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The Velvet Vampire
The Devil is a Woman / Cemetery Girls / The Waking Hour / Through the Looking Glass

USA 1971
produced by
Charles S. Swartz for New World
directed by Stephanie Rothman
starring Celeste Yarnall, Sherry Miles, Michael Blodgett, Gene Shane, Jerry Daniels, Sandy Ward, Paul Prokop, Chris Woodley, Robert Tessier, Johnny Shines
written by Maurice Jules, Stephanie Rothman, Charles S. Swartz, music by Roger Dollarhide, Clancy B. Grass III, song performed by Johnny Shines

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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 buggy.

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 basis.

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 madder.

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 ...

Later though, when she meets with Carl (the gallerist from the beginning), she realizes he might be a vampire as well.


Despite 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).

Good fun, to say the least.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD