July 8, 2012

Filthy Puritanical Review - Twins of Evil

Twins of Evil (1971)

Review by Jude Felton

Hammer Horror films have always held a spot close to my heart. I grew up in England watching them as a kid and even to this day there is just nothing like them. Sure, there were some pretty grim movies released, but there were also some absolute gems. And, regardless of later appearances by Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in the Star Wars films, it will always be the Hammer films that I remember them for.

Not so long ago I watched Synapses’ release of the Hammer flick Vampire Circus, and what a dapper release it was too. Now the same folk are back to bring us Twins of Evil and this really is the mutts’ nuts. I rarely come out and call a film a classic, but this really is right up there, it has all the right ingredients and it’s been given the treatment by Synapse. So, if you suffer from an attention deficit I will just say that you need to buy this now. Everyone else, read on.

The rather delectable twins, Maria and Frieda, have recently been orphaned and move to the village of Karnstein. It’s a good wholesome village in the ass-end of nowhere, and the favorite pastime of the locals is hunting down and burning witches. I should actually rephrase that to say, within the village there is a group called the Brotherhood. The Brotherhood is controlled by the puritanical Gustav Weil (Peter Cushing), who is also the girl’s uncle, and his mission is to cleanse the world, or village at least, of evil. This pretty much means that if you are female and live on your own, or just don’t please his eye, you are going to be labeled as a witch, and then it is to the stake with you.

Also living in the village is Count Karnstein, who is protected by the Emperor in a strange twist of fate, so Gustav can’t touch him. He also happens to be a Satanist and ends up transforming himself into a vampire (you know there has to be vampires, it’s a rule). Anyhoo, Frieda takes a liking to the Count and gets sucked into his way of life, which of course she needs to keep quiet from everyone else, especially her twin sister.

Twins of Evil has just about everything going for it. You have Peter Cushing at his maniacal best, dialogue to die for, vampires, Satanists, an incredible amount of cleavage, blood and of course witch burnings. It’s freaking awesome! Seriously though, it is an incredibly entertaining film and one that holds your attention throughout. I mean, if Peter Cushing and a couple of former Playboy models (Mary and Madeleine Collinson) can’t hold your attention you must already be (un)dead!

Pretty much all Hammer films had that element of cheese to them, and this is no exception, but that was part of their charm and it is part of what made them work. Twins of Evil has that cheese and it works perfectly.

Synapse, as is pretty much always the case now, have released Twins of Evil on a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, and what a gorgeous affair it is too. I didn’t watch the DVD, but the Blu-ray looks absolutely gorgeous. Hammer films have no right looking this good! Ok, so they do and this one does. The picture is sharp as a tack and the sound rocks, it is a quite wonderful viewing experience.

Also included on this release is an 84 minute documentary, a trailer and a handful of other cool features which are only on the Blu-ray.

Twins of Evil is the seventh Synapse release that I have watched, and own, on Blu-ray and it is already one of my favorites, if not the favorite. That is high praise indeed considering the company of which it keeps. Twins of Evil is a fantastically fun movie and it has been given a terrific release. Recommended? What the hell do you think? Buy it, or be burned at the stake, heathen!

Twins of Evil is released on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack by Synapse Films on July 10th.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The people who persecute so-called pedophiles in our hideously sexually repressed society are the exact modern day equivalents of the character portrayed by Peter Cushing in this movie. So-called witches in the 16th century and so-called child-molesters in the 21st century, what fucking ludicrous nonsense. Think about it Jude my old mate, think about it.