Over a year ago, DVD Drive-In posted a campaign to show StudioCanal that there was interest in releasing their dormant 1970s EMI Hammer titles on Blu-ray: SCARS OF DRACULA, HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN, LUST FOR A VAMPIRE, DR. JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE, BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB, DEMONS OF THE MIND, FEAR IN THE NIGHT, STRAIGHT ON TILL MORNING and TO THE DEVIL A DAUGHTER. Thanks to your email requests and Facebook posts, the campaign was a success with StudioCanal quickly releasing 8 of the 9 titles mentioned above as Region B UK Blu-rays (they were also released on Blu-ray in Australia and six of the titles were released as a Blu-ray box set in Germany). Fans with region free Blu-ray players have been delighted with the HD transfers on these releases, all of them including new featurettes and we are very grateful to StudioCanal for their efforts.
Not to kick a gift horse in the mouth, but one very important 1970s EMI Hammer title has been left out: LUST FOR A VAMPIRE. None of us expect StudioCanal to release another large batch of Hammer titles in such quick succession again, and whether or not they are hesitant due to underwhelming sales of previous Hammer titles, LUST FOR A VAMPIRE stands on its own and really should be considered next in line even if it’s released by itself (the same way ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. was issued on Blu-ray in the UK). LUST FOR A VAMPIRE is one of the few Hammer vampire movies not released on Blu-ray anywhere in the world, and like it or not, it’s an important piece of erotic vampire cinema and part of Hammer’s “Karnstein Trilogy” which includes THE VAMPIRE LOVERS and TWINS OF EVIL (both have been released on Blu-ray in various parts of the world, including the U.S. and U.K.). The sexy bloodsucking romps of such European directors as Jean Rollin and Jess Franco are all becoming readily available on the Blu-ray format, while Jimmy Sangster’s LUST FOR A VAMPIRE lies in the shadows or sits on the shelf (or however you want to describe it).
Recently, several reliable sources have informed us that StudioCanal has no plans to release any other of their Hammer films on the Blu-ray format any time soon, which means LUST FOR A VAMPIRE could remain dormant for a long time. As the film elements are known to be in excellent condition and with the other 1970s EMI Hammer titles having HD scans done on them, it shouldn’t be so difficult for LUST FOR A VAMPIRE to receive a Blu-ray release, especially since the demand is so apparent. German company Anolis Entertainment had been attempting to license LUST FOR A VAMPIRE from StudioCanal for some years, but all seems lost now as they recently stated on their Facebook page, “Currently it doesn’t look good. Sorry” when asked if they still planned on releasing the title. As StudioCanal owns LUST FOR A VAMPIRE outright, the ball is in their court to do an HD transfer and release it on Blu-ray themselves and/or license it out to different companies in various countries. StudioCanal has also just recently made LUST FOR A VAMPIRE available for theatrical showings (we would love to bring it back to the drive-in) but unlike other Hammer EMI titles in the same situation, there is no DCP (Digital Cinema Package) available for screening purposes as an HD master is yet to be created.
We are encouraging all Hammer fans to show the interest of LUST FOR A VAMPIRE on the Blu-ray format by requesting it over at StudioCanal’s “The Horror Vault” page HERE or by e-maling StudioCanal at [email protected]. Keep in mind that this campaign hopes to get the film released in the UK and Europe first (much like the above titles), as that’s more likely to happen sooner than a U.S. Blu-ray release. Also, StudioCanal does still own a few other Hammer titles, and if you want the rest of them released as U.K. Blu-rays, you can also let them know. Those titles would be THE LOST CONTINENT, FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN, SHE, VENGEANCE OF SHE, PREHISTORIC WOMEN, THE VIKING QUEEN, THE ANNIVERSARY and A CHALLENGE FOR ROBIN HOOD. They also own UK and European Blu-ray rights to THE DEVIL-SHIP PIRATES and THE BRIGAND OF KANDAHAR. So please don’t ask them for titles such as DRACULA A.D. 1972 and THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA that this company has absolutely nothing to do with.