Though the title suggests a vampire tale, this is in fact a period murder mystery in the Ten Little Indians vein.
Ireland, 1902. After a performance, Count Richard Monark (Giacomo Rossi Staurt) introduces himself to Evelyn (Patrizia De Rossi), an actress, who's in dire straits. Her troupe is being disbanded, and none of them has another job lined up or enough money to last for long. Monark invites Evelyn to stay at his castle, which is located on an island off the coast; when she hesitates he suggests that she invite her friends along as well. Four of them agree: Leading actress Cora, a vulgar tramp; indiscreet lesbians Rosalyn and Penny, and mild-mannered Samuel, whose longtime crush on Cora is repaid with scorn. On the deserted island, they're met by the count's staff: Deeply religious butler Jefferson; strict housekeeper Miss Sybill (Yugoslavian-born sexploitation starlet Femi Benussi), who's clearly nursing a crush on his lordship; brutish gardener Gregory; and giggly housemaids Mary and Carol. The island's only other inhabitants are a fisherman and his aunt. At dinner, the guests learn of the Monark family curse: The count's father and grandfather both beheaded their faithless wives and then committed suicide — the fatal dagger is displayed in the drawing room, amidst a formidable collection of weapons. The count has also had bad luck with women: His wife disappeared suddenly, presumably with a lover. Evelyn learns that she is the very image of the count's wife, but she accepts his declarations of love nonetheless. Cora sets about seducing the fisherman, Gregory extorts sexual favors from Miss Sybil, the serving girls spy on the lesbians, Samuel sulks and Jefferson rages about the wrath of God, which he swears will be visited on the sinful guests. Then Cora is found decapitated, and a raging storm traps everyone on the island. The dagger of the Monarks is missing, and two more bodies are soon discovered. Who is the murderer? Eventually, a Hercule Poirot-ish policeman arrives to lay bare everyone's secrets and unmask the killer, though nothing he says makes much sense.
The simultaneously formuliac and ridiculous story, studded with softcore sex scenes, is undermined by over-bright cinematography, a cheap and annoying synthesizer score and truly atrocious dubbing. It's indicative of the film's overall cheapness that when a storm is required, the filmmakers insert B&W footage of foaming waves.
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- Released: 1975
- Review: Though the title suggests a vampire tale, this is in fact a period murder mystery in the Ten Little Indians vein. Ireland, 1902. After a performance, Count Richard Monark (Giacomo Rossi Staurt) introduces himself to Evelyn (Patrizia De Rossi), an actres… (more)