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August 27, 2012

Movie Review: Twins of Evil (2012, Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

Directed by John Hough

Starring Peter Cushing, Madeleine Collinson and Mary Collinson

Run Time: 87 minutes

Two beautiful orphaned identical twins, Maria and Frieda Gellhorn (both Playboy centerfold models in the 70‘s), move to the village of Karnstein to live with their uncle Gustav ( Hammer favorite & horror legend, Peter Cushing), a fanatical puritan and leader of the local witch-hunting “Brotherhood”.  In a castle overlooking the village lives the village Count (Damien Thomas), a blood-thirsty vampire who spends his time practicing black magic, worshiping Satan and defiling young peasant girls (As the old saying goes...its good to be the Count.) Protected by his social status, the Count goes about his heinous business with impunity.  Uncle Gustav and his Brotherhood, frustrated by this, take it out on innocent peasant girls, hunting them down and burning them at the stake, assuming everyone with a nice set of tits is a witch.

When the twins arrive, it isn't long before we discover that Maria is the shy and virginal of the two, with Frieda being a promiscuous little tart who’s looking for trouble. And it isn't long before she finds it, in the form of the Count, who quickly seduces her and turns her to the dark side as his blood sucking companion and partner in crime.

When Frieda is caught red-handed bleeding out a member of the Brotherhood one dark night, she is captured, imprisoned and quickly given a sentence of death by the Brotherhood. But before she can be dispatched, the Count comes to her rescue, kidnapping the innocent Maria and swapping the two girls out in the jail cell. Its then up to the local choir teacher to not only convince uncle Gustav that he is about to kill an innocent girl but convince the town to overcome their fears and march on the castle to destroy the evil that is plaguing their village.

Kudos to Synapse Films for their recent release of this 1971 Hammer Films classic.  This one is widely considered by many, myself included, to be among the best of all the Hammer horror films.  First off, you’ve got Peter Cushing playing one of his most interesting characters ever, the religious zealot uncle Gustov, a man who’s obsession with destroying evil actually turns him into a murderer of innocent people. The character itself is quite sinister but at the same time he is facing off against an even greater evil in the Count. A very interesting dynamic that sort of bucks the traditional good vs evil scenario of most horror movies. Secondly, you’ve got the super-hot Collinson' twins bringing over-the-top sensuality and sexiness to the story, especially Madeleine who is able to really ham it up as the vampire temptress. Its Gothic horror that in every sense of the word just doesn't get any better then this. The musical score is way above average for this kind of film and at times has an almost spaghetti-western style of epicness to it, very fun stuff.

Solid acting, plenty of eye-candy, a great engaging story-line that never stumbles, amazing sets (especially in the castle scenes), a pretty sweet be-heading scene and even a nude scene with Madeleine Collinson near the end that is well worth the wait.

The restoration on this older film looks amazing too. The colors pop and the audio is solid as well. There isn't a single thing about this disc set that isn't awesome. The aspect ratio is Anamorphic Widescreen 1.66:1

*The Flesh and the Fury (84 min.) An all-new feature length documentary exploring Hammer’s infamous “Karnstein” trilogy of Carmilla, to the making of Twins of Evil. Plenty of interviews included.
*The Props That Hammer Built: The Kinsey Collection- Featurette (blu-ray exclusive)
*Motion Still Gallery (blu-ray exclusive)
*Deleted Scenes (blu-ray exclusive)
*Original Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots (blu-ray exclusive)
* Isolated Music & Effects Track (blu-ray exclusive)

Twins of Evil is tons of fun and packed with tons of extras, a real smorgasbord for Hammer fans or anyone who loves old-school Gothic horror with a sexy edge to it. Highly Recommended

8.5 out of 10

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