Both Gustave Veil (Peter Cushing, above) and Count Karnstein (Damien Thomas, seated below) have sins to answer for, but is that poor schmuck with the bite on his neck (bottom) one of them?
The Ghost of Vampires Past approaches Count Karnstein. Below, director John Hough makes the most of mirrors and mirror-related effects, including the Count's loss of his reflection as he becomes a vampire.
Twins may not have as much nudity as one might hope for, but the final reel has plenty of gore to keep up Hammer's street cred.
Wendigo wants to stress again how irritated he was by the film's failure to identify the original vampire. For him it's a major, almost crippling flaw of the story. If anything, the whole vampire angle is a weakness of this ostensible vampire movie. That's because he feels that both Frieda and Count Karnstein became less interesting once they became conventional vampire villains. He also feels that Hough bungles one major scene, the bedroom tussle between Anton and Frieda disguised as Maria. Shot with a handheld camera and a fisheye lens, it was probably meant to express immediacy, but in Wendigo's opinion it only looked amateurish and made Madelaine Collinson -- in her one nude scene -- look silly. Meanwhile, the business with Joachim, Karnstein's mute black servant, having to pantomime that the Brotherhood is advancing on the castle, looks goofy to say the least if not a little racist. Joachim gets his own back later with an impressive cleaver-to-the-head attack on a Brother. Finally, Harry Robinson's music is probably inappropriate in its own right, sounding more like a swashbuckler soundtrack, but his main theme now sounds alarming like the opening music for the Justice League cartoon series of a few years back. That's not Robinson's fault, but anyone who "recognizes" the music may have a hard time taking the film as seriously as it deserves.
While I've stated my preference for Twins over Lovers, Wendigo is reluctant to name a favorite of the two. The original film retains the overwhelming asset of Ingrid Pitt, while the stunt-cast Collinsons don't impress him as actors. Also, like Lust, Twins is almost lesbian-free, which is simply wrong, in Wendigo's opinion, for material derived from Carmilla. It also has less nudity in general, a fact that surprised and disappointed Wendigo somewhat. While this makes it look like he leans toward Lovers, he feels that the comparison is like apples vs. oranges. I'll accept that because Twins really took the Karnstein concept in a new direction and practically into a new genre. What keeps them together in a trilogy, beside the Karnstein name, is a concern with vampirism as an analog for sexual deviance, whether Lovers' obvious lesbianism or Twins' implicit libertinage. In the end, Wendigo likes both films for different reasons, flaws and all. Throw out the middle film and you have an admirable diptych of late Hammer nearly at its best.
Here's a British trailer uploaded to YouTube by flotzcore.