The Velvet Vampire (1971)

THE VELVET VAMPIRE (1971)
Article 3341 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-22-2010
Posting Date: 10-7-2010
Directed by Stephanie Rothman
Featuring Michael Blodgett, Sherry Miles, Celeste Yarnall
Country: USA / Philippines
What it is: Arty vampire tale

A young couple is invited to spend some time in the home of a mysterious woman who lives in the desert. They begin to suspect she is a vampire… and has designs on both of them.

Stephanie Rothman was one of the directors who worked on the bizarre hodgepodge TRACK OF THE VAMPIRE; having watched this movie, I suspect that she was responsible for the dancing on the beach sequence at least. She returns to vampires here, and the result is not unlike DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS, in which a seductive older bisexual female vampire gets involved in the lives of a young couple. She’s got an impressive visual sense, especially with montages; there’s a luxurious sensuality to this movie, and there’s something so appropriate at having a vampire live in the middle of the desert, an area that seems to have been drained of life. She also has a nice sense for the music; the score is quite haunting. I’m less impressed, however, with some of the other aspects of her work; the dialogue is terse and lacks the sensuous quality of the visuals, the story becomes obvious and rather silly, especially towards the end, and the acting is often mannered and fairly weak. Still, these strikes against it don’t take away the visual sense, and the movie lingers. Had it been better around the edges, it might have been a classic.

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