Thursday, December 13, 2007

Lesbian Vampires Lovers of Lust – review – TV Episode


Directed by: Matt Lipsey

First aired: 2001

Contains spoilers

The short series Dr. Terrible’s House of Horrible was comedian Steve Coogan’s homage to British horror – mainly that produced by Hammer, although a heavy dose of Amicus was thrown in plus various other British studios. Each episode was hosted by Dr. Terrible (Steve Coogan) and this specific episode was a fantastic homage to the various Hammer vampire movies. We saw just about every device from Hammer thrown in with a multitude of double entendres.

The DVD itself has all the episodes from the series, running the gamut of British horror themes and boasting some fantastic episode titles (as this one is itself). “And now the fearing…”, “Frenzy of Tongs”, “Curse of the Blood of the Lizard of Doom”, “Voodoo Feet of Death” and “Scream Satan Scream” all appear on the disc. Of course, here we are interested in the vampire episode, which boasts many nearly familiar character names.

vampire in the wildThe episode begins in Upper Carpathia, in 1877, and Captain Hans Brocken (Steve Coogan) with his new bride Carmina (Sally Bretton) are on their honeymoon. We get some brief chatter as they travel in their coach and then Hans makes comment about his wife’s beauty and wonders if anything can be so beautiful. As he wonders this, outside the coach, he spots two women kissing in the moonlight. When we cut back to them a few moments later, after the coach has passed, one grows fangs and bites the other.

Carmina and HansThey reach the inn, a ramshackle place not worthy – it seems – of its place in the burgomaster’s guide. Hans knocks and the door opens to reveal Rebenor (Ben Miller) who informs Hans that the inn is closed due to cockroach infestation. Rebenor seems much taken by Carmina’s apparent purity and suggests there is a room for them at Kronsteen castle.

bug eatingHans refuses the offer suggesting that they will sleep in the coach – at which point it takes off into the night. Carmina is taken with the idea of a castle and another coach appears to take them. Hans asks Rebenor if he is coming and the man refuses. He needs to eat first. As the riderless coach takes off we see him eat a cockroach.

The Countess and IngridThe coach arrives at the castle and Rebenor opens the door and greets them – to Hans’ confusion. The newly weds are shown to a room but Carmina’s luggage has gone. She is still in her wedding dress when she and her husband attend dinner with the Countess (Ronni Ancona) who floats into the room followed by her companion Ingrid (Anouska Bolton Lee). During dinner, which mainly seems to consist of double entendres, the couple’s drinks are spiked. Hans, however, does not drink.

crap bat syndrome perfectedThey retire to their chamber and Hans is hoping to consummate but Carmina falls asleep. We cut into the forest and a Priest (Basil Moss) is walking with his nieces Chastity (Sarah Henderson) and Virtue (Hayley Henderson). They wish to go to the hot springs. The priest falls asleep as the girls frolic in the water and a crap bat flies over the screen. Now I say crap bat, but it is marvellous as it is meant to be crap. It turns into the Countess who joins the girls.

scream queenIn the morning Hans is hoping to consummate once more but Rebenor interrupts, saying that horses are saddled so they can go to the hot springs. They are in the waters (as Carmina’s wedding dress is stolen) when Hans finds the priest’s body. Enter Transeet Van Eyre (Honor Blackman), vampire hunter (as we discover later). She warns the couple of the dangers of the castle.

Anouska Bolton Lee as IngridAs night falls and Hans is with Ingrid – transformed into the form of Carmina – and the Countess tries to seduce the virginal bride we wonder if Van Eyre will save them and whether they will escape the lesbian vampire lovers of lust.

burnt by the crossEvery vampire device from Hammer is there. They cast no reflection (the mirror is faulty), they can be staked, sunlight is deadly and the cross burns. Garlic seems to have little effect in bulb form. At one point Hans suggests he is a haemophiliac in order to stop an attack – of course, to a vampire, that is a good thing.

Ronni Ancona as The CountessAny Hammer fan will love this episode; it carries the atmosphere as well as so much referential material that you can keep on re-watching just to pick up on new aspects. The episode primarily plays to the Karnstein Cycle, but the Dracula films are referenced also and Hans is reminiscent of a rubbish, and a little thick, Captain Kronos. Whilst it is not explicit, the content is rather risqué for a TV show, no bad thing there.

It might be a little short, coming in at just under 30 minutes, but it packs the material in. A definite must see. 8 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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