Sunday, September 02, 2012

Abandoned Vampire Bicycles

Spurred on by the childhood recollections of Megan Abbott, I have watched two movie versions of Sheridan Le Fanu's story "Carmilla," both available via "streaming video" on the "internet." Ironically (?) the tawdry Hammer Studios version, THE VAMPIRE LOVERS, is by far the most faithful to the original story, though of course it takes some liberties. BLOOD AND ROSES (pictured), statelier and more evocative, owing something to VERTIGO, certainly has more of the dreamy quality that Abbott recalls, containing, in fact, a black-and-white dream sequence involving, in one of its tamer images, a courtyard filled with abandoned bicycles, though very little of Le Fanu's original story remains (they even misspell his name in the credits). An airplane figures significantly in BLOOD AND ROSES, which would have surprised Le Fanu.