In the second episode of Daughters of Darkness, Kat and Samm continue their three-part discussion of lesbian vampire films, this time with a focus on European cult directors like Jess Franco, Jean Rollin, and Walerian Borowczyk. They begin their discussion with the career of the prolific Jess Franco, who produced a number of films with lesbian vampire themes, namely Vampyros Lesbos (1971). This starred his first muse, Soledad Miranda, as the mysterious Countess Carody, who sunbathes by day but thirsts for blood at night. Franco also adapted Bram Stoker’s novel with the relatively traditional Count Dracula (1970), but continued to explore his own perverse variations on vampire mythology in Dracula’s Daughter (1972) and the explicit Female Vampire (1975), with his longtime partner Lina Romay.
Also explored is the work of French director Jean Rollin, known for his dreamlike, often surreal vampire films such as The Rape of the Vampire (1968), The Nude Vampire (1970), The Shiver of the Vampires (1971), and Requiem for a Vampire (1973). While these films infrequently use overt depictions of lesbianism, they are generally concerned with pairs or groups of female vampires banded together against the world. In films like Fascination (1979), about blood-drinking socialites, and The Living Dead Girl (1982), the tragic tale of a love that survives beyond death, Rollin expanded on his early themes.
The episode concludes with a discussion of a few films that touch upon the legend of historical murderer and alleged blood-drinker Elizabeth Bathory. Most importantly is Belgian film Daughters of Darkness (1971), the podcast’s namesake, which follows a newly married couple who encounter an elegant and possibly ageless woman at a seaside hotel.