Blood Spattered Bride (1972) is a modern era reimagining of the 1872 vampire novel Carmilla written by Sheridan la Fanu. The movie centers on newlyweds, Susan (Mariel Malin) and her husband (Simon Andreu) who have returned to his family estate for their honeymoon. The movie begins innocently with Susan and her husband besotted and in a constant cat and mouse game of sexual dominance.
Things quickly unravel when Susan becomes obsessively distraught by ghostly visions of a long-deceased family member Mircalla (Alexandra Bastedo) who has a tormented history and is buried on the premises of the estate. Susan’s instability escalates when a stranger named Carmilla (Alexandra Basedo) is rescued by her husband and stays overnight. From here things take a turn for the worse as Susan’s husband desperately tries to help his wife with what he believes are hallucinations or psychosis.
The movie is unlike other vampire films of its time touching on feminist themes of sexuality and the struggle of woman to maintain power and control over their body. Coming off the heels of an era of male dominated vampire films the presence of a female vampire is refreshing and, in many ways, more sinister. The director’s attention to detail, such as lighting, atmosphere, and use of music, add a gothic feel that instantly places you on edge. While not necessarily a scary movie it is certainly disturbing enough to keep the viewer in suspense. I enjoyed watching it though a prefer a movie with more of a scare factor. There were no goosebumps as it felt more like a soft porn late night soap opera. There just wasn’t enough bite and gore for me.
I would have to rate this on a 5 out of 10 scale.
Review by Colleen Clemens