Daughters of Darkness

Austin Chronicle

DIRECTED BY: Harry Kümel

REVIEWED: 06-22-98

Valerie (Ouimet) is on her honeymoon with new husband Stefan (Karlen) when they put in at a posh hotel overnight. The desk clerk swears he's seen one of the guests 40 years earlier, and that she hasn't changed at all in that time. The guest reveals that she is the Hungarian Countess Bathory (Seyrig); legend has it that the Countess stayed young by bathing in the blood of virgins. The Countess travels with her beautiful young charge Ilona (Rau) and apparently has an intimate relationship with her; when the Countess and Stefan discuss the Bathory legend and get lost in a rapture of sadism and sex, Valerie realizes that her husband is not what she thought. The seductive Countess tries to work her charms on Valerie, while Stefan makes a play for the gorgeous Ilona. Stefan proves to be a real bastard, though, as he treats his new bride with utter disrespect and tries to force the naked Ilona into the shower despite her pronounced fear of water. The lesbian/erotic overtones play out as Stefan is gradually forced out of the picture and a pall of foreboding settles over things. Daughters of Darkness is a superb, elegant, and sexy vampire movie; its deliberate pace only adds to its overall impact.

--Jerry Renshaw

Film Vault Suggested Links
To Sleep With a Vampire
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