“They are all slaves to Count Karnstein — and he is their evil master!”
A recently orphaned set of identical twins — timid Maria (Mary Collinson) and adventurous Frieda (Madeleine Collinson) — come to live with their kind aunt (Kathleen Byron) and puritanical uncle (Peter Cushing), who leads a viciously ruthless brotherhood of witchhunters. When Frieda becomes enamored by Count Karnstein (Damien Thomas) — a hedonistic vampire who has recently resurrected Carmilla (Katya Wyeth) from her coffin — she becomes her uncle’s newest target; meanwhile, Mary falls for a visiting schoolteacher (David Warbeck) who is confused about which twin he longs for.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Morality Police
- Peter Cushing Films
Following The Vampire Lovers (1970) and Lust for a Vampire (1971), Twins of Evil was the third and final installment in Hammer Studios’ “Karnstein trilogy”, and is primarily notable as the first movie to feature twin Playboy centerfolds (!). The Collinson sisters — while not great actors — are pretty, charming, and do a decent job embodying facets of “good and evil” in one visage (much like Olivia De Haviland in The Dark Mirror).
Meanwhile, Cushing has never been more sober or skeletal:
and Thomas is effectively sociopathic as a playboy count with truly sadistic tastes.
Given its atmospheric sets and fine cinematography, Twins of Evil will certainly appeal to fans of period horror flicks, though the script fails to elevate the material above predictable fare with plenty of gaps in logic. Watch the extended documentary The Flesh and the Fury: X-posing Twins of Evil (2012) for more background information than you ever thought possible about this cult flick (and its two predecessors).
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Dick Bush’s cinematography
- Atmospheric sets and direction
No, though it’s certainly worth a look for its cult status.