11th Jan2019

Horror-On-Sea 2019: ‘Blood of the Tribades’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Chloé Cunha, Mary Widow, Seth Chatfield, Tymisha ‘Tush’ Harris, Kristofer Jenson, Zach Pidgeon, Sindy Katrotic, Simone de Boudoir, Stabatha La Thrills, Sophia Cacciola, Aurora Grabill, Melinda Green | Written and Directed by Sophia Cacciola, Michael J. Epstein


2000 years after the great vampire Bathor established the village of Bathory, superstition and religious violence take over as the men and women battle for control. When the men are afflicted with a mysterious illness, they become certain that the vampire women of Bathory are responsible for their ills, and thus, the hunt begins! Long-forgotten lovers Élisabeth and Fantine find that, with the help of those who were banished, it is their fate to piece together the past and help preserve what little of their society remains before Bathor’s impending return and judgment.

The best way to describe Blood of the Tribades is if Jess Franco had discovered Suicide Girls THEN gone out and made Vampyros Lesbos. And, much like many films made in Europe around the time of Franco and co. a lot of the storytelling here is done with a combination of visuals and soundtrack rather than dialogue – there is some dialogue yes (some of it even in French – as if that reference to Euro-horror couldn’t be more heavy-handed), but most of this films plot is told by other means.

Speaking of visuals, whilst the film feels (and sometimes looks) similar to something Jess Franco would’ve produced in his heyday, the imagery within Blood of the Tribades also has a visual flair that one would describe as more akin to the direction and style of Jose Larraz’s vampire opus Vampyres. Put the two together and you have the look, feel and authenticity of a real 70s erotic-horror, only this particular tale was produced this decade!

As if you couldn’t tell already, Blood of the Tribades is VERY much a “lesbian vampire” flick homage, a genre which flourished in the hands of European filmmakers after the likes of Hammer made horror that bit more sexy, yet a genre which has faded in the light of political correctness and sexual equality. However don’t get confused, this film is NOT an exact throwback to the same kinds of overtly sexual films of the 60s and 70s, which made beautiful, and very naked, women the forefront of the story. Oh no, Blood of the Tribades is an equal opportunities film – there are just as many cocks and balls in this film as there are tits and arses!

And whilst Blood of the Tribades was clearly made on a low budget, the stylistic choices made by the writing and directing duo of Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein – there are times when the imagery looks very much like an old EC horror comic, and others when it looks very much like an old Hammer horror film – help to cover those limitations up beautifully: be it with in camera visuals or choice of location(s).

It’s clear from watching this film that – like Amer filmmakers Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, whose love for Italian genre cinema is visible in their work – Cacciola and Epstein have a real love and deep knowledge of 70s Euro-horror; and it’s that passion which shines through each and every cell of this movie, helping it overcome any foibles to be what is, ultimately, a loving pastiche to the genre.

Blood of the Tribades screens at Horror-On-Sea 2019 on Saturday January 12th at 10am. The film also available to watch now on Amazon Prime.


Comments are closed.