Daughters of Darkness

Daughters of Darkness ★★★★½

Vast ornate emptinesses sparsely inhabited. A surging gray sea, originator and reclaimer of souls. Soft dreamlike intimacies of nude bodies, quiet conversations tinged with a frisson of dread, menace. Keen edges with the potential to erupt redness. Fear and desire delectably, disturbingly intermingled. Death and life blending, feeding upon each other, an Ouroboros infinitely extended yet foredoomed to ultimate decay. Cruelty, revenge, redemption, eternity impossibly borne upon the frail spines of mortality. Daughters of Darkness is a lushly decadent movie, gorgeously filmed and rapturously overwhelming to susceptible night-dwelling sensibilities such as my own. Utterly captivating performances all around, most particularly from Delphine Seyrig as Countess Bathory; I was inordinately mesmerized and captivated by Andrea Rau as Ilona.

According to Danny Peary in his book Cult Movies 2, Gemini Releasing used a simple four-word slogan in its publicity releases: "Vampirism, lesbianism, homosexuality, sadism!" Accurate, but the movie takes these salacious elements and, through some sort of cinematographic alchemy and sorcery born of setting and photography and story and performance, creates a profoundly tactile and voyeuristically intimate moviewatching experience.

LordSlaw liked these reviews