LGBT Movies: Daughters Of Darkness (1971)

Delphine Seyrig vamps it up as the Countess Elizabeth Báthory while she’s on a mission to seduce Valerie Chilton (Danielle Ouimet) away from her new husband Stefan Chilton (John Karlen.) What ensues is a seductive slow burn full of dark sapphic desires, sumptuous camera work, a little blood and some rough sex. Unfortunately it’s all hampered by a cliche and nonsensical ending. Learn More in my Guest Review! Content Warning ahead for: Spousal Abuse, and Disregard For Consent.

Act One: Trouble In Paradise?

Scene 1 Interior of a Train, right after some awkwardly shot sex:

Valerie: I simply cannot wait to meet your Mother! I bet she’ll love me!

Stefan: Oh no, Mother will hate you! You’re vaguely not rich! We must proceed to never tell her for as long as possible!

Valerie: Oh come on that’s ridiculous! You’re either ashamed of me or your Mother and either way you’re going to have to just deal and tell her! Call her when we get the hotel

Stefan: Fine fine whatever you say dear. (What she doesn’t know is that when we get to the hotel I’ll instead slip the concierge some money and a note to lie to my wife about nobody picking up the phone!)

Scene 2 the first time we see the impeccably designed hotel the movie takes place in:

The Countess Báthory and her Girlfriend Ilona notice the newlyweds from across the restaurant. Báthory falls immediately in love with Valerie and Ilona turns green with envy.

Báthory: We saw you from across the bar and really dig Your vibe can I buy you a drink?

Ilona: *stares jealously while making small talk*

The Couple: We’re tired and want to try the rough stuff again, definitely tomorrow night though!

The scene ends as the newlyweds do in fact have more painful sex and Valerie starts to realize that she’s actually not that into pain play thank you.

Scene 3 Fuckin Bruges:

The Couple rides a boat around some beautiful footage of a beautiful city, police sirens are heard overhead. They get off the boat to investigate where they see the latest victim of a mysterious sanguineous murder and Stefan gets way way too into it.

Stefan: Ohhhh man this corpse is tight! I’m going to stare at it as they cart her away I’ll ignore my wife so hard that I’ll accidentally knock her down!

Valerie: Hey babe, you’re scaring the shit out of me and that’s really gross. Let’s just go back to the Hotel. (Why did I marry this guy I just met again?)

Act Two: Cocktails and Seduction:

Scene 1 a super swanky lounge where Elizabeth chats with Valerie and Stefan over drinks:

Elizabeth: How did you both enjoy the murder scene? Also did you know that I’m related to thee Countess Erzsébet Báthory? *starts working Stefan’s body with a super sexual massage* Oh don’t you both find blood and torture and murder so sexy? Let me describe mine… my ancestor’s crimes to you!

Stefan: Oh yeah, baby tell me more about those grisly deaths, I’m super into the blood and guts!

Valerie: Oh hell no! Y’all are creeping me out with this, my husband is a freak and not in a fun way! I’m leaving! *She runs upstairs which leads us to*

Scene 2 Valerie calming down in the shower:

Valerie: My husband is creeping me out and is super ashamed that I’m not rich, should I leave him? Wait, what was that sound?

Ilona trying to break into Valerie and Stefan’s room from the Balcony: I’m both very hungry and very jealous of this new girl, I bet if I’m stealthy I can eat her now and be done with it! Oh crap she saw me run!!!

Valerie: *Horror Woman Scream*

Elizabeth and Stefan: Hey that sounded like Valerie! We better get up there and calm her down by convincing her it was all in her head!

Scene 4 some time later when Stefan finally calls home to tell his Mom:

Stefan: Uh Hi Mom, I can’t tell you too much now but I got married and we’ll be home soon so you can meet her! She’s definitely not a mistake no Sir! I’ll keep repeating that!

Stefan’s Mom? Ah hello son, I clearly hear you calling me Mom on the phone, I’m glad you’re not ashamed of your Mom but perhaps you are ashamed of Your Gay Dads!? (What a twist!!) Also I’m amazed you’re able to get a Wife figuring I know how creepy you are!

