Roy Ward Baker’s direction. In both Los Angeles and New York City, it played on a double bill with AIP’s The Cult of the Damned, a.k.a Angel, Angel, Down We Go (1969, see entry). More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
14 Jan 1970
p. 1, 8.
Daily Variety
23 Jan 1970
p. 20.
Daily Variety
10 Sep 1970
p. 3, 8.
Daily Variety
4 Nov 1970
p. 6.
Daily Variety
5 Nov 1970
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
22 Nov 1970
Section Q, pp. 20-21.
Los Angeles Times
27 Nov 1970
Section H, p. 24.
New York Times
3 Feb 1971
p. 28.
New York Times
4 Feb 1971
p. 30.
Variety
9 Sep 1970
p. 24.
Variety
12 May 1971
p. 38.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Adpt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward mistress
MUSIC
Mus comp
Mus supv
SOUND
Rec dir
Dub mix
Sd ed
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairstyles supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Constr mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Carmilla" by J. Sheridan Le Fanu in his book In a Glass Darkly (London, 1872).
DETAILS
Release Date:
28 October 1970
Premiere Information:
London premiere: 3 September 1970
Chicago opening: 28 October 1970
Los Angeles opening: 25 November 1970
New York opening: 3 February 1971
Production Date:
began 19 January 1970
Copyright Claimant:
Hammer Film Productions
Copyright Date:
28 October 1970
Copyright Number:
LP38557
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor, print by Movielab
Duration(in mins):
89 or 91
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
22545
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

For years the populace of Styria have lived in fear of the Karnsteins, a dynasty of vampires. Baron Hartog's sister becomes the latest victim, and the baron seeks revenge. One night, he unearths the coffins in the Karnstein graveyard and drives stakes through the hearts of the living dead. Only the grave of the beautiful Mircalla Karnstein eludes the Baron's vengeance. Years later, a society ball at the home of General Spielsdorf is interrupted by the sudden appearance of a young woman called Marcilla, dressed in a red gown. The unexpected guest moves into the household and separates the general's daughter Laura from her fiancé, Carl. Laura soon becomes increasingly listless and is haunted by recurrent nightmares in which she is attacked by a giant cat. When the general returns home one evening, he discovers Laura dead, drained of all her blood, and Marcilla gone. Afterwards, an alluring young lady named Carmilla visits Emma Morton, who was Laura's best friend, and wins the confidence of Emma and her father, Roger Morton. When Morton is called away on a business trip, Carmilla seduces Emma, who subsequently becomes ill and wakes up screaming from erotic nightmares. The governess and Renton, the butler, also fall under Carmilla's spell, but Renton writes to Morton about his daughter's strange malady. When the doctor who was sent to examine Laura is found dead and bloodless, Morton enlists the aid of Baron Hartog and Carl. While Morton and the baron search for Mircalla Karnstein's grave, Carl rushes back to the house in time to prevent Carmilla from abducting Emma. As Carl lunges towards Carmilla with his sword pointed at her heart, she vanishes and then reappears ... +


For years the populace of Styria have lived in fear of the Karnsteins, a dynasty of vampires. Baron Hartog's sister becomes the latest victim, and the baron seeks revenge. One night, he unearths the coffins in the Karnstein graveyard and drives stakes through the hearts of the living dead. Only the grave of the beautiful Mircalla Karnstein eludes the Baron's vengeance. Years later, a society ball at the home of General Spielsdorf is interrupted by the sudden appearance of a young woman called Marcilla, dressed in a red gown. The unexpected guest moves into the household and separates the general's daughter Laura from her fiancé, Carl. Laura soon becomes increasingly listless and is haunted by recurrent nightmares in which she is attacked by a giant cat. When the general returns home one evening, he discovers Laura dead, drained of all her blood, and Marcilla gone. Afterwards, an alluring young lady named Carmilla visits Emma Morton, who was Laura's best friend, and wins the confidence of Emma and her father, Roger Morton. When Morton is called away on a business trip, Carmilla seduces Emma, who subsequently becomes ill and wakes up screaming from erotic nightmares. The governess and Renton, the butler, also fall under Carmilla's spell, but Renton writes to Morton about his daughter's strange malady. When the doctor who was sent to examine Laura is found dead and bloodless, Morton enlists the aid of Baron Hartog and Carl. While Morton and the baron search for Mircalla Karnstein's grave, Carl rushes back to the house in time to prevent Carmilla from abducting Emma. As Carl lunges towards Carmilla with his sword pointed at her heart, she vanishes and then reappears in her crypt, where the baron impales and decapitates her. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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