The Karnstein Trilogy is a series of vampire films produced by Hammer Films. They were notable at the time for their daring lesbian storylines.[1] All three films were scripted by Tudor Gates. All three feature vampires of the noble Karnstein family, and their seat Castle Karnstein near the town of Karnstein in Styria, Austria.

The trilogy

Other films

A planned fourth film in the series, variously announced as either The Vampire Virgins or The Vampire Hunters, only got as far as the early draft stage.[3]

Vampire lore

The vampires of the Karnstein Trilogy differ from those of the Hammer Dracula films. Here, vampires can walk about in daylight and are immune to fire (their bodies are consumed, but their spirits just create or inhabit a new body). Their weaknesses are garlic and crosses, and the only ways to kill them is by staking them through their hearts or beheading them. Some of this lore is retained in the 1972 Hammer film Vampire Circus.

Cast and characters
Character Main films
The Vampire Lovers Lust for a Vampire Twins of Evil
1970 1971
Marcilla "Carmilla"
Countess Mircalla Karnstein
Lady Durward
Ingrid Pitt Yutte Stensgaard Katya Wyeth
General Spielsdorf Giles Barton Peter Cushing Ralph Bates Peter Cushing
Gustav Weil
Landlord Charles Farrell Michael Brennan
Count Karnstein
Lord Hagen Durward
Mentioned Mike Raven Damien Thomas
1st Villager Nick Brimble
The Countess Karnstein Dawn Addams Mentioned
Roger Morton George Cole
The Governess
Mademoiselle Perrodot
Kate O'Mara
Emma Morton Madeline Smith
Baron Joachim von Hartog Douglas Wilmer
Carl Ebhardt Jon Finch
Doctor Ferdy Mayne
Laura Pippa Steel
The First Vampire Kirsten Lindholm
The Man in Black John Forbes-Robertson
Housekeeper Shelagh Wilcocks
Gretchin Janet Key
Renton Harvey Hall
Richard LeStrange Michael Johnson
The Countess Herritzen Barbara Jefford
Janet Playfair Suzanna Leigh
Miss Simpson Helen Christie
Inspector Heinrich Harvey Hall
Susan Pelley Pippa Steel
Amanda Judy Matheson
Raymond Pelley David Healy
Biggs Jonathan Cecil
Professor Herz Erik Chitty
Bishop Jack Melford
Hans Christopher Neame
Peasant Girl Kirsten Lindholm
Trudi Luan Peters
Coachman Chris Cunningham
Schoolgirl Sue Longhurst
Katy Weil Kathleen Byron
Maria Gellhorn Mary Collinson
Frieda Gellhorn Madeleine Collinson
Anton Hoffer David Warbeck
Joachim Roy Stewart
Ingrid Hoffer Isobel Black
Franz Harvey Hall
Hermann Alex Scott
Dietrich Dennis Price
Lady in Coach Shelagh Wilcox
Woodman Inigo Jackson
Woodman's Daughter Judy Matheson
Young Girl at Stake Kirsten Lindholm
Gerta Luan Peters
Gaoler Peter Thompson


  1. ^ a b Meikle, Denis; Koetting, Christopher T. (2009). A History of Horrors: The Rise and Fall of the House of Hammer. Plymouth: Scarecrow Press. pp. 180–182, 195. ISBN 978-0-8108-6353-8.
  2. ^ Huckvale, David (2009). Touchstones of Gothic Horror: A Film Genealogy of Eleven Motifs and Images. McFarland & Co. pp. 66–67. ISBN 978-0-7864-4782-4.
  3. ^ The Vampire Virgins article