Victor Matellano's remake of Jose Larraz's 1974 sexy vampire movie gets a UK DVD release courtesy of Soda Pictures.
Yes that's right - somebody has gone and remade VAMPYRES. Fondly remembered by those with a predilection for atmospheric micro-budgeted EuroHorrors of the 1970s, as well as those keen on seeing a couple of naked glamour models running around Oakley Court when they weren't rolling around in blood, the original boasted a gloomy, dreamy atmosphere, minimal plotting, and just enough weird sexiness and horrible murders for it to achieve classic status in some circles.
So what's the new VAMPYRES like? Well to begin with, while the original was a British film with a Spanish director, this new version relocates the story to Spain, which is actually a nice touch. Oakley Court is gone, of course, and the house they've replaced it with is nothing special.
But onto the more important things. Are there sexy naked vampire ladies? Yes there are. Whether they are your kind of sexy naked vampire ladies will be up to you to decide. Are there gory murders? Yes there are. Is there sex? Indeed - of the sort one would be more likely to encounter in a modern softcore film than horror these days.
Those unfamiliar with VAMPYRES will notice that so far I haven't said much about the plot. That's because there really isn't very much of it. Two vampire girls stop single male motorists on a lonely road and take them back to their house to kill them. A couple of tourists (two in the original, three in the remake) get mixed up in things. And that's about it.
What's a bit odd is that, if anything, the remake of VAMPYRES feels even more slight in terms of substance than the original, and running at a brief 76 minutes (with credits) it really could have been a bit longer. There are admirable attempts to recreate some of the original's iconic scenes (the girls running through a graveyard, their black-cloaked outlines waiting by the roadside for a victim), but some inappropriate pop songs on the soundtrack (especially over the opening titles) are a serious mis-step, and the chilly, gloomy ambience that permeated the original is sadly lacking as well.
What VAMPYRES does have going for it is its sense of genre heritage. Who would have thought we'd be seeing a brand new film released on DVD this year that featured in its credits the names of Jose Larraz, Caroline Munro (CAPTAIN KRONOS et al) and Lone Fleming (TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD)? The two classic EuroHorror actresses make a welcome appearance for what can be considered more than just a cameo, and they, along with the appeal of this being a remake of a singular slice of EuroHorror, may be just enough to encourage fans of the genre to check this one out. Just don't go expecting too much.
Victor Matellano's remake of VAMPYRES is out on DVD from Soda Pictures on Monday 5th September 2016