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At an art gallery of their friend Carl (Gene Shane), Suzy (Sherry
Miles) and her husband Lee (Michael Blodgett) meet mysterious Diane
(Celest Yarnall), a woman Lee is totally fascinated by - much to Suzy's
dismay, understandably. Still, when Diane invites them to her desert home,
they both go ... and promptly their car breaks down in the middle of the
desert, and only by luck (or is it ?) they are found by Diane in her dune
Diane's home is a creepy place full of secret rooms (including one with
a one way mirror through which Diane can always peek into Suzy's and Lee's
room) surrounded by other creepy places like an abandoned and haunted
mine, a ghost town and a graveyard that seems to grow a little each day.
Diane herself meanwhile very openly shows an interest for Lee (whom she
soon seduces before Suzy's very eyes) and an unhealthy appetite for blood
- which is why visitors to her home seem to disappear on an almost daily
After Suzy has been bitten by a rattlesnake and Diane has sucked
out the poisoned blood however, she starts to like it at Diane's place
(despite knowing that Diane has fucked her hubby), and when Diane makes up
excuse after excuse why they have to postpone their good-bye for one more
day, she's totally with her, driving Lee (who had his fun) madder and
Finally, to satisfy her thirst for blood, Diane even kills Lee,
and only when Suzy finds his body she starts to realize what's going on,
that Diane is indeed a vampire ... and she hightails it, hailing a
Greyhound bus to Los Angeles ... but Diane is on the bus with her.
At the Los Angeles Greyhound station, Suzy finds a store selling
crucifixes - and with the help of a hippie mob, she exorcises Diane ...
though, when she meets with Carl (the gallerist from the beginning), she
realizes he might be a vampire as well.
replacing Transylvanian nights with the brightness of the Californian
desert during daytime, The Velvet Vampire is a darkly atmospheric
and highly erotic vampire flick. Of course, it's trashy all the way and of
course it was mainly made for drive-ins and grindhouses (which also means
it was made on a low budget with not all that great actors, and it is
often very much in-your-face), but that doesn't necessarily detract from
the film's effectiveness, not does the fact that Stephanie Rothman, a
director with a regrettably short career, gives the film a certain
tongue-in-cheek twist (without making it into an outright parody though).
fun, to say the least.