The Karnstein Trilogy,[1] a series of vampire films, was produced by Hammer Films. They are notable at the time for their (for the time) daring lesbian storylines.[1] All three films were scripted by Tudor Gates. They are related by 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]

The 1974 film Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter features a female vampire from the Karnstein family, and is sometimes considered part of the same continuity, though it takes place in England rather than in Central Europe.

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 Captain Kronos
– Vampire Hunter
The Vampire Lovers Lust for a Vampire Twins of Evil
1970 1971 1974
Marcilla "Carmilla"
Countess Mircalla Karnstein
Lady Durward
Ingrid Pitt Yutte Stensgaard Katya Wyeth Wanda Ventham
General Spielsdorf Giles Barton Peter Cushing Ralph Bates Peter Cushing Horst Janson
Gustav Weil Captain Kronos Julian HollowayV
Landlord Charles Farrell Michael Brennan
Count Karnstein
Lord Hagen Durward
Mentioned Mike Raven Damien Thomas William Hobbs
1st Villager Nick Brimble B. H. Barry
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
Professor Hieronymus Grost John Cater
Carla Caroline Munro
Dr. Marcus John Carson
Paul Durward Shane Briant
Sara Durward Lois Daine
Kerro Ian Hendry
Giles Paul Greenwood
Vanda Sorell Lisa Collings
George Sorell Brian Tully
Pointer Robert James
Barlow Perry Soblosky
Barman John Hollis
Isabella Sorell Susanna East
Barton Sorell Stafford Gordon
Ann Sorell Elizabeth Dear
Myra Joanna Ross
Priest Neil Seiler
Lilian Olga Anthony
Blind Girl Gigi Gurpinar
Big Man Peter Davidson
Tom Terence Sewards
Deke Trevor Lawrence
Barmaid Jacqui Cook
2nd Villager Michael Buchanan
3rd Villager Steve James
4th Villager Ian McKay
5th Villager Barry Smith
6th Villager Roger Williams
Jane Linda Cunningham
Petra Caroline Villiers


  1. ^ a b c 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