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"Daughters of Darkness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Old 09-28-21, 09:31 PM
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"Daughters of Darkness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge



Daughters of Darkness (1971)




Selected by Undeadcow


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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

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2021 DISCUSSION | 2021 LISTS

Old 09-30-21, 08:43 AM
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Re: "Daughters of Darkness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I love Daughters of Darkness, the eccentric slow eurohorror vibe of it that doesn't handhold. Looking forward to some of the comments here but I could see how it's not for everyone.
I wish the 4K disc of it didn't retail for $60 ($43 on Amazon now) because I'd love to pick up more of the Blue Underground UHD stuff.

Here were my comments on it from 2011...
Daughters of Darkness (1971, 100 minutes) 7/10 The subtlety in this movie is great and the setting with minimal characters creates a sense of concentrated intimacy. I still don’t understand the “mother” subplot and some of the death scenes are oddball but it doesn’t under-estimate the viewing.
Then again in 2016...

Daughters of Darkness (1971, 100 minutes) ★★★★★★★★✰✰ A personal favorite, slow burn vampire film with some complexity.

Last edited by Undeadcow; 09-30-21 at 08:49 AM.
Old 10-08-21, 08:59 AM
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Re: "Daughters of Darkness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

The strangeness of every character here works overall and DoD is a film not afraid to be odd. It's a movie about mental influence more than bloodshed even as it's over the top with it (characters are perhaps too easily twisted). Stefan is a strange character for me because he goes from relatable newly wed husband to lecherous fiend, which is I think where the Mother subplot comes in to explain that Stefan was never a normal everybody (even if it is transphobic). Maybe it's commentary on social expectations and aggression that Stefan and then his wife are so bloodthirsty. The ending with the wife becoming a monster is a great twist and in some way DoD makes a good metaphor for marriage itself, with it's corrupting influences and potential for escalating discord.

The empty beach shots and soundtrack contribute to the moodiness. Ilona's death scene flirts with being unintentionally funny, overstaged a bit; the death scenes are maybe the weakest part of this horror film with the pivotal end one seeming very random.
Old 10-20-21, 07:21 AM
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Re: "Daughters of Darkness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I have never been a big fan of this modernized Countess Bathory story. I think the movie looks great and the acting is very good, but I find it a bit dull.
6/10
Old 10-20-21, 08:48 AM
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Re: "Daughters of Darkness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Great performances, but ultimately just too slow. It didn’t help I hated Stefan from the start. I was confused by the “mother” part but after reading some reviews, it should have been obvious.
I did really like that shot on the beach though.
Old 10-20-21, 01:08 PM
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Re: "Daughters of Darkness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

The plot reminds me of The Hunger--sexy European vampire seduces and turns the female half of a young couple. And then there's "Mother," that dreadful old queen who looks like a vampire himself; Stefan is clearly his boy toy. As a gay man, I find "Gay=predator" to be a lazy and annoying trope in horror films and fiction. That said, the soundtrack by François de Roubaix adds an eerie touch, and Delphine Seyrig is working that scarlet gown as hard as she can. And, hey, it's Willie Loomis from Dark Shadows!



















Last edited by Gobear; 10-20-21 at 01:20 PM.
Old 10-20-21, 11:04 PM
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Re: "Daughters of Darkness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I was in the mood for a rewatch (I think it's been at least a couple of decades since I've seen this). My mini-review:
It's been a while since I've seen this one. Like a lot of Euro-horror of the era, it's style over substance. But what great style it has! Some wonderfully composed shots, edits, and use of color. As a horror movie, it certainly drags at times and doesn't make a whole lot of sense (again, not an uncommon thing for these kinds of movies). Beautiful women ... and having gone through Dark Shadows recently, it's fun to see John Karlen (and his character has luck with the ladies, unlike the show ... although it doesn't work out for him by the end of this). ***1/2
The Countess has a similar problem to vampires in many movies that I've seen. They've managed to stay alive and thrive for centuries. Then you see what happens to them in the short time period of the movie, and you wonder why ... since they die in the most dumb-ass ways you can think of.

Stefan does some really unlikable things. Could that be some of the influence of the Countess though? We don't see that much of how he acts before that character enters the scene (except some silly banter with Valerie). Although the glimpse we get of his relationship with "Mother" aren't points in his favor.

Last edited by brainee; 10-21-21 at 11:56 AM.
Old 10-20-21, 11:25 PM
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Re: "Daughters of Darkness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by brainee
The Countess has a similar problem to vampires in many movies that I've seen. They've managed to stay alive and thrive for centuries. Then you see what happens to them in the short time period the movie, and you wonder why ... since they die in the most dumb-ass ways you can think of..
I thought this too! Like, seriously, she's going to die in a car accident after all that? Felt like an easy cop out, though the image of her impaled on the tree and then catching fire was nice.

Another groaner---they put a crystal bowl over Stefan's face which shatters and he just *happens* to cut both wrists on the glass. How conVENient! LMFAO at that.

Originally Posted by brainee
Stefan does some really unlikable things. Could that be some of the influence of the Countess though? We don't see that much of how he acts before that character enters the scene (except some silly banter with Valerie). Although the glimpse we get of his relationship with "Mother" aren't points in his favor.
Stefan was an absolute tool. Why did they bother to give him that weird backstory with the gay patron? Was that to justify how violent and controlling he was with women? Like, someone did it to me, so I'll do it to you? He was just slime. His wife runs away after he beats her for no reason (not that any reason would be good enough). He wakes up to find her gone. Does he chase after her? No! He has sex with the pretty girl who sneaks into his room and then tries to force her into the shower. Stefan deserved a more gruesome death than the silly bowl thing.

