As historian Andrea Weiss perceptively observed, “Outside of male pornography, the lesbian vampire is the most persistent lesbian image in the history of the cinema.” Blood and Roses, a re-creation of the same Sheridan Le Fanu novella that inspired Dreyer’s Vampyr, is a high point of the genre. On the eve of her cousin’s wedding, glamorous aristocrat Carmilla tells a tale about the history of vampires in her family, all of whom were destroyed hundreds of years ago, except for one. Lured by unseen forces to an abandoned abbey, she encounters the tomb of her ancestor and becomes possessed by the bloodthirsty spirit, haunting the grounds of her estate thereafter in a flowing white gown, seeming only to crave the flesh of the women she encounters. A film that draws generously from the visual legacy of Cocteau, Blood and Roses proves to be a sapphic horror story of a thoroughly stylish sort.
This film has no current screenings