Originally reviewed 05/16/08
As this Hammer horror melodrama from 1972 opens, schoolteacher Albert Mueller (Laurence Payne) catches his wife (Domini Blythe) and one of the young village girls making their way through the countryside in what’s apparently a quite unwholesome direction. He follows, but is unable to prevent their entry to the castle of Count Mitterhaus, a notoriously sexy vampire who holds the whole village under his sway. As the cuckold tries to marshal the shiftless men of the village for a rescue mission — experience with the Count seems to have whipped everybody here into a sense of meek helplessness — his wife offers up the young blond virgin to the vampire, who rips the girl’s throat out. The woman tears her own clothes off and Mitterhaus makes love to her. When the villagers are finally coerced to make their way to the castle with torches and grim looks, they carry away the dead girl and do battle with Mitterhaus himself, who ends up impaled through the chest on a pointed wooden stick while cursing the village in a stage whisper. Albert’s wife is brought outside and whipped as punishment for her betrayal, but finally runs back into the castle, which is set afire and burns into ruins. And then the opening credits roll.