Vampire Ecstasy DVDDirector: Joseph M. Sarno
Script: Joseph M. Sarno
Cast: Nadia Henkowa, Anke Syring, Nico Wolf, Ulrite Butz, Flavia Reyt
Running time: 103 minutes
Year: 1974
Certificate: 18

If I’m being absolutely honest here, Vampire Ecstasy (or The Devil’s Plaything or Veil of Blood as it is sometimes known) is basically a slice of European soft-core erotica with vampires in it. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but if you were after something with deep profound meaning or with something in the way of a plot, then I suggest you look elsewhere!

The windswept Castle Varga is an ancient castle steeped in bloody history and to this interesting location, where nearly all the film is shot, comes an eclectic selection of visitors. Amongst these newcomers are a number of young women visiting to establish if any of them is the rightful heir to this formidable estate and a young doctor of mythology and her brother, whose car has broken down nearby.

The strange Ms Crock (?) and her aides, who swish around either dressed all in black or who perform weird ritualistic dancing down in the cellar, in the buff – apart from too much eye make-up and some strange symbols on their ample chests – help settle the guests in, but it’s rapidly apparent that they have an ulterior motive for their seemingly warm hospitality.

Basically Crock and her ‘goonettes’ want to bring their satanic vampire mistress, Countess Varga, back from the dead and can only do so by finding the right human vessel to accommodate the former evil countess. Now if you think I’ve ruined the plot for you here fear not, as the plot really comes secondary to lots of perky female flesh on display, a couple of scenes of soft-core fumbling and lots of dodgy acting! Candles and weird phallic stones are used as dildos, a brother and sister get it on, and possessed women are kept at bay by garlic crosses and continuity errors abound.

Vampire Ecstasy

As an example of the latter point, early on in the film, the housekeeper explains why the castle remains so dark and without a telephone – apparently the electricity has been cut off by a recent storm. Fair enough. However, in very next shot we can clearly see an electric light working – oops!

To balance out the bad guys is the female doctor who has a vast knowledge of local legends and seemingly knows how to deal with vampires. However, for most of the film she seems to be outclassed by the vampire cultists and struggles to keep her and her brother alive – he’s too busy trying to get his end away with the young lady who has been chosen to be the vessel for the countess’s return!

Vampire Ecstasy, while admittedly nicely shot, is a frustrating watch. It ambles along at a snail’s pace, with shots randomly changing with no rhyme or reason, it doesn’t really explain who everyone is, the acting is mainly of the oaken variety with everyone speaking clunky dialogue R-E-A-L-L-Y slowly, none of the characters are particularly sympathetic and the ending is a tad anti-climatic!

However, it does have its good points in the shapely form(s) of most of its stars who seem quite happy to get their kits off whenever the ‘script’ calls for it, which it frequently does! So if you like seeing lots of attractive women bouncing around in their birthday suits in a gothic setting (and who doesn’t) then add an extra star to this review.

Reviewer: Justin Richards

Mediumrare Entertainment has just released Vampire Ecstasy on DVD, so keep a look out for it, if you fancy watching a bit of soft-core Eurotrash!

Also included on the disc is an interview with director Joseph Sarno (shot in 2005) where he talks about some of his influences, (for example, the 1930’s versions of Dracula and Frankenstein), about how they lit the film, the actors, the castle where they shot the film – apparently it was quite a creepy place in reality – and talks about his own interpretation of the film, which he claims to be about how some people have the ability to influence others through their own sexuality. Surely that would apply to most women’s influence over the men who want to shag them!

About The Author

After a lengthy stint as a print journalist, Justin now works as a TV and film producer for Bazooka Bunny. He's always been interested in genre films and TV and has continued to work in that area in his new day-job. His written work has appeared in the darker recesses of the internet and in various niche publications, including ITNOW, The Darkside, Is it Uncut?, Impact and Deranged. When he’s not running around on set, or sat hunched over a sticky, crumb-laden keyboard, he’s paying good money to have people in pyjamas try and kick him repeatedly in the face.

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