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5.0 out of 5 stars hammer horror twins, 31 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Twins Of Evil [1971] [DVD] (DVD)
Peter Cushing stars as a witch hunter in this 1971 Hammer Horror movie.

Gustav Weil (Peter Cushing) is the leader of a group of men who, in Count Karnstein's own words "like to burn pretty girls". The reasons behind these dreadful actions can be anything from a young woman who has "refused to marry" (in other words she had the temerity to turn someone in the "committee" down) to living too close to someone who died.

Into this world of fear and intimidation arrive twins Maria and Frieda Gellhorn from their home in Vienna. Since their parents are now dead they must stay with the domineering Uncle and his down at heel wife, Katy (Kathleen Byron).

The village is dominated by Castle Karnstein where the reigning Count Karnstein (Damien Thomas) wishes to be as evil as his predecessors and calls on the Lord of Darkness to show him the way as he plunges a knife into a young helpless woman who has been provided by sycophant Dietrich (Dennis Price). As the blood runs down from the alter it falls a crack in the stone and onto the shrouded corpse below and his appeals to Satan are answered with the appearance of the long dead Countess Mircalla Karnstein (Katya Wyeth).

After a session of ancestral slap-and-tickle a vampire is born.

Twins of Evil doesn't just show the pack mentality of people (in this case the brotherhood men) when looking for something to kill, and the ease that the "righteous" have in justifying their own murders while condemning others, it also shows that identical twins aren't simply (almost) perfect copies of each other, but they have personalities of their own.

Maria Gellhorn (Mary Collinson) is a quieter, shyer more obedience and fearful girl, while her sister Frieda (Madelaine Collinson) is more knowledgeable and overtly uses her femininity to get what she wants, in fact she is not past torturing her own sister. It is only a matter of time before Freida and Karnstein run into each other - but what will Uncle Gustav say, or for that matter, what will he do.

Prior to this film the Malta born Collinson twins were noted for their appearances in Playboy, but don't let that put you off, they are in fact quite good in this film

Cushing steals the show as the marvellously maniacal Gustav Weil. It is a shame that ill health limited Dennis Price's appearance as his fearful fawning showed a degree of acting skill that many of the younger cast could have done with learning from.

This was one of the Hammer Horror films that took the Dracula movie away from direct linkage to Dracula alone and opened vampirism as a possibility for anyone - the result has been movies such as The Lost Boys, Near Dark and even the Twilight saga, along with the True Blood TV series.

Twins of Evil is an enjoyable Hammer Horror film.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Dec 2012 11:41:28 GMT
Tourbillon says:
And what about Dark Shadows TV series and House of Dark Shadows?

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Dec 2012 00:41:45 GMT
Su says:
? What about them?
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Su
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