Lust for a Vampire (1971)

UK, 1970
91m (USA), 95m (UK), 8,573 feet (UK)
35mm, Technicolor
mono, English

A British horror film directed by Jimmy Sangster. It was the second in Hammer Film Productions' loosely connected Karnstein trilogy.

Plot Summary

Karnstein is revived in a black magic ceremony and enrolls in an exclusive girls' school. Novelist Richard LeStrange is visiting the area in search of the truth behind the legends surrounding nearby Castle Karnstein and falls in love with Mircalla. He tricks his way into a teaching job at the school to be near her – but the body count soon starts to rise and the head-teacher's strange behaviour arouses suspicion…


Directed by: Jimmy Sangster
© MCMLXX [1970] EMI Film Productions Ltd.
A Hammer film
Distributed by: Anglo-EMI Film Distributor Ltd. and released through MGM-EMI Film Distributor Ltd.
Produced by: Harry Fine and Michael Style
Screenplay by: Tudor Gates
Based on characters created by J. Sheridan Le Fanu
Director of Photography: David Muir
Editor: Spencer Reeve
Music Composed by: Harry Robinson
Sound Recordist: Ron Barron
Wardrobe Mistress: Laura Nightingale
Make-up Supervisor: George Blackler
Hairdressing Supervisor: Pearl Tipaldi
Art Director: Don Mingaye
Made at: EMI/MGM Elstree Studios, England

Ralph Bates (Giles Barton)
Barbara Jefford (Countess Herritzen)
Suzanna Leigh (Janet Playfair)
Michael Johnson (Richard Lestrange)
Yutte Stensgaard (Mircalla[/Carmilla])
Helen Christie (Miss Simpson)
Pippa Steel (Susan Pelley)
Harvey Hall (Inspector Heinrich)
David Healy (Raymond Pelley)
Mike Raven (Count Karnstein)
Michael Brennan (landlord)
Judy Matheson (Amanda [McBride])
Jack Melford (Bishop)
Christopher Neame (Hans)
Christopher Cunningham (coachman)
Eric Chitty (Proffessor [sic] Herz)
Caryl Little (Isabel [Courtney])
Jonathan Cecil ([Arthur] Biggs)
Kirsten Lindholm (peasant girl)
Luan Peters (Trudi)
Nick Brimble (first villager)
David Richardson (second villager)
Vivienne Chandler, Erica Beale, Melinda Churcher, Melita Clarke, Jackie Leapman, Sue Longhurst, Patricia Warner ()

Alternative Titles

Love for a Vampire – US title
Mircalla, l'amante immortale – Italian title
Nur Vampire Küssen Blutig – West German title
To Love a Vampire – US television title
Vampyyrin himo – Finnish title

Sequel to
The Vampire Lovers (1970)

Twins of Evil (1971)

Extracts included in
Strange Love: Hammer in 1970 (2019)
The World of Hammer: Vamp (1994)

Cast Gallery


Production Notes

Continuity Errors
At the climax, when the coachman tries to flee the angry mob descending on the castle, the camera crew and their equipment can briefly be seen among the extras:


Cinema of the '70s no.1 (2020) pp.49-68; 69-75 – illustrated article (Straight on till '79: A decade of Hammer horror by Ian Taylor); illustrated interview with Judy Matheson (Judy Matheson: An interview by Ian Taylor)
Flesh and Blood no.2 pp.21-22 – review
Halls of Horror no.27 p.24 – note
Necronomicon no.2 pp.24-25 – review
Dark Terrors no.3 p.33 – review
Video Watchdog no.45 (1998) p.7 – note (A Better Republic by Tim Lucas [uncredited])
Video Watchdog no.183 (May/June 2016) – illustrated review (by John-Paul Checkett)

British Film Catalogue no.14124 – credits
English Gothic by Jonathan Rigby pp.174-175 – review
The Hammer Story by Marcus Hearn and Alan Barnes p.142 – illustrated article, review
The Illustrated Vampire Movie Guide by Stephen Jones p.82 – credits, review
by Walt Lee p.271 – credits
Ten Years of Terror pp.38-40 – illustrated credits, reviews (by Tim Greaves, Matthew Conniam)