Upon returning to my igloo after a fishing expedition I notice a small object lying outside the igloo. It looks familiar...
Ye gods! It's a lump of flesh!
Ye gods again! It's a nose! A human nose!
Gingerly, I quickly pick it up and throw it as far away as I can. Thankfully it disappears for good down a nearby crevasse(I must get that fixed).
I enter the igloo and look around carefully. Nothing else has been moved. Yet someone is toying with me surely? Someone is following me, leaving me macabre clues... a human nose!? What twisted mind could conceive of such sport?
The mystery becomes clearer when I look in the mirror and notice that my severely frostbitten nose is no longer there. It must have fallen off. Outside somewhere.
"Bollocks." I mutter.
TWINS OF EVIL (1971)
Twins of Evil is a fabulously bloody & bawdy Hammer romp that rather bravely shies away from a simple tale of ‘good versus evil’ and instead manages to create complex characters that perhaps contain shades of both.
Made in 1971, only a year or so after nudity was invented, it’s the third and final instalment of the fairly loose Karnstein trilogy (after The Vampire Lovers and Lust for the Vampire, both from 1970), and it’s simply a fabulous Hammer offering in its own right.
The Twins, Frieda and Maria, are played by Playboy Playmate twins Madeleine and Mary Collinson (who thank god are over the age of consent).
We first see them as they come to stay with their Aunt Katy & Uncle Gustav. It soon becomes clear that rather being Twins of Evil, we have a good twin and a naughty twin. Which would obviously have been a much weaker title, so Twins of Evil it is.
Peter Cushing is in top form as Uncle Gustav - a ruthless Witchfinder General type who leads his religious followers ‘The Brotherhood’ on regular witch-hunts that invariably end with a nubile, innocent, young wench being burned at the stake. We’re also treated to a formidable looking vampire with great hair in Count Karnstein (Damien Thomas).
The clever plot moves along at a rip-roaring pace as blood-drained bodies start to turn up all over the countryside and The Brotherhood roam around unchecked, burning any innocent maiden that takes their fancy, yet rather shamefully being reluctant to visit Castle Karnstein, the real source of evil!
In the meantime, naughty twin Frieda catches the eye of both Count Karnstein AND the resident hero Anton. Where will all this lead to? Will the fact that they’re identical twins lead to any confusion and mistaken identity? You wouldn’t bet it against it would you?
There’s just time for some sexy topless vampire shenanigans before we get to the tremendously bloody final battle at Catle Karnstein.
And I mean bloody. Count Karnstein and his huge henchman aren't in the mood to go quietly, and swords are brandished and axes thrown with a devil-may-care recklessness that just wouldn't be allowed in todays more Health & Safety conscious age. Gallons of bright red Hammer blood is spilled and we get some shockingly graphic deaths - one in particular that comes as a bit of a surprise.
So - one of the best Hammer finales ever, surely? And a fitting end to the Karnstein legacy...
Black and White Wednesday: "The Messiah in the Saddle 'Resolution'" by Howard Chaykin - Check it out, Groove-ophiles! Howard Chaykin wrote and illustrated "The Messiah in the Saddle 'Resolution'" which appeared in the hard-to-find b&w *Marvel ...
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