A Woman’s Bite: Cinema’s Sapphic Vampires

The Quad complements our Jean Rollin Halloween parade with a bonus bevy of female vampires. Although the titillating concept of lady bloodsuckers had long captured the imagination of authors, it wasn’t until the 1960s and 1970s that the movies caught on as European helmers finally recognized the storytelling potential for women driving their own narratives as princesses of darkness. And same-sex distaff encounters would be exponentially more compelling. Throughout the 1970s and beyond genre moviemakers exploited both prurient and suspenseful dramatic interest in just how these lesbian couplings would play out. The resultant films showcased actresses on both sides of the vamp/prey divide, fascinating audiences of all genders and sexual orientations—and in the process became landmark depictions of sapphic desire and sexuality onscreen.

Past Screenings