Twins of Evil (1972)



                                                A new terror-filled X film


Maria and Frieda, identical twin teenage girls whose parents have recently died, move from Venice to Karnstein in Central Europe to live with their uncle Gustav Weill, a stern puritan. Weill is also the leader of the Brotherhood, a group of religious fanatics trying to stamp out witchcraft and satanism, abducting several young women at night and burning them at the stake. Both twins resent the sternness of their uncle and one of them, Frieda, looks for a way to escape. Resenting her uncle, she is driven to resent "good, if doing good is singing hymns and praying all day long" and fascinated by the local Count Karnstein, who has the reputation of being "a wicked man".

Count Karnstein, who enjoys the Emperor's favour and thus remains untouched by the Brotherhood, is indeed wicked and interested in Satanism and Black Magic. Trying to emulate his wicked ancestors, he keeps experimenting with rituals. One night murders a girl as human sacrifice, calling upon the forces of darkness. That night, Countess Mircalla Karnstein rises from her grave and joins him in bed. She bites his throat and turns him into a vampire. The Count soon notices the lovely young twins and Frieda, following his invitation, at night steals away to the castle, while Maria covers for the latter's absence. In the castle, the Count invites Frieda to join him in punishing his maid Gerta and then bites Frieda, transforming her into a vampire. He offers Frieda her first victim, which happens to be Gerta, chained in his castle. Frieda approaches the girl slowly, then bites Gerta on her breast. Frieda returns home and threatens Maria to keep covering for her nightly excursions but secretly she is also afraid that she might bite her sister, if she stayed at home.

Meanwhile Maria is more interested in the handsome young teacher, Anton, who is initially more infatuated with the more mysterious Frieda. Anton has studied what he calls "superstition" and though his denunciation of the Brotherhood has made him an enemy of Weill, he advises him that "if vampires exist" he should kill them properly (not by burning at the stake but by a stake through the heart or decapitation). Anton is convinced of the existence of vampires when his sister falls victims to one.

One night, when Frieda attacks a member of the Brotherhood, she is captured by her uncle and put in jail. While the Brotherhood debates, the Count and his servants kidnap Maria and exchange her with Frieda in the cell, so that good Maria will be burned and evil Frieda can cause more havoc. Anton goes to see Maria, not knowing that she is actually Frieda. She tries to seduce him but seeing her lacking a reflection in the mirror, he fights and defeats her with a cross. Anton rushes to stop the burning, insisting that the bound girl is Maria. She is given a cross, which she kisses, revealing her innocence. Weill is horrified to realize he almost killed an innocent girl. Weill now listens to Anton's advice and takes some comfort with Anton's insistence that if a vampire has a shred of goodness in their soul (which was hinted at earlier, when Frieda was afraid she could kill her sister), death sends them not to hell but to God. Weill and Anton lead the Brotherhood and villagers up to Karnstein Castle. As the Count learns that the attackers are equipped with crosses, stakes and axes, he tries to sneak out together with Frieda through a secret way. They are surprised by Weill who beheads his niece. Maria, feeling that something has happened to Frieda, searches for her and is captured by the Count, who uses her as a shield. Weill challenges the Count and is killed, but this gives Anton the opportunity to pierce the distracted Count's heart. Anton and Maria are united.









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Directed by John Hough
Produced by Michael Style,
Harry Fine
Written by Tudor Gates
Starring Peter Cushing,
Dennis Price,
Mary Collinson
Madeleine Collinson
Damien Thomas
Music by Harry Robertson
Distributed by American International Pictures
Release date(s) 1972
Running time 87 min
Language English