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Sleepy-eyed nice guy Lee Ritter and his vapid, but pretty wife, Susan accept the invitation of mysterious vixen Diane LeFanu to visit her in her secluded desert estate. Tensions arise when the couple, unaware at first that Diane is in reality a centuries-old vampire, realize that they are both objects of the pale temptress' seductions.
At a Los Angeles art gallery, Carl Stocker, the gallery's owner, introduces Diane LeFanu to Lee and Susan Ritter. Lee is drawn to the darkly alluring Diane, who invites the couple to her house in the Mojave Desert for the weekend. Susan, who has noticed her husband's fascination with Diane, is jealous, but nevertheless agrees to the trip. That weekend, after driving for hours on a deserted road, Lee stops at a gas station to ask directions to Diane's house. Amos, the proprietor, and Cliff, his mechanic, sullenly respond, but direct them toward the house. As they continue down the road, their car breaks down, stranding them until a dune buggy driven by Diane appears. Promising to arrange for Amos to repair their car, Diane drives them home where she savors a dinner of steak tartar while using erotic metaphors to describe the intricacies of operating a dune buggy. Disgusted by the raw meat and Diane's obvious attempt at seducing Lee, Susan insists on going to bed. Soon after, Juan, Diane's Native American servant, informs his mistress that Cliff has come to fix her dune buggy. Diane then proceeds to the garage where Cliff is working and begins to caress him. Cliff responds in kind until she bites his ear, causing him to pull away. Just then, a shadowy figure of a man appears and when Cliff tries to run away, he is eviscerated by a pitchfork. Awakened by Cliff's piercing scream, Lee and Susan assume that it is the cry of a coyote. As they begin to make love, Susan says that she senses someone is watching them. From behind the two-way mirror hanging on their bedroom wall, Diane smiles and observes their lovemaking. Later, as they sleep, Susan dreams that she and Lee are making love in a brass bed in the middle of the desert when Diane appears in a mirror and draws Lee to her. When Susan relates her dream to Lee, he admits to having the same dream, but notes that Susan pushed him away in his. At dawn, Diane takes them sightseeing in the desert and stops at an abandoned mine, which, she explains, was shut down after a number of the miners found dead, with large gashes in their throats. From the mine, Diane drives them to a ghost town, where Susan decides to sunbathe in the sand while Diane and Lee explore the saloon. In the saloon, as Diane unbuttons Lee's shirt and fondles his chest, a rattlesnake slithers onto the unwitting Susan's leg. Hearing Susan's screams, Diane and Lee come running, and although Lee manages to knock the snake off Susan, the reptile has already bitten her. Efficiently cutting open the wound, Diane bends over and sucks out the snake's poison. At home, while Susan is napping, a woman knocks at the front door, looking for her boyfriend, Cliff. When Juan answers the door and responds that Cliff is not at the house, Susan awakens and begins to explore the house, looking for Lee and Diane. As she enters the hallway and begins to examine a rug hanging on the wall, Juan suddenly appears and stops her. Meanwhile, Diane has driven Lee to a graveyard in the desert, where, after pointing out her husband Victor's grave, explains that he died one week after they were married but she is unable to move his body because without the dry desert air he will "crumble to death." When Lee observes that Victor is already dead, Diane cryptically replies that the "dead can live if he wants them to." Just then, Cliff's girl friend approaches the grave and asks about Cliff. Although Diane denies that Cliff ever came to the house, the girl friend notices a freshly dug grave, and that night, returns to the cemetery with a shovel. Just as the woman starts digging up the grave, uncovering Cliff's head, Juan grabs her and Diane bends over her neck and drinks her blood. Later that night, Lee awakens and when he walks into the living room is shocked to see Diane devouring a raw chicken liver. Soon after, Susan awakens and upon entering the living room sees Diane and Lee passionately making love. The following morning, when Lee declares that he and Susan will be leaving that afternoon, Diane informs them that the part needed to fix his car will not be arriving until the next day and consequently, they will have to spend the night. When Susan says that she wants to stay anyway, Lee deduces that she knows he was unfaithful to her. At Victor's grave, Diane peels away the dirt covering and climbs down into the grave. Soon after, Juan arrives and observes that she is in need of nourishment more frequently now. Extending her hand upward, Diane grabs onto Juan and after pulling him into the grave, sucks his blood. Later, Lee, trying to appease Susan, takes her for a ride to the cemetery where they notice that the dates engraved on Victor's tombstone are from the 1800s. After noting that most of the other headstones are also from the 1800s, they discover Juan's blood-drained body with puncture wounds on his neck. When they tell Diane about their discovery, she asserts that Juan was killed by someone from his own tribe and explains that Victor's tombstone was originally inscribed for his great-grandfather. Later, in bed with Susan, an uneasy Lee begins to wonder about Diane's fondness for raw meat. In a dream, Susan watches as Lee fondles Diane, who then disappears from Lee's arms and climbs into bed with Susan. The next day, as Lee phones Amos and discovers that Diane instructed him not to repair the car, Diane approaches Susan at poolside and remarks silkily that women can experience pleasure beyond that which men can offer. Just then, Lee barges in and accuses Diane of trying to keep them there. Turning to her husband, Susan states that his dream has been realized, and now she wants hers to come true, too. Later, Lee angrily confronts Diane in her bedroom, where she lures him into bed and after seducing him, sinks her teeth into his neck and sucks out his blood. Looking for her husband, Susan goes into the hallway, and upon pulling back the rug, finds a hidden doorway leading into the secret chamber containing the two-way mirror. Finding Juan's body stashed in the chamber, Susan frantically pounds on Diane's bedroom door, looking for Lee. After Susan notes that Diane's brass bed is the same as the bed she envisioned in her dreams, Diane tells Susan she is hungry for her and begins to seduce her. Suddenly hearing a thud, Susan pulls back the curtains and finds Lee's body. Running out of the house still dressed in her bikini, Susan flags down a jeep, after which its driver offers her a coat and drives her to the bus stop where she can catch a bus to Los Angeles. Upon boarding the bus, Susan is shocked to see Diane, enrobed in a cape, seated in the back. After debarking at the Los Angeles bus terminal, Susan sees Diane advancing toward her on the down escalator and runs into a phone booth where she frantically phones Carl for help. After Susan accuses Diane of being a vampire, Carl agrees to come to the station to meet Susan. When Diane tries to break down the door to the phone booth, Susan runs across the street to the Olvera Street courtyard, which is dominated by a large cross. As the cross looms over Diane, she freezes in her tracks and Susan, noticing the reaction, grabs some crosses from the souvenir booths surrounding the plaza and hands them to the intrigued onlookers, who encircle Diane, immobilizing her with the crosses. After Susan pulls off Diane's cape, exposing her to the rays of the sun, Diane shrivels up and dies. Later, at Carl's house