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Twins of Evil

Which is the Virgin? Which is the Vampire?
Twins of Evil
While dabbling in Satanism, Count Karstein resurrects Mircalla Karnstein who initiates him into vampirism. As a rash of deaths afflicts the village, Gustav the head of Puritan group leads his men to seek out and destroy the pestilence. One of his twin nieces has become inflicted with the witchcraft but Gustav's zeal and venom has trapped the innocent Maria, threatening her with a tortuous execution, whilst Frieda remains free to continue her orgy of evil.
Title Twins of Evil
Release Date 1971-10-03
Genres Horror
Production Companies The Rank Organisation, Hammer Film Productions
Production Countries United Kingdom


John Chard
The evil that men do. The final part of Hammer Films Karnstein Trilogy is in keeping with what made the studios output so readily embraced by the horror faithful. Based on characters created by Sheridan Le Fanu, Hammer take one of their vampire movies and add puritan witch- finding into the mix as well. Upon the death of their parents identical twins Maria and Frieda Gellhorn are relocated to Karnstein in Central Europe to live with their Uncle Gustav Weil. Weil is a stern puritan who leads a fanatical bunch of witch-hunters known as the Brotherhood, this is a problem because the twins are going through sexual awakenings. Opposing the Brotherhood is the aristocracy, headed by Count Karnstein, a man of debauchery who is soon to sell his soul to the devil and drag one of the Gellhorn twins with him… It would be easy to assume that the twins of evil of the title are the two girls, here played with a nifty gimmick by real life playboy twins Mary and Madeline Collinson, but it’s not the case. The girls are in the middle of two evils, wicked men on either side of them, God and Satan their respective keepers. This coupled with the political and religious sub-texts bubbling away, makes this a narratively smart picture. Production values are high, with the smart period design and costuming given an atmospheric sheen by cinematographer Dick Bush. Director John Hough provides solid direction and smooth camera work, while Harry Robertson’s music has the requisite olde world gothic about it. Peter Cushing heads the cast superbly as Weil, looking gaunt due to his personal tragedy, he mesmerises as a man increasingly crumbling under the weight of emotional confliction. Dennis Price others sturdy support but is done no favours by the writer (Tudour Gates) as he is under developed, while the twins themselves, their voices dubbed, are fine and able to put enough of a different slant on their characters for us viewers to know which one is which. Damien Thomas’ lustily fanged count is not a particularly striking villain, and David Warbeck as the normal love interest is too weak an actor to convince in the role. One of the better horrors from Hammer’s 70s output. 7/10

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