The Velvet Vampire

This is a disappointing horror film from director Stephanie Rothman, whose TERMINAL ISLAND (1973) is one of the more interesting exploitation items from the 1970s. In THE VELVET VAMPIRE, newlyweds Lee (Michael Blodgett) and Susan (Sherry Miles) meet the mysterious and sexy Diane (Celeste Yarnall) at a Los Angeles art gallery and agree to spend the weekend...read more

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This is a disappointing horror film from director Stephanie Rothman, whose TERMINAL ISLAND (1973) is one of the more interesting exploitation items from the 1970s. In THE VELVET VAMPIRE, newlyweds Lee (Michael Blodgett) and Susan (Sherry Miles) meet the mysterious and sexy Diane (Celeste

Yarnall) at a Los Angeles art gallery and agree to spend the weekend at her expensive home in the Mojave Desert. As it happens, Diane is a vampire and she wastes no time in seducing the eager Lee. Later, when Lee discovers the corpse of Diane's loyal servant drained of its blood, he decides to

take his wife and leave, but Susan, too, has developed an attraction to Diane and refuses to depart. She soon snaps back to reality, however, when she stumbles across the bloodless corpse of her husband. Attempting to flee, Susan is followed back to LA by a vengeful Diane, who is able to survive

in sunlight because of her wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Although the script is fairly interesting and Rothman's direction is frequently inventive and effective--especially the bizarre dream sequences set in the desert--the film is crippled by the truly awful performance of Miles, who literally

whines her way through the entire movie. This is not to say that Blodgett or Yarnall are much better, for they too contribute boring and listless performances that fail to convey the erotic pull needed to make the story convincing.

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