Twins of Evil (1971)
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as Gustav Weil
as Frieda Gellhorn
as Maria Gellhorn
as Katy Weil
as Count Karnstein
as Anton Hoffer
as Ingrid Hoffer
as Countess Mircalla
as Young Girl at Stake
as Woodman's Daughter
as Lady in Coach
Critic Reviews for Twins of Evil
John Hough has given Tudor Gates' script a good pace and directed so that audiences can take it as straight horror or as a slight send-up.
Some moments of Gothic atmosphere though, don't quite dispel the feeling that much of the plot is devoted to developing situations where its leading ladies might be disrobed for the camera.
The rest of the costumed crew, led by that veteran horror hand, Peter Cushing, as the twins' witchhunting uncle, who chases the fanged Count and his retinue, hardly give Twins of Evil a good name.
Touches of ethereal gothic atmosphere and a neat funereal flamboyancy make this slick shock package a cut above the rest.
Part of the fascination lies in the variations on the familiar typology.
Audience Reviews for Twins of Evil
The Karnstein trilogy ends with a bang in this return to form for Hammer. Cushing returns though as a different character to the baron he played in "The Vampire Lovers". This time he's an evil preacher who burns local girls at the stake under charge of witchcraft. He's rarely been better, and that's really saying something. When a ridiculously hot pair of twins come to stay with him they become embroiled in all manner of devilry. Great stuff.
Twins of Evil is without doubt one of Hammer's very finest films. The film blends together a few different elements of horror. We've got witches (and the resulting witch hunts), devil worship and, of course, vampirism. These things combine to make one very nice Hammer film indeed. Naturally, the film benefits immensely from the incredibly beautiful ladies that play the twins of the title - Mary and Madeleine Collinson. The two are the ultimate in sweetness, which makes it all the better when one of them becomes more like the title suggests. The plot is relatively simple given all the elements it combines. We follow Gustav Weil (Peter Cushing on fine form) as a religious man by day, and witch hunter/burner by night. The beautiful twins of the title go to live with him after the death of their parents. However, the village in which they live is beneath a castle, inside of which lives the evil devil worshipper; Count Karnstein. Like some Hammer offerings, Twins of Evil does cross the line into camp here and there and features a number of over the top performances but that being said Hammer Horror is at their best when they're combining several things and tweaking classic stories, and that is what is done here. Twins of Evil is a very original take on the classic vampire story and is therefore a lot of fun to view. It benefits from the direction of John Hough; the man who would later go on to make the seminal classic, "The Legend of Hell House". I actually think he did a better job here than he did there. For Twins of Evil, Hough has captured a foreboding and creepy atmosphere, through use of lots of smoke and a Gothic period setting that involves such favorite horror locations as graveyards and old castles. Hough has also given the film a very heavy handed score, which although gets a little silly, increases the camp value of the film and is therefore beneficial to the film. Like many a great horror film, this one benefits from a great finale, which includes numerous gory sequences including, most notably, a decapitation scene; which gorehounds are bound to find satisfying. I'm a big fan of Hammer horror, and I would certainly place this one among their top five best achievements. Highly recommended viewing
Good late Hammer. A shame to see Dennis Price so wasted, but Cushing gives perhaps his best late performance as a witch-hunter. The film obviously owes a debt to the much more serious "The Witchfinder General". It's remarkably chaste for a late-period Hammer, especially given the Playboy pin-up twin leads. Interestingly, the music score is a pastishe of Spaghetti Western music.
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