Twins of Evil on Blu-ray

Sunday, 07 September 2014 23:00 Written by 

Twins of Evil - out now on Blu-ray“Twins of Evil” combines Peter Cushing, witch-hunting, Satanism and vampires in a kind of Hammer's 'Greatest Hits'. Nubile, identical twins are sent to live with their austere uncle Gustav (Hammer stalwart Cushing) and aunt after their parents tragically pass away. One of the girls, Frieda (Madeleine Collinson) has a tendency to rebel and be naughty, whilst her sister Maria (Mary Collinson) is altogether more wholesome.

Count Karnstein, the decadent local aristocrat (Damien Thomas - Shogun), soon has his eye on them both, much to the horror and chagrin of Gustav and his troop of evangelical zealots. Meanwhile, scholar and composer Anton (David Warbeck - "The Beyond") rallies against the religious sect's brutal tendency for summary justice, fearing that their execution of countless supposed deviants may already have resulted in the death of innocents.

This movie is a blast, jettisoning subtlety for action and gothic horror done in the way only Hammer know how. Director John Hough ("The Legend of Hell House", "Escape to Witch Mountain" and assistant/second unit director on some cult ITC series) clearly knows how to keep his audience glued to the screen.

Cushing is quite chilling as the monstrous leader of the religious sect, unswervingly driven to purify anybody who stands out, acts in a remotely suspicious or sometimes overtly dodgy manner. The only solution for these 'evil' folk seems to be death by burning, with no chance of clemency or redemption. Superstition holds sway over enlightenment.

Thomas cannot match Christopher Lee's many, classic turns as Dracula, but he is perfectly engaging and arch as the scowling Count whose attempts to invoke Satan have unexpected and blood-thirsty side-effects.

The Collinson twins are better actresses than one might credit them for considering their pornographic backgrounds. They certainly manage to clearly differentiate themselves as the good and bad sisters, and deliver their lines with plenty of character and charm. Naturally their attractiveness makes them easy on the eye, and their outfits never fail to promote their stunning figures!

The tale is relatively gore-free for most of its running time, but the ending makes up for it with some impressive special effects. The sets and costumes are highly detailed and the dry ice machine is really put through its paces to conjure some very evocative settings.

Special features include:

  • Original theatrical trailers and TV spots
  • Deleted scene (of a song sung at the school)
  • Extensive image galleries
  • PDF material
  • Commemorative booklet
  • Instant play facility

The Blu-ray picture quality is commendably good, presenting the atmospheric visuals and the glint in Frieda's devilish eyes (!) in all their glory.

“Twins of Evil” (1971) is out now on Blu-ray, courtesy of Network. The main feature has a running time of 87 minutes approx, carries an ‘18’ certificate and retails for £14.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com

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