Vampyros lesbos (1971)

aka The Heiress of Dracula
Article 4907 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 8-22-2015
Directed by Jesus Franco
Featuring Soledad Miranda, Dennis Price, Paul Muller
Country: West Germany / Spain
What it is: Franco vampire movie

A female lawyer becomes entwined with a vampiric Countess who is the heir of Dracula.

I always feel a little bit self-conscious about reviewing Jesus Franco movies; there are a number of people I respect who consider him brilliant and a number of others who I also respect who consider his work a waste of time. As for me, I’ve decided that dealing with his work is a voyage of discovery of sorts, and I’m not sure ultimately on which side of the fence I’ll end up, that is if I ever get off the fence at all. I’ve seen quite a few of his movies that are indeed a waste of time, but I’ve also seen a few that are quite striking and do indicate a real talent at work. However, even at his best, he does take some getting used to; I have to acclimate myself to the slow, languorous pace of his work, and he’ll never probably be a favorite of mine simply because I don’t share his obsessions with lesbian sex and the Marquis de Sade. That being said, this is one of his better movies; it’s directed with a good sense of style, the musical score is effective and unusual, and I like the way it hovers around and parallels the story of Dracula without being an imitation of it. He references himself with another incarnation of Morpho (from the Dr. Orloff movies), and the movie feels like an organic whole with one exception; the sadistic character played by Franco himself seems to belong to a different movie. Still, I am left with a question; are there really nightclubs in Europe that specialize in these pretentious erotic dances that pop up so often in his movies? But then, I’m not sure I want to know the answer to that one.


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