Who would have thought that the third time would be the charm. By the time the seventies rolled around, Hammer Films line of horror films was starting to look a little worse for wear. It was getting tough to compete with such films as Night of the Living Dead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Exorcist so Hammer started adding more sex and gore to their films.
Twins of Evil (1971) was the finally part of Hammer’s The Karnstein Trilogy which started with 1970’s The Vampire Lovers. The Vampire Lovers was based on J. Sheridan Le Fanu novella Carmilla and starred Ingrid Pitt as the lesbian vampire Carmilla. It was ok but hardly classic Hammer. The 1932 adaptation of the novel, Vampyr, is infinitely better. The second film Lust of the Vampire (1971) is considered as one of the worst films Hammer ever produced. Somehow Twins of Evil managed to break the curse and surpass both films.
The movie stars Playboy Playmates Madeleine and Mary Collinson as twin orphans who go to live with their stern Puritan Uncle played by Peter Cushing. Cushing is the leader of a witch hunting group known as the Brotherhood. They like going around accusing women of witchcraft and then burning them alive. Good times. Cushing is so fanatical that he believes that there is evil everywhere and despises dashing Count Karnstein (Damien Thomas). Despite being a cold, unlikeable and repressed Puritan, Cushing is right about Count Karnstein. Karnstein has resurrected his vampire ancestor Countess Mircalla and she has turned him into a vampire. He then seduces one of the sisters and turns her into a vampire. The other sister, the good one, is then left to cover for her sister and ends up being mistaken for her. The bloody fight against evil ensues.
The Karnstein Trilogy was a very loose trilogy, with only the name of the vampire family, Karnstein, being the only consistency between the films so you don’t really need to watch the other two films to watch Twins of Evil. Who would have thought that a horror movie starring Playboy Playmates would be this good.