Gustav Weil (Peter Cushing) is the fanatical leader of a band of religious zealots that call themselves “The Brotherhood”. The group travels around the province of Styria burning witches at the stake.
When their parents die in an accident, twins Maria and Frieda Gellhorn (Mary and Madeleine Collinson) come to Styria to live with their uncle Gustav and his wife Katy (Kathleen Byron). The twins become popular with the young men in the area. Gustav keeps a tight rein on the girls but Frieda has a mind of her own and becomes fascinated with Count Karnstein (Damien Thomas), the local royalty, and bad boy.
The deaths that Gustav has been blaming on the young girls in the area are really the fault of the Count. Karnstein is into black magic. While offering a human sacrifice to Satan, Karnstein manages to revive vampire and former ancestor, Countess Mircalla Karnstein (Katya Wyeth). The Countess turns Karnstein into a vampire. Karnstein turns Frieda into a vampire.
Eventually Gustav discovers that he has been burning the wrong witches. The headmaster of the local school, Anton Hoffer (David Warbeck), is an expert in superstition and believes most of the talk about vampires is nonsense, but he still knows how to kill one should he find out they really do exist. When his sister, Ingrid (Isobel Black) is killed by a vampire he changes his mind. Soon after that the fanatics capture Frieda red handed killing one of the brotherhoods. Frieda is put in jail while the Brotherhood has a trial. Karnstein and his henchman, Joachim (Roy Stewart), sneak Frieda out of jail and put Maria in her place. When the Brotherhood comes to burn Frieda, they end up with the wrong twin tied to the stake.
“Twins of Evil” was released in 1971 and was directed by John Hough. It is a British horror film produced by the Hammer Film Studios. It is the third and last of the films known as the Karnstein trilogy. The other two films are “The Vampire Lovers” 1970 and “Lust for a Vampire” 1971. The films were loosely based on the film “Carmilla” by Sheridan Le Fanu. As with the first two films there is a lesbian undertone to the film but here it is more subdued.
The film suffers from a couple plot holes. For example, there were vampire victims, before Mircalla was resurrected as well as before Karnstein was made a vampire, that are not explained. I was also slightly confused by Peter Cushing’s character Gustav Weil. At first he is a fanatic looking to condemn all the buxom women in town but he then ends up being a sort of antihero. Then there is Anton who starts out as an intellectual that thinks everything Gustav believes in is superstition. By the end he believes more in vampires than the Brotherhood.
I expected a lot more twin action than there was. We see that one twin is good and one is evil. Other than that the parts could be of just sisters or really good friends. The fact that they are twins doesn’t add anything more to the film. There is some gore, mostly at the end, and quite a few bosoms.
The stars of the film were played by real life twins Mary and Madeleine Collinson. The twins were former Playboy playmates.