The legendary pornogothic movie from Russell Gay’s Mistral Films examined.
A cemetery. An unkempt gravestone, almost lost from sight in the undergrowth… “the dead are all too easily forgotten”, growls the narrator at the opening of this eighteen-minute sex and blood short, “but they’re merely sleeping and when they awake they return to seek the food of life – blood!”. No sooner has he spoken than we see a naked blonde girl clawing her way up out of the soil at the foot of the gravestone.
A bedroom. A young girl stood in the window… Jennifer is too hot to sleep, so she slips out of her nightie and stretches out on the bed. Suddenly, the windows crash open and the blonde appears. “Who are you?” asks a startled Jennifer. “My name is Carmilla” comes the response, and the two naked girls embrace. Within seconds, they’re locked in a heady bout of lesbian sex. Out comes the fangs, blood trickles across firm breasts, and Jennifer all but gets her nipple bitten off as Carmilla feasts.
A crypt. A dusty coffin…Carmilla leads Jennifer through the gloom and the lid of the coffin springs open, its occupant sitting bolt upright. He is Count Dracula. (Back in the bedroom, Jennifer’s boyfriend finds the place in a state of disarray). Dracula puts the bite on Jennifer and she proceeds to fellate him. “I want you to become the bride of Dracula” drools the vampire and he takes Jennifer from behind whilst she performs oral sex on Carmilla. Hurling Jennifer aside, the Count moves in on Carmilla, but as they have sex atop the tomb, our heroine’s boyfriend arrives and thrusts a flaming stake through the copulating couple. Carmilla curiously remains fully fleshed in death, but as Dracula withers into a rotting corpse, the boyfriend reaches for Jennifer. Yet she too has become one of the undead and the film ends as she moves in for the kill.
Blood Lust is the superlative mix of horror and sex – in fact, there’s almost as much blood on show as there is flesh. The finale is particularly gory, and although it looks for a moment as if the owner of a pair of BBFC shears has had a go at it, I’d like to think it’s the result of quick-fire editing on the part of the film’s director, Russell Gay (publisher of Knave and Fiesta and the man behind the almost-hardcore Mistral 8mm films, of which this is one) who certainly knows his horror films. Aside from the obvious influences, there are some subtle moments throughout that any genre buff will recognise instantly; of particular note is the scene when Dracula cuts his chest with his fingernail and coaxes Jennifer to drink his blood, which neatly pays homage to a sequence between Christopher Lee and Suzan Farmer in Hammer‘s classic Dracula, Prince of Darkness.
Although visually at least, the balding actor playing the Lord of the Undead leaves a little to be desired, the two females are decidedly easy on the eye, particularly the buxom lass portraying Jennifer. Aside from the painfully wooden delivery of the dialogue, the whole production has a slick, professional sheen to it and the sex sequences are relatively explicit; although we see no actual penetration, there’s enough on show here to see that old Drac sports an erection to match that of any mere mortal. Whether the sex is arousing or not is down to individual taste. Personally, I found the tryst between the two ladies the more interesting of the two main set-pieces: “you have beautiful breasts”, Carmilla tells Jennifer, “would you like them bitten?”. “Oh yes”, moans an ecstatic Jennifer.
Blood Lust was originally released in the late Seventies on the super 8mm format and sold for private exhibition through adult magazines, where the more flush could buy the full 400ft sound and colour option for £60 (equivalent to £310 today) and less fussy viewers could choose a silent edition for ‘just’ £47.50. By this point, the Mistral films were also appearing on VHS, Beta and Phillips (remember those last two?!), and Blood Lust was paired with another Mistral short, Art Class Seduction. In the early 1980s, the film would turn up on a couple of Mistral compilations, Lydcare’s Best of Blue Movies #3 and Rustler’s Connoisseurs Collection #4. The Mistral Films were still available from the few surviving 8mm stockists like Derran in the early 1990s, now in bargain bins at £2 – £5 each, but have long since become rare artefacts of a lost world. Your Reprobate editor’s own copy of Blood Lust made its way onto the Redemption DVD of The Last Step Down, making it the one of the few Mistral Films still available (we’ll be discussing the history of this fascinating company on another occasion).
Quite what Stoker or Le Fanu would make of this excessively naughty interpretation of their creations is open to debate, but Blood Lust is nevertheless absolutely essential viewing for all readers of The Reprobate.
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