The Karnstein Trilogy,a series of vampire films, were produced by Hammer Films. They are notable at the time for their (for the time) daring lesbian storylines. All three films were scripted by Tudor Gates. They are related by vampires of the noble Karnstein family, and their seat Castle Karnstein near the town of Karnstein in Styria, Austria.
- The Vampire Lovers (1970), starred Polish-born Ingrid Pitt as lesbian vampire Countess Mircalla Karnstein. The film was based on the famous 1872 novella "Carmilla" by J. Sheridan Le Fanu;. Carmilla is an anagram of Mircalla's name.
- Lust for a Vampire (1971), featured Danish actress Yutte Stensgaard as Mircalla. In this loose sequel to the first film, a revived Mircalla seduces and murders her way through an exclusive girls' school.
- Twins of Evil (1971) features Damien Thomas as Mircalla's ancestor, the evil Count Karnstein. Mircalla herself, played by German actress Katya Wyeth, appears briefly. The story concerns sisters Maria and Frieda Gellhorn (played by identical twin Playboy Playmates Mary Collinson and Madeleine Collinson). It is apparently a prequel to the first film:it depicts the Karnstein family as living instead of vampiric and the set design and costumes give the film a 17th-century look and feel.
A planned fourth film in the series, variously announced as either The Vampire Virgins or The Vampire Hunters, only got as far as the early draft stage.
The 1974 film Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter features a female vampire from the Karnstein family, and is sometimes considered part of the same continuity, though it takes place in England rather than in Central Europe.
The vampires of the Karnstein Trilogy differ from those of the Hammer Dracula films. Here, vampires can walk about in daylight and are immune to fire. Some of this is retained in the 1972 Hammer film Vampire Circus.
- Cast and characters
- A Y indicates the actor portrayed the role of a younger version of the character.
- An O indicates a role as an older version of the character.
- A V indicates the actor or actress lent only his or her voice for his or her film character.
- An M indicates the model served as a body double, with the actor or actress's likeness superimposed onto the model.
- An L indicates the actor or actress lent only their likeness for his or her film character.
- An P indicates an appearance through a photographic still.
- An A indicates an appearance through archival footage or audio.
- A dark gray cell indicates the character was not in the film.
|Character||Main films||Captain Kronos|
– Vampire Hunter
|The Vampire Lovers||Lust for a Vampire||Twins of Evil|
Countess Mircalla Karnstein
|Ingrid Pitt||Yutte Stensgaard||Katya Wyeth||Wanda Ventham|
|General Spielsdorf||Giles Barton||Peter Cushing||Ralph Bates||Peter Cushing||Horst Janson|
|Gustav Weil||Captain Kronos||Julian HollowayV|
|Landlord||Charles Farrell||Michael Brennan|
Lord Hagen Durward
|Mentioned||Mike Raven||Damien Thomas||William Hobbs|
|1st Villager||Nick Brimble||B. H. Barry|
|The Countess Karnstein||Dawn Addams||Mentioned|
|Roger Morton||George Cole|
|Emma Morton||Madeline Smith|
|Baron Joachim von Hartog||Douglas Wilmer|
|Carl Ebhardt||Jon Finch|
|The First Vampire||Kirsten Lindholm|
|The Man in Black||John Forbes-Robertson|
|Richard LeStrange||Michael Johnson|
|The Countess Herritzen||Barbara Jefford|
|Janet Playfair||Suzanna Leigh|
|Miss Simpson||Helen Christie|
|Inspector Heinrich||Harvey Hall|
|Susan Pelley||Pippa Steel|
|Raymond Pelley||David Healy|
|Professor Herz||Erik Chitty|
|Peasant Girl||Kirsten Lindholm|
|Katy Weil||Kathleen Byron|
|Maria Gellhorn||Mary Collinson|
|Frieda Gellhorn||Madeleine Collinson|
|Anton Hoffer||David Warbeck|
|Ingrid Hoffer||Isobel Black|
|Lady in Coach||Shelagh Wilcox|
|Woodman's Daughter||Judy Matheson|
|Young Girl at Stake||Kirsten Lindholm|
|Professor Hieronymus Grost||John Cater|
|Dr. Marcus||John Carson|
|Paul Durward||Shane Briant|
|Sara Durward||Lois Daine|
|Vanda Sorell||Lisa Collings|
|George Sorell||Brian Tully|
|Isabella Sorell||Susanna East|
|Barton Sorell||Stafford Gordon|
|Ann Sorell||Elizabeth Dear|
|Blind Girl||Gigi Gurpinar|
|Big Man||Peter Davidson|
|2nd Villager||Michael Buchanan|
|3rd Villager||Steve James|
|4th Villager||Ian McKay|
|5th Villager||Barry Smith|
|6th Villager||Roger Williams|
- Meikle, Denis; Koetting, Christopher T. (2009). A History of Horrors: The Rise and Fall of the House of Hammer. Plymouth: Scarecrow Press. pp. 180–182, 195. ISBN 978-0-8108-6353-8.
- Huckvale, David (2009). Touchstones of Gothic Horror: A Film Genealogy of Eleven Motifs and Images. McFarland & Co. pp. 66–67. ISBN 978-0-7864-4782-4.
- The Vampire Virgins article