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DVD Shopping Bag: The Vampire Lovers

Hammer and AIP together!

By Robert T. Trate     April 09, 2013
Source: Mania.com

In two weeks, The Vampire Lovers will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD from Shout! Factory. The film was originally released in 1970 by both Hammer Films and American International Productions (AIP). If those two production companies don’t mean squat to you, then you have never appreciated the finer things in Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy. Those two production companies fill up as much space as possible here at Mania. Whether it be in the DVD Shopping Bag, The Vault or in Shock-O-Rama, we have a special place for their films. Naturally, when one of their films gets a re-release, we take notice. In two weeks, you will have the opportunity to check out The Vampire Lovers

Now, I figured I’d show you what Hammer and AIP put out there in terms of a trailer for the film. Check it out here:

 

All right ,so you have a female vampire wrecking havoc across the countryside. Well, that isn’t completely true. See, here our Lady of the Night, Marcilla (Ingrid Pitt), dines on the gentlemen, but makes companions out of the ladies. Our film opens with the story of one man hunting the Vampires. It then transcends into how Marcilla, one of her many names, descends on young, ample bodied woman. Yes, it is that kind of Vampire film. What amazes me with The Vampire Lovers is that it isn’t the T&A film that Hammer spun downward into. It is mentioned in the special features that this was their first foray into seeing if sex sells, but that is nonsense. This was a co-produced Hammer Film and, if anything, they were rocking the buxom ladies from day one. Here is the first time the lady vampire is hunting the young girls.

 

In all honesty, an early Seventies T&A Hammer Film wouldn’t usually garner my attention. I tuned in for one reason and one reason alone, Peter Cushing. Here, Cushing plays a General von Spielsdorf in a small, but poignant role. It is the general’s niece that falls to Marcilla and it is the General’s fault that it happened. 


Cushing brings an air of class to these pictures. He wasn’t simply picking up a paycheck. If that was, in fact, the case, there is no evidence of it on screen. You believe every word and his sense of sincerity towards not only his niece, but in his reappearance at the end of the picture. As he did with all of his films, whether he was the hero or the villain, Cushing delivers. His General has been wronged and will do everything to set things right.


As I mentioned before, Cushing only plays a small part in the film. His casting was a last minute addition. The special features also mention that Hammer Alumni, Christopher Lee was courted for the film, but was unavailable. This really is Ingrid Pitt’s picture. Her Marcilla doesn’t slink in and out of the shadows. In fact, she hides in plain sight waiting for the men of the world to drop their guard. Her agenda, if any, is her own and she finds a way to carry out her sinister plans. Her eye is clearly set on the young virginal Emma Morton (Madeline Smith) and she won’t stop until she sinks her teeth into her breasts. 


Shout! Factory’s new horror branch, Scream Factory, delivers a Criterion Collection worthy Blu-ray for a film that has been getting the bottom of the barrel treatment for years. The transfer is clear and sharp, yet retains a few tiny imperfections here and there. The reds of Marcilla’s dress and amulet pop, as does the contrast in Cushing’s military attire against the blue of his eyes. With colors that astound, you quickly forgive those tiny splices that rear their ugly heads on occasion. As has been their standard, Scream Factory has included several covers of your choosing and production photos line the interior. Also included, of course, are multiple special features (Interviews, Commentary, and a Radio Spot). This film is a rough gem for the collection, but a necessity for those who love Hammer, AIP, and Peter Cushing films.

