The Devil’s Plaything (1973)

aka Veil of Blood, Der Fluch der schwarzen Schwestern
Article 4583 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 7-18-2014
Directed by Joseph W. Sarno
Featuring Nadia Henkowa, Anke Syring, Ulrike Butz
Country: Sweden / Switzerland / West Germany
What it is: Vampire sexploitation

Several guests arrive at a castle that used to house a lesbian vampire who was executed four hundred years ago. However, the residents of the castle are engaged on having the vampire manifest herself in the body of another so she can seek vengeance on the descendants of those that executed her… and the guests are those descendants.

With a movie like this, you end up asking yourself this question; is it a horror movie with sex, or is it sexploitation with horror? Given that the director is Joseph W. Sarno, it’s obviously the latter. I saw the 85 minute version, which apparently cuts out eighteen minutes of orgies and sex, so I suspect that this shorter version is for people who are more interested in watching it for its horror elements. Still, even in this form, it’s primarily sexploitation, and it’s more interesting on that level than it is as a horror movie. On the latter level, it’s pretty dull; it’s mostly people slowly walking around with vacant expressions on their faces talking in heavy accents; there’s little suspense or tension, and though it may be trying to rely on mood, there’s little variation on that mood to make it interesting. I’m afraid I had little use for this one.


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