The Karnstein Trilogy

Poster for the film The Vampire Lovers.

The Karnstein Trilogy of vampire films[1] were produced by Hammer Films, and were notable at the time for being somewhat daring in explicitly depicting lesbian themes.[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 films in the trilogy are:

A planned fourth film in the series, variously announced as Vampire Virgins and Vampire Hunters, never went beyond the early draft stage.[3] However, the 1974 film Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter features a female vampire from the Karnstein family, and is sometimes considered part of the same continuity.

The biology of the vampires in Hammer's Karnstein films is different from that of the Dracula series, as the Karnstein vampires can walk about in daylight and are immune to fire. Some of this is retained in the 1972 Hammer film Vampire Circus.


  1. 1 2 3 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. Vampire Virgins article
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