Was Stefan so evil in order to make the vampire lady seem like the sane choice? I would have gotten on the damn train.

Overall-- it definitely is a bit slow. Very European in feel. An enjoyable vampire story, but with some weird bits. All the characters were pretty reprehensible. Valerie, the only decent one, was whiny and weak.
A fun enough watch. I give it 6/10.
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Old 10-21-21, 01:41 AM
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Re: "Daughters of Darkness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by Undeadcow
Ilona's death scene flirts with being unintentionally funny, overstaged a bit
What was the deal with that scene anyway? Was it a riff on the old "vampires can't cross running water" thing? It reminded me of funny cat videos where they try to get out of the bathtub.

When the Countess tried to kill the local guy who seems to be onto her, was anyone else thinking there was going to be more to that scene? The car looked like it bumped him on his bike and he fell down, but it didn't seem anywhere near a fatal accident to me. Unless the Countess is thinking a skinned knee will scare him off from investigating her murder spree anymore.
Old 10-21-21, 07:02 AM
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Re: "Daughters of Darkness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by brainee
What was the deal with that scene anyway? Was it a riff on the old "vampires can't cross running water" thing? It reminded me of funny cat videos where they try to get out of the bathtub.
Dracula AD 1972 actually does kill a vampire by throwing him in the shower.
Old 10-21-21, 09:32 AM
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Re: "Daughters of Darkness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by jholmes
Overall-- it definitely is a bit slow.


At several points I anticipated the crowd from Monty Python and the Holy Grail making an appearance.
Another groaner---they put a crystal bowl over Stefan's face which shatters and he just *happens* to cut both wrists on the glass. How conVENient! LMFAO at that.
The Rube Goldberg-esc chain of events for the razor blade death in the bath and the punch bowl slitting his wrists were inventive and hilarious at the same time.
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Old 10-21-21, 10:18 AM
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Re: "Daughters of Darkness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

This is a real oddball movie, and I'm still not entirely enamored by it for many of the above reasons. I have the DVD and it looks pretty good and I'm sure the 4K looks fantastic with all the colors. I think y'all thoroughly hit the nail on the head regarding the vampire thought process.

Was Ilona a vampire? I assumed so, since she was constantly talking about being hungry and wanting to go on the hunt. Or, was she like Renfield, serving her master the baroness? It seems strange that she was killed by something as simple as a razor to the back. Maybe the shower had something to do with it....

Stefan almost being buried alive was a comical moment. It seemed like the countess should have just done him in there, as she was trying to prevent the wife from helping him out.

Last edited by WillieMLF; 10-21-21 at 10:39 AM.
Old 10-22-21, 01:23 AM
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Re: "Daughters of Darkness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

This was a very mixed bag for me; I thought that Delphine Seyrig was great, and the hotel reminded me, in a good way, of The Overlook in The Shining, but I never really connected to the movie in a visceral way. A rewatch down the road might help.

My subset film rankings for the Challenge thus far:

1. Battle Royale
2. Carrie (1976)
3. Curse of the Demon
4. Slither
5. The Ninth Gate
6. Tower of Evil
7. Witchfinder General
8. A Bay of Blood / The Spiral Staircase (averaged together)
9. Planet Terror
10. Silent Madness
11. Slumber Party Massacre II (based purely on its out-of-left-field aesthetic)
12. In Search of Darkness
13. Road Games
14. Daughters of Darkness
15. Cure
16. Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II
17. Grave Robbers (Ladrones de Tumbas)
18. The Severed Arm
19. Fade to Black
20. The Mortuary Collection
21. Cutting Class
Old 10-26-21, 07:33 AM
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Re: "Daughters of Darkness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Shot beautifully and sounds great, but the silly deaths and standard story bring this one way down for me.

Stealing rbrown’s subset ranking idea:

Curse of the Demon, 8/10
The Phantom Carriage, 8/10
Carrie, 8/10
Fade to Black, 8/10
Cure, 8/10
Battle Royale, 8/10

The Spiral Staircase, 8/10
Slumber Party Massacre 2, 7/10
The Ninth Gate, 7/10
A Bay of Blood, 7/10
The Frighteners, 7/10

Road Games, 7/10
Slither, 7/10
Witchfinder General 7/10
Planet Terror, 7/10
The Mortuary Collection, 6/10
Cutting Class, 6/10
Prom Night 2: Hello Mary Lou, 6/10
In Search of Darkness, 6/10
Tower of Evil, 5/10
Grave Robbers, 5/10
Daughters of Darkness, 5/10

Silent Madness, 5/10
The Severed Arm, 4/10
Old 10-28-21, 02:37 PM
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Re: "Daughters of Darkness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

This movie is awesome. I love atmospheric slow burns and this film is a great example. The soundtrack is fantastic and really helps elevate it. However, there are one or two death scenes that are so ridiculous that I can't help but laugh. Our girl hits her head on the shower door, falls toward the sink flailing, grabs the razor with her hand, then slips and falls while trying to use the razor to break her fall? I'm sorry that is some Final Destination shit.

But yeah otherwise the film is really good.

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