Lust for a Vampire (1971)
In 1830, forty years to the day since the last manifestation of their dreaded vampirism, the Karnstein heirs use the blood of an innocent to bring forth the evil that is the beautiful Mircalla - or as she was in 1710, Carmilla.
In 1830, forty years to the day since the last manifestation of their dreaded vampirism, the Karnstein heirs use the blood of an innocent to bring forth the evil that is the beautiful Mircalla - or as she was in 1710, Carmilla. The nearby Finishing School offers rich pickings not only in in the blood of nubile young ladies but also with the headmaster who is desperate to become Mircalla's disciple, and the equally besotted and even more foolish author Richard Lestrange.
- In the deserted chapel at Karnstein castle, Count [Mike Raven] and Countess
Karnstein [Barbara Jefford] conduct a satanic ceremony to resurrect the body of their
daughter Mircalla. Richard LeStrange [Michael Johnson] has come to the village to get
background for his books about witches, vampires and black magic. Warned
to beware of Karnstein castle, he takes no heed. Immediately upon entering
the castle, he is set upon by three women dressed in shrouds. They turn out to
be students on an educational tour from Miss Simpson's [Helen Christie] fashionable
finishing school. As LeStrange is being introduced to Miss Simpson and her
students, a new student arrives, one Mircalla Herritzen [Yutte Stensgaard]. LeStrange falls
in love immediately.
Later that evening, when LeStrange relates his adventure to the men at the village inn, one of the serving girls is found dead with two holes in her neck, and LeStrange is convinced that the Karnstein story is not mere superstition. When he chances to meet the recently-hired teacher of English literature on his way to Miss Simpson's school, he tricks him into going to Vienna and arranges to take his position at the school. Shortly thereafter, Mircalla's roommate Susan Pelley [Pippa Steele] disappears. When the headmaster Giles Barton [Ralph Bates] discovers the secret of Mircalla/Carmilla, he offers himself to her. Later that day, after Barton's body is found, LeStrange goes through his books and discovers what Barton had learned--that Mircalla Herritzen is Carmilla Karnstein. LeStrange confesses his love for her, and they make "strange love".
Miss Simpson, worried sick about the disappearance of a student and the death of her headmaster, decides not to call in the authorities or to notify Susan Pelley's father, particularly when Countess Herritzen's private physician agrees to certify Barton's death as a heart attack. However, dance teacher Jenny Playfair [Suzanna Leigh] notifies both the police and Mr Pelley [David Healy], all of whom arrive to investigate. The Karnsteins manage to kill the policeman who has just discovered Susan's body in the bottom of a well, but Mr Pelley arrives with a writ of exhumation and a pathologist to investigate his daughter's death. Susan's body is exhumed (it has just been conveniently buried by the Karnsteins), and talk gets around that she was the victim of a vampire. Together with the village priest, the villagers storm Karnstein castle with the intent of burning it to the ground. LeStrange also makes his way to the castle, looking to save Mircalla. The villagers trap all three Karnsteins in the burning castle, where a burning timber falls from the ceiling and drives itself through Mircalla's heart. LeStrange is saved from the fire, but Count and Countess Karnstein remain.
"Fire is not harmful to us," says the Count as the villagers watch the castle burn. [Original Synopsis by bj_kuehl]