José Ramón Larraz – Vampyres (1974)


“The 1970’s was the decade of the gothic lesbian vampire film. The exploitation efforts of Jean Rollin (LIPS OF BLOOD), Jess Franco (VAMPYROS LESBOS), and Hammer (LUST FOR A VAMPIRE) were enormously popular at the time. These films successfully combined the fear of death and eroticism, which struck a cord with male audiences. Many of the films merely hinted at the overt sexuality, and most never fully explored the sexual aspects of the genre’s premise. That all changed in 1974, when upstart Spanish director Jose Ramon Larrez (or Joe as he is called stateside) raised the bar with the ultimate depiction of sex and horror, VAMPYRES. Larrez teamed with producer Brian Smedley-Astin to film their adult vampire epic in England. By the time VAMPYRES was released there, the censors cut out most of the offensive scenes, castrating the power of this artsy exploitation picture. Luckily when the film played the Drive-In circuit in America (as DAUGHTERS OF DRACULA), we got to see what the British audience didn’t–powerful sex trysts and disturbing death scenes. Thanks to Larrez’s scripting and directing skills, VAMPYRES rose to top of its genre. Today, VAMPYRES is a highly regarded classic in Euro horror-circles, and rightly so…

VAMPYRES is quite simply the greatest lesbian vampire movie ever made. This can all be attributed to director/screenwriter Joe Larraz, (who allowed his wife D. Daubeney to take credit for the screenplay he wrote). Larraz’s script tosses out the vampire cliches and these creatures of the night do not have sharp teeth, don’t turn into bats, don’t sleep in coffins, and don’t get staked through the heart. This is a fresh approach of vampirism, which is treated more like a disease. When these vampires attack, it is in an intensely gruesome manner. Like sharks kicked into a frenzy by the smell of blood, Fran and Miriam drink (and lick) the blood of their victims, then engage in sexual activities when their blood lust has subsided. They have sex in a bed, in the cellar, and in (my favorite) the shower.” – Phil Chandler, DVDCult

– An mp3 of the (highly regarded) audio commentary with Jose Larraz and producer Brian Smedley-Aston.
– A lively interview with actresses Marianne Morris and Anulka


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