Daughters of Darkness [Special Edition] [2 Discs] [DVD] [1971]

Daughters Of Darkness has finally received a definitive DVD presentation with this lavish, double-disc reissue from Blue Underground. It boasts a new high-definition, anamorphic transfer that is a noticeable improvement on past editions, offering a lot more depth in both color and detail. In terms of sound, the disc uses the original mono soundtrack and it acquits itself fine, with a nice balance of dialogue and the film's odd, rock-tinged musical score. This set also includes plentiful extras. The first disc offers a pair of commentaries from prior editions of this film. First is a track with director/co-writer Harry Kumel that was created for the original Blue Underground disc. Kumel offers plenty of comments on his choices as a filmmaker as well as on-the-set stories, with moderator David Gregory providing the right amount of prompting in the necessary spots. The other track originated with the laserdisc of this title and features actor John Karlen discussing the film with journalist David Del Valle. It's a relaxed, informal chat that is often very witty and offers a different (but no less interesting) perspective on the film. Also included on the first disc is a trio of featurettes. Two of them are exclusive to this edition: "Locations of Darkness" features Kumel and producer Pierre Druout revisiting the film's locations to discuss their memories of the film while "Playing The Victim" is an interview with star Danielle Ouimet that features her discussing the film and her career as an actress. The final featurette is "Daughter Of Darkness," an interview with Andrea Rau that appeared on the original Blue Underground disc. The first disc is rounded out by the film's trailer and a quartet of amusingly kitschy radio spots for the film. The second disc is devoted to The Blood Spattered Bride, a Spanish film that is also part of the 'lesbian vampire' subgenre of 1970's horror films. It's an interesting counterpart to Daughters Of Darkness because it is just as artsy as that film but takes the thematic material in a different, more masculine-minded direction. A trailer for the film's American release (on a double bill with I Dismember Mama) is also included. All in all, this special edition gives Daughter Of Darkness the deluxe treatment it deserves and adds further value with its many extras (not to mention the bonus film). Needless to say, it's a must for the Eurocult aficionado.
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Overview

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Special Features

  • Audio commentary #1 with co-writer/director Harry Kümel
  • Audio commentary #2 with star John Karlen and journalist David Del Valle
  • Locations of Darkness: interviews with co-writer/director Harry Kümel and co-writer/co-producer Pierre Drouot
  • Playing the victim: interview with star Danielle Ouimet
  • Daughter of darkness: Interview with star Andrea Rau
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Radio spots
  • Poster & still gallery

Synopsis

Daughters of Darkness
Le Rouge aux Levres is a stylish, fascinating, very erotic vampire film based on Sheridan le Fanu's Camilla, the classic tale of a lesbian vampire. A young married couple, Stefan (John Karlen) and Valerie (Daniele Ouimet), honeymoon at a deserted oceanside resort where they meet Countess Elisabeth Bathory (Delphine Seyrig) and her companion Ilona (Andrea Rau). Valerie has discovered that Stefan is a brutal sexual sadist and is drawn to the Countess because of her warmth and sensuality. Ilona attempts to seduce Stefan but is accidentally killed, and the Countess takes her revenge on his wife. Director Harry Kumel directs with stunning visual style and maintains the erotic intensity and tension between the characters with skill, getting a particularly good performance from the magnificent Delphine Seyrig, who resembles in both mood and looks the young Marlene Dietrich. Erotic, unusual and extremely violent, Le Rouge aux Levres, also released as Daughters of Darkness is one of the finest vampire films ever produced, making up with style and class what it might have lacked in budget. ~ Linda Rasmussen, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Delphine Seyrig
    Delphine Seyrig - Countess Elisabeth Bathory
  • Image coming soon
    Daniele Ouimet - Valerie Tardieu
  • John Karlen
    John Karlen - Stefan Chiltern
  • Image coming soon
    Andrea Rau - Ilona Harczy
  • Paul Esser
    Paul Esser - Hotel clerk

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