 

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for April 9th, 2013:

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

Anatomy Of A Psycho/The Lonely Sex Starring Ronnie Burns, Pamela Lincoln, Mary Gonzalez and Karl Light

Bad Kids Go to Hell Starring Judd Nelson, Ben Browder and Cameron Deane Stewart

Crush Starring Crystal Reed, Lucas Till and Sarah Bolger

Crush [Blu-ray] Starring Crystal Reed, Lucas Till and Sarah Bolger

Family Starring Boyd Kestner, Tanner Richie Renee Humphrey

Fast Five (Blu-ray + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson

The Fast and the Furious (Blu-ray + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez

2 Fast 2 Furious (Blu-ray + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Eva Mendes

Fast & Furious (2009) (Blu-ray + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (Blu-ray + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Lucas Black, Bow Wow, Nathalie Kelley and Brian Tee

The Four [Blu-ray] Starring Ronald Cheng, Chao Deng, Liu Yi Fei and Wu Xiu Bo

Goodnight for Justice: Queen of Hearts

The Preacher's Daughter Starring Andrea Bowen, Adam Mayfield, Lew Temple and Ron Jackson

Replacement Killers & Truth or Consequences, N.M. - Blu-ray Double Feature Starring Yun-Fat Chow, Mira Sorvino, Michael Rooker

Sexy Evil Genius Starring Seth Green, Katee Sackhoff and William Baldwin

Shadow Witness Starring Kevin Sorbo, Randall Batinkoff, Meta Golding

Stolen (BD/DVD/Digital Combo) [Blu-ray] Starring Nicolas Cage, Josh Lucas, Danny Houston and Malin Akerman

ANIME

Inu X Boku Secret Service: Complete Collection Starring Rina Hidaka and Yuichi Nakamura

Inu X Boku Secret Service: Complete Collection [Blu-ray] Starring Rina Hidaka and Yuichi Nakamura

Letter Bee: Season 2 - Collection 1 (2013)

Criterion Collection

Gate of Hell (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Kazuo Hasegawa, Machiko Kyo and Yataro Kurokawa

Gate of Hell (Criterion Collection) Starring Kazuo Hasegawa, Machiko Kyo and Yataro Kurokawa

Naked Lunch (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm and Julian Sands

HORROR

Crush Starring Crystal Reed, Lucas Till and Sarah Bolger

Deadball [Blu-ray] Starring Tak Sakaguchi, Mari Hoshio, Miho Ninagawa and Takamasa Suga

Dragon Wasps Starring Corin Nemec and Benjamin Easterday

Expiration Starring Brandon Auret, Craig Hawks and Clive Gilson

Father's Day (Blu-ray) Starring Adam Brooks, Matt Kennedy, Conor Sweeney

Father's Day (Blu-ray DVD Combo) Starring Adam Brooks, Matt Kennedy, Conor Sweeney

Father's Day Starring Adam Brooks, Matt Kennedy, Conor Sweeney

Holla If You Hear Me Kill You! Starring Sheree Bynum, Danielle Carter, Sheila Chalakee

Infected Starring Michael Madsen, William Forsythe and Christy Romano

Luster Starring Billy Burke, Tommy Flanagan and Andrew Howard

Massage Parlor Murders (Blu-ray + DVD Combo) Starring Sandra Peabody, Chris Jordan, Brother Theodore

President's Day Starring George Stover, Ruby LaRocca, Shawn C. Phillips

The Suckers/The Love Garden Starring Barbara Mills, Linda York, Jason Yukon and Sandy Dempsy

Womb [Blu-ray] Starring Eva Green, Matt Smith, Lesley Manville and Peter Wight

Womb Starring Eva Green, Matt Smith, Lesley Manville and Peter Wight

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY

The Sorcerer and The White Snake [Blu-ray+DVD+Digital] Starring Jet Li

Sorcerer & The White Snake Starring Jet Li

Woochi: The Demon Slayer [Blu-ray] Starring Dong-won Kang and Yun-seok Kim

Woochi: The Demon Slayer Starring Yun-seok Kim and Su-jeong Lim

TV LAND

Boss: Season 2 (2013)

Boss: Season 2 [Blu-ray] (2013)

The Dick Van Dyke Show: Season 1 [Blu-ray] Starring Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie

Family Ties: The Sixth Season Starring Michael Gross, Michael J. Fox, Meredith Baxter

Merlin: The Complete Fifth Season Starring Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Katie McGrath and Angel Coulby

Merlin: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] Starring Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Katie McGrath and Angel Coulby

BOX SETS

Cary Grant Film Collection 

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