Stefan: Yeah yeah Ma, I’ll see you later! Hey Valerie I’m mad now so I’m going to take it out on you with some even more rough sex!

Valerie to herself: As soon as he’s asleep I’m outta here! I’m sure there’s night trains.

Act Three: Marriage Ended With Stefan, Elizabeth Báthory Is My Girlfriend Now!

Scene 1 Elizabeth and Ilona plotting:

Elizabeth: Despite your attempt in the Shower I’m not mad at you and I love you still. You know the plan we discussed? It’s still on! You go seduce Stefan and I’ll go intercept Valerie at the train station!

Ilona: Yes, mistress! I shall have the only hot sex scene in the movie with that guy!

Scene 2 a picaresque beach:

Elizabeth: You clearly hate your husband and were about to leave. You should date me instead! Why are you still conflicted?

Valerie: I don’t know, it’s like you said, I just don’t understand him, maybe I should give him a final chance? After all he said he loves me.

Elizabeth giving the heavy sales pitch for lesbianism: Ah yeah you’re right he probably does love you, but he only loves you the way Men can. He loves you like a possession, a toy, not a real human being. Come I’ll show you what I mean

Scene 3 The Shower After Ilona and Stefan have sex: Not taking no for an answer Stefan forces Illona into the shower where she recoils in pain because running water hurts Vampires. She jumps back out of the shower and slips where she cuts her hand on a Razor. As she’s screaming in pain Stefan lunges at her where they both fall over and the Razor stabs Ilona through the heart killing her instantly. That’s where Elizabeth and Valerie walk in…

Scene 4 A Cover-up: Elizabeth drives the couple down to the beach where Stefan hurriedly buries Ilona’s body. Valerie is rapidly becoming more and more convinced that dating Elizabeth Báthory is a better idea than sticking around with her husband. There’s a real nice shot here where the two new lovers embrace in a cape hug and Valerie is made a full Vampire Lesbian! Once the body is disposed of it’s back to the hotel for…

Scene 5 I Think We Should See Other People:

Valerie: Oh what has become of us? What would have happened if we never met Elizabeth Báthory?

Stefan: Come on, it’s not too late, leave with me! You’re my wife you do as I say!

Valerie: No no it is too late, you murdered Ilona and besides I’m a Vampire now and Elizabeth Báthory practices ethical kink unlike you!

Elizabeth: Let the Woman make her own choices you pig!

Stefan: I’ll never accept no as an answer! A struggle ensues where Stefan tries to drag Valerie away by the arm but he’s stopped when the lovers smother him with a punch bowl and drink his blood.

Elizabeth and Valerie: Hell yeah, we’re free of him! Let’s go drive into the night to a new town! Surely we’ll be in love forever!

Scene 6 So You Buried A Gay Woman? The movie ends very suddenly and in a very silly manner where Valiere accidentally drives off the road and crashes sending Elizabeth Báthory conveniently through the windshield onto a farmer’s fence where she’s impaled and then somehow exploded. A few months later Valiere now single and on the prowl finds a new couple but for some reason she has Elizabeth’s speaking voice. I don’t know, it’s dumb, as far as I’m concerned Elizabeth and Valerie get away at the end and live happily ever after.

Girls Just Wanna Suck Blood

I adore Lesbian Vampire movies. There’s something enticing about the fashion, the power, and the sheer fun these Women get to have vamping it up as they make new girlfriends. There’s also an escapist appeal for me. Elizabeth Báthory and Illona are free to do as they please and go where they like beguiling and befuddling all who are drawn near.

I will admit there are some problems with finding Lesbian representation in Vampire fiction, as monsters they’re often portrayed as evil so media with Queer Vampires has to walk a fine line to make sure the Women are vilified for the right reasons and not because they’re Gay. Luckily Daughters Of Darkness has very little time or desire to moralize such things and apart from the ending revels in this fictional take on Báthory as much as I did.

This movie is not the best of this long running sub genre of Vampire Tale (shout-out to our undying Queen Carmilla) but it’s a highly satisfying one that anyone who is a fan of 70s European Films and or Lesbian Vampires should be sure to check out! The good news is as of the time of this writing it is free to watch on Vudu!