Roger Vadim, director

Blood and Roses (aka Et mourir de plaisir; France/Italy; 1960/1961)

Original lobby cards

 

Based on Sheridan Le Fanu’s novel Carmilla and a remake of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1932 film, Blood and Roses emphasizes the sexual connotations of vampire films. Roger Vadim, also known for directing then-wife Jane Fonda in the sexy camp classic Barbarella (1968), helmed this film of female vampire lust. The film’s heroine, Carmilla, is fascinated to learn of her vampire lineage, but soon takes her interest too far as she gives herself over to nighttime blood lust.  As Carmilla thirsts for the blood of both men and women, Vadim plays up the lesbian subtext present in the novel.  Hints of lesbianism often make appearances in vampire movies, particularly because in these films, blood lust serves as metaphor for all taboo sexualities. 

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