Artsy ‘70s lesbian vampire flick plus furs? I’ll take one, please. Daughters of Darkness is probably a little too artsy and deconstructive, but I also watch Marvel movies for fun, so I’m probably not allowed to have an opinion on matters cinematic. I think the filmmakers wanted the “vampire’s” nature to be subjective. There are no fangs and somewhat plausible explanations for everything else. Doesn’t matter; still one-hundred percent a vampire.
Daughters of Darkness – The Film
A couple of recently married young rich kids honeymoon in a posh Belgian resort in the off-season where no one else is staying. Wouldn’t you know it, but one Countess Elizabeth Bathory has the same plans. She announces she’s Bathory to the clerk, who, since it’s 1971 and lacks Wikipedia, just says she looks familiar instead of reading the link and going, “Oh, fuck no.” She and her gal pal Ilona shack up in the next room, and two of the four main characters end up dead.
Daughters of Darkness – The Furs
Our honeymooners, Valerie and Stefan Chilton checking in. Valerie (Danielle Ouimet) wears a sheepskin collar and cuffs, which is not particularly interesting to me. But, if there is one thing I’ve learned lately, it is the most recent generation has really low standards.
Anyway, enough of that crap. Main event time. Countess Bathory (Delphine Seyrig) arrives in the best fur in the movie shortly after that.
It is a polished leather coat with a black fox collar, cuffs, and, less well shot, a full black fox skirt.
It is on screen for about two-and-half minutes during her arrival sequence, with lavish attention paid to shots of the Countess’s face framed by the colossal fox fur collar. Cinematographicaly speaking, chef’s kiss.
Ilona arrives at the end of the scene. According to the film’s Wikipedia article, Bathory and Ilona’s looks were modeled after Marlene Dietrich and Louise Brooks with a nod toward their explicit queer coding.
Sadly, the Countess does not wear the black fox for the entire movie, but it’s not entirely gone. Later in the film, we have a brief interlude where Valerie and Stefan play tourists, and Valerie is wearing this full-length coat. It’s feline of some variety, maybe wild cat, but not lynx.
Plot-wise, we learn girls are getting killed around town after Bathory showed up. Shocker. This isn’t a terrible fur coat, but it’s certainly not something I’d bother cataloging in a movie that did not have that black fox-trimmed coat.
Thankfully, we get it back. This is pretty much the end of the movie. Ilona has died via pratfall (if I’m being disingenuous, and I am). Stephan has just been killed because of a terrible genetic condition where his skin is susceptible to lightly brushing against broken glass.
The Countess and Valerie dispose of the body and zoom off to live sapphicly ever after. Happy ending, if you ask me.
Well, it’s 1971, so of course, that doesn’t happen. No, the sun comes out, and some of that deconstruction comes in. Did the sun just blind them and cause them to crash, or was the effect vampiric?
Doesn’t matter; to further be an ass, let’s look at something visible in the movie for less than a second and cut into a flurry of images meant to suggest what’s happening. Namely, the shitty Countess mannequin thrown through the car window when it crashes. You can also see the crappy version of the fox-trimmed coat they gave the dummy. In fairness, crappy ‘70s effects shots weren’t meant to stand up to HD frame-by-frame analysis.
The Countess is impaled on a convenient branch, then burns as the car explodes. Again, that’s gonna kill anyone, not just a vampire, so you’re left to ponder the nature of her being. Or whatever, I’m just glad that mannequin’s crappy ‘stunt coat’ is clearly not the fox masterpiece from earlier in the film.
The black fox fur gets about four and a half minutes of screen time between the two sequences, and the wild cat brings additional three-and-a-half minutes. I’m not counting the sheepskin, but it’s around in 2 different scenes if it piqued your interest. If you’re putting this on your watchlist for the fashion, fair warning, this one has ye olde “strong content warning” for being an “erotic thriller,” so, you know, blood and boinking.
Fur Runtime: approx 8 minutes
Film Runtime: 100 minutes
On-Screen Fur Ratio: 8%
Find-a-Fur: Daughters of Darkness, 1971
(all times are approximate)
- 11:46 – black fox trimmed coat
- 22:40 – wildcat coat
- 1:32:00 – black fox trimmed coat