The Blood Spattered Bride
Film: The Blood Spattered Bride (La novia ensangrentada)
Director: Vicente Aranda
Writer: Vicente Aranda
Starring: Simón Andreu, Maribel Martín and Alexandra Bastedo
This film begins with a newlywed couple in a sports car going fast down the road. The husband is played by Simón Andreu and his wife by Maribel Martín. They stop off at a hotel, but Martín does not want to stop there. She goes up to the room first and starts to unpack. A man appears from the closet and rips her dress open. He then has his way with her. Andreu comes to the room and sees his bride clutching her dress tight. She tells him that she doesn’t want to stay there.
We then see that they are back on the road and come to a large house. It is interesting that now Martín’s dress is no longer ripped. We meet a young woman, played by Rosa M. Rodriguez. Her parents are also there and they are the caretakers of the mansion. The father is played by Ángel Lombarte and his wife by Monsterrat Julió.
Martín learns more about the house that she is living in and notices that there are no paintings of the women descendants. She also makes love to her husband for the first time as well.
Rodriguez takes Martín into the basement where she sees a painting of a woman that is part of the family. For some reason though, the face is cut out of it and Rodriguez puts her face there. There is something that looks blood that has leaked down the painting and the woman wears her rings the wrong way with the jewels on the inside.
Andreu then takes his wife to the crypt where some of his ancestors rest. He tells her the story of Mircalla de Karnstein. She never changed her name, because she wasn’t married to a relative of his long. She went crazy the night of the wedding and stabbed her husband to death. She never moved or spoke after that either. Andreu opens the crypt and pulls out the dagger that Mircalla never let go off.
Martín is given the knife and it is then hidden from her. She has a dream that night of it and finds it inside the clock in the dinner room. She comes back to find Alexandra Bastedo, who plays Mircalla. With the help of Bastedo, Martín kills her husband. He then wakes up and we realize it is another of her fantasies.
The next day Andreu tries to convince his wife it is just a dream. She proves where the dagger is and Andreu states that is not where he put it. Rodriguez is believed to have moved it. He then takes it to bury on the beach, but finds a woman under the sand, using a snorkel to breath. Andreu unburies her to find her naked and she is played by Bastedo. He takes her back to the house to check on her.
She doesn’t remember who she is, but she does hit it off with Martín. All Bastedo knows is that her name is Mircalla. Martín draws her that night and notices that she looks the same as the woman that helped her kill her husband in her dream.
Martín is seen by a doctor, who is played by Dean Selmier, but she continues to lose her mind. What makes it worse is that she goes off with Bastedo at night. Selmier follows her one night to see that Bastedo bites her neck and that they are carry on as lesbian lovers. Bastedo claims to be the long lost Mircalla Karstein who is supposed to be dead. Is she this woman? Is she a vampire? Will she convince Martín to kill her husband?
I have to say that I have seen the original version of this film and the first adaptation of the novel it is based on, Carmilla, and this is an interesting different take on it. What really intrigued me though was Martín and her delusions. At first I wasn’t sure if they were real or not, but this woman is quite disturbed. This film also brings up the question of would Martín do this if she never meets Bastedo, or is this something she feels inside and this other woman brings it out of her. This film has quite a bit of nudity as well if you are interested in that type of thing.
I did have an issue that this film really doesn’t explain a whole lot. I was left wondering if Bastedo was a vampire or not. Was she the relative who should be long dead? If she is a vampire, how could she be in the sunlight when she is introduced? If Bastedo is not the vampire or the long lost relative, who is she? Is she just a lesbian that is interested in Martín? Aside from this, there isn’t a whole lot that goes in this film so it is a little bit boring to me as well.
Now with that said, this is a pretty good psychological vampire film. This is one that is questionable a vampire movie, because we are never completely sure that Bastedo is a vampire. I thought the acting though was pretty good and the story was interesting. I found Martín’s character to be intriguing with her violent fantasies as well. There is also some nudity, so factor that in. This film is Spanish, but it seems to be dubbed over pretty well in English. Not all the voices line up perfectly, but not horrible to ruin the film. This is the best film in the genre, but I would say that if this sounds good to give it a chance. It is also from the 1970s, so keep that in mind as well.
My Rating: 6 out of 10