In nineteenth century middle-Europe, orphaned teenage twins Maria and Frieda go to live with their uncle Gustav Weil, who heads the Brotherhood, a vigilante group trying to stamp out vampirism. But their methods are random and misplaced and the only result is a terrorised populace. The real threat lies with Count Karnstein, and although the twins seem outwardly to be identical, Frieda finds herself much more drawn than her sister to the Count’s castle dominating the skyline.
I never tire of these 19th century witch hunt films that usually focus on the reoccurring theme of sentencing women to death who were believed to be conspiring with the devil. As history goes, it was time of paranoia that was based purely on speculation by self appointed church men who assembled under the blanket of a brotherhood. Claiming there atrocious acts in the name of god seemed to work for them at the time but as a result claimed the innocent lives of many women during that time. Burning at the stake was the usual method of execution. But what if a film were based on those who were possessed by Satanic forces?
We begin with one such group who is led by a spiritual obsessed man by the name of Gustav Weil. Played to a believable perfection, the role is championed by actor Peter Cushing. The group assembles and makes accusations which usually result in the ceasing of a innocent locals to be burned under the suspicion of consorting with Satan. The peasants of this time feared this vigilante posse who appeared to be powered and backed by the strength of the church.
Though where “Twins of Evil” adds it own to the genre is in the form of a local Count by the name of Count Karnstein (Damien Thomas) who actually “does” participle in the practice of Satanism. So much that he is able to resurrect his dead wife’s spirit (who died in 1547) over the murder of an innocent whose blood resurrects her spirit from the grave, The result is a growing league of vampires who despite casting no reflection are deemed denizens of immortality and evil.
The count who becomes a vampire himself is able to rise above the brotherhood under the protection of the emperor. This facet seems to amuse him into taunting their self delusioned organization of power. As he puts it, he’d love to see them all hanged for going up against the emperor’s authority. At current the head count is up to 3 who have been innocently accused and burned at the stake. Gustav’s wife Katy lives under fear but is obedient to her husband who presents a threat to all in the village. Gustav’s nieces Maria and Frieda Gellhorn arrive to stay with them for the duration. The 2 lovely girls despite being twins are quite the opposite in personas with Frieda Gellhorn taking the lead as the more ambiguous evil mined of the 2.
Even with the fear of their uncle Gustav to keep them in line, Frieda disobeys and begins to congregate with Count Karnstein. His influence proves to be too much also bringing her into his throes as a new vampire to his evil plan.
The union results is an outbreak of vampire-driven deaths among the village leading the brotherhood right to Frieda herself. Though her and the count have other plans which involve more deaths, using her sister as a decoy and catapulting the town into the evil ways of vampirism. It’s great old school “Hammer” charm with some nasty thru the heart stakings. The screen beheadings are classic old school fx-style, but boost the thrills in this sexy thriller of a film.
This bluray edition presents in perfect restoration under the release of Synapse Films. who have brought this 1971 film back into a state of exceptional presentation. The movie itself is quite entertaining which nicely presents a mash up of vampirism, Satanism and witch burnings all under one roof. The women of “Twins of Evil” are quite alluring wearing tight busty dresses and a sex appeal that jumps off the screen. The twins (and playboy models)Madeleine Collinson and Mary Collinson take the lead in this round for a movie that is well worth spending some time with.The twins (despite one of them being evil) are sure to please male viewers and daring you to come back for more!
Twins of Evil (1971)