Friday, 19 September 2008

Blood of the Virgins (1967)

Emilio Vieyra’s Blood of the Virgins (Sangre de vírgenes) is a 1967 horror movie from Argentina. I have to admit that I didn’t know there were horror movies from Argentina. In fact it’s a vampire movie.

At some time in the 19th century a woman has to choose between two men, not realising that one of them is a vampire. On her wedding night she finds herself the victim of the vampire. Cut to 1967, and a group of young people are on holiday when their car runs out of petrol. They reach an apparently deserted house, where a mysterious servant has a meal already prepared for them. But of course the vampire and the vampire bride are still there, haunting the house, and the girls in the party are bitten and start to transform into the undead.

What’s surprising (apart from the locations in the mountains of Argentina) for a 1967 movie is the amount of gore and nudity. Other than that it’s a fairly well-made low-budget horror flick. It’s strictly B-movie stuff, but it’s entertaining enough. Being a Mondo Macabro release it comes with some fascinating extra, which are actually even more interesting than the movie itself. There’s a documentary about the exploitation film industry in Argentina, the existence of which I had never even suspected.

Emilio Vieyra, the director of Blood of the Virgins, made several other horror films in the 60s, including the gloriously titled The Curious Dr. Humpp (a movie that sounds very bizarre indeed). Blood of the Virgins includes some groovy 60s clothes and some rather naughty go-go dancing, both of which add considerably to the fun. It was filmed in colour and the DVD release looks terrific. Definitely worth a look.

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