Thursday, January 16, 2014


RIP to the conjoined twin gray whales found on the Baja who, alas, survived only a short time after their birth.

In their honor (and not remotely meant, of course, as a reflection on their character)…

Monster-of-the-Week: …let’s give the nod to Count Karnstein (Damien Thomas)...

...the lecherous playboy vampire in Hammer’s 1971 Twins of Evil, at long last available on Blu-Ray.

The Count is a dissolute aristocrat who can’t find any decadent diversions to amuse him, until he is turned into a bloodsucker by his undead ancestors and takes to seducing the more adventurous of the two luscious twin nieces of a local puritan (Peter Cushing) who leads an eager order of witch-hunting religious fanatics.

Said nieces are played by Mary and Madeleine Collinson—famously the first identical twins ever to pose together for Playboy; they were the joint “Playmates of the Month” in October of 1971—and they of course were the movie’s major selling points. But it’s a ripping, fast-moving melodrama, and it has its heart in the right place—vile though the Count is, he’s only a hair more odious than Cushing and his sadistic witch-burning pals. The handsome young schoolmaster (David Warbeck) caught between the two factions is a goodhearted religious liberal. He’s in love, at least at first, with the naughtier of the twins, poor chap.

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