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Daughters of Darkness (1971)

Les lèvres rouges (original title)
R | | Horror | 22 October 1971 (USA)
A newlywed couple are passing through a vacation resort. Their paths cross with a mysterious, strikingly beautiful countess and her aide.

Director:

Harry Kümel

Writers:

Pierre Drouot (scenario), Harry Kümel (scenario) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Delphine Seyrig ... Countess Bathory
John Karlen ... Stefan / Valerie's husband
Danielle Ouimet ... Valerie / Stefan's wife
Andrea Rau ... Ilona / Countess' secretary
Paul Esser ... Hotel clerk
Georges Jamin ... Retired Policeman
Joris Collet Joris Collet ... Butler
Fons Rademakers ... Mother
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Storyline

A chic, good-looking and suitably 70's couple arrive at an extravagant and deserted seaside hotel after eloping. Stefan is wealthy and happily English, with a hidden streak of sadism, while Valarie is intelligent but of inferior (Swedish) blood. To keep her with him at the eerie hotel he lies consistantly about his relationship with his mother and his plans to tell her of their marriage. Meanwhile he has mysterious phone conversations with an older, dominant and pampered sissy. Two fresh guests arrive; the Hungarian countess, Elizabeth Bathory and her voluptuous protege, Ilona. Virgin corpses begin showing up about the city drained of their blood. A wary detective lurks around the hotel taunting his only suspect, the Countess. Written by kwedgwood@hotmail.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

These are the Daughters of Darkness... They are waiting for you - They thrive on BLOOD See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Belgium | France | West Germany

Language:

English | Dutch | French | German

Release Date:

22 October 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Daughters of Darkness See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(uncut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Countess Bathory drives a 1953-1955 Bristol 403. See more »

Goofs

When Ilona is lying on the bathroom floor, bikini marks are visible. Vampires are not supposed to have tan lines. See more »

Quotes

Valerie: You must have a secret. Every woman would sell her soul to stay young.
Countess Bathory: Oh it's very simple. A very strict diet, lots of sleep...
See more »

Alternate Versions

A special edition was released featuring footage cut to obtain an "R" rating and other additional scenes. See more »

Connections

Version of Lust of the Vampire (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Daughters of Darkness
Performed by François de Roubaix
Sung by Lainie Cooke
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Landmark in Vampire Erotica
7 August 2007 | by Jonny_NumbSee all my reviews

While I appreciate vampires as a staple of the horror genre, I have never been a big fan of vampire films. And while I will be the first to laud the merits of Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee's contributions to the cape, they look rather timid next to Countess Elizabeth Bathory (the luminous and sensual Delphine Seyrig) in "Daughters of Darkness." While Harry Kumel's film is one of the most aesthetically beautiful vampire pictures ever lensed, dripping with subtle sexual tension, it also presses forth with a feminist/lesbian subtext that's as alluring as it is clever. The plot is relatively straightforward, and the film takes its time in establishing mood and atmosphere--Valerie (Danielle Ouiment) and Stefan (John Karlen) are newlyweds who are on the rocks only 3 hours into the marriage, and things are complicated further when Countess Bathory and her assistant, Ilona (Andrea Rau) check into the same deserted seaside hotel. While the atmosphere could be compared to the Universal and Hammer horrors, Kumel's artistry--with well-framed images, emphasis on wardrobe, and a very deliberate color scheme--exists in its own unique league. The topic of lesbianism--and even heterosexuality--is presented in a minimalist, unexploitative manner, yet maintains a pervasive eroticism throughout. Even the vampiric seduction is presented with a minimum of graphic bloodshed, which is all the more effective. "Daughters of Darkness" is the type of moody, character-driven piece that plays like a sensual sister to George Romero's similarly unique "Martin." As my comment title implies, this is an excellent film, required viewing for fans of horror and great art alike.


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