THE BLOOD SPATTERED BRIDE (1972)
posted 00/00/2008

Directed by:
Vicente Aranda

Starring:
Simón Andreu ... Husband
Maribel Martín ... Susan
Alexandra Bastedo ... Mircalla Karstein
Dean Selmier ... Doctor

Country: Spain
Runtime: 100 min
Original title: La novia ensangrentada
AKA: Blood Castle
Bloody Fiancée
     
     

The initial message of Blood Spattered Bride seems to be some sort of strange female empowerment. A strong message towards men that just because we are married doesn’t mean we have to roll around in the mud as pigs. Although the idea can’t be taken seriously, the product is quite fascinating and disturbing. Vicente Aranda, mostly known for his erotic filmmaking, does a great job here during the first half of the film. The movie is based on the popular vampire novel CARMILLA by Sheridan Le Fanu. The novel predates Bram Stoker’s version.

Susan, a recently married woman, arrives at a hotel with her husband. While her husband is downstairs and she’s looking around the room, a hidden attacker bursts from the closet and upon Susan. He savagely rips her clothes off and rapes her. This is probably one of the biggest shocks in the film. The whole thing seems to be a vision in her mind or something because later her husband appears and everything seems to be ok. Susan also receives her first vision of a veiled woman who we later know is Carmilla. By the way, in the rape scene is one of the best pie shots I have ever seen in film, a beautiful brown fluff.

Susan tells her husband she feels uncomfortable at the hotel and that they move elsewhere. They relocate to her husband’s ancestral home and have sex quite often (every chance they get really) as should be expected in a healthy newlywed couple. Then things get weird. Susan refuses to give her husband oral sex and then she begins to refuse his advances and even hide from him at times. They find female portraits of the husbands family in the cellar. One is of Carmilla who killed her husband on their wedding night because he wished her to perform unspeakable sex acts. Id be careful guys, because what might be fine and dandy to us may be UNSPEAKABLE to them. Then in another vision or whatever these things are, Carmilla appears to Susan and bestows her the dildo end dagger. It’s really just a dagger with an end that strangely resembles and could probably be used for dildo-like activity. In this dreamlike state Susan repeatedly stabs her sleeping husband. She later tries to kill him for real, during a walk at the beach with the dildo dagger. At said beach Susan’s husband finds the flesh and blood vampire Carmilla, buried in the sand, she’s naked, but otherwise perfectly ok. They take her in for a while. Susan starts to wake up in the middle of the night to go walking with Carmilla to ruined temples where Carmilla drinks her blood and they talk about how men take women’s virginity and should be killed or something crazy like that. Susan’s husband notices the odd behavior and locks up the dildo dagger in a secret place and consults a doctor for Susan.

One night Susan looks for and finds the dagger. She breaks the locks and with Carmilla’s help kills the doctor. They also kill a hunter but Susan’s husband escapes. Later Susan’s husband (the film does not provide us with his name) finds his wife and the vampire bitch Carmilla sleeping together, naked, in a coffin. He seals the lid and shoots at it for a while until the box drips blood. And to seal the deal he cuts their hearts out!

This is a strange vampire movie. There is certainly an air of lesbianism and a disgust for men, not that the two always go together. There was barely any blood and the good nude scenes were mostly at the beginning. The vampire Carmilla wasn’t that threatening. It seems she only wanted to get Susan away from her husband. I am glad they both died. I don’t recommend this film unless you like subtle female vampire flicks which make no sense.

  - Jorge Antonio Lopez

 

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