The Europeans knew how to throw together a gory yet stylish lesbian vampire flick in the 70’s, and The Blood-Spattered Bride is right up there amongst the top of the genre. Spanish director Vicente Aranda hardwired the film with plenty of spooky atmosphere and ultra-dark sexuality. Some of the main character's sexual nightmares are among the most graphic sequences captured on film, but this is far from ‘just’ a gore-fest. There’s a lot of mood in this piece, and a lot of qualities that many of today’s filmmakers could learn from.Alexandra Bastedo stars as Carmilla, a lesbian vampire who lures the frigid newlywed (Maribel Martin) from her husband (Simon Andreu) while on their honeymoon. The boat-biter, a descendant of a woman who was believed to have killed her husband on her wedding night, is an attractive seductress. She gradually convinces the blushing bride to start mutilating folks and engage in the odd bit of bedroom spelunking but while Martin’s character knows what she’s doing is wrong, she finds it hard to fight the ghostly Carmilla. That is, until she begins to wonder if maybe the next victim will be her husband.
Filmed by the always impressive cinematographer Fernando Aribas and based on the classic novel Carmila by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, this dream-like slice of Euro-horror takes its time but rarely puts a foot wrong. From the young bride's brutal rape fantasy to her slow seduction by the blonde vampires, the elegance within the film never dissipates.
Unlike a lot of today’s horror films that use cheap tricks to scare the viewer, The Blood Spattered Bride takes its time and draws you in to a trip worth taking.Director Vicente Aranda’s career gained much steam from this outing and he’s continued writing and directing to this day. No complaint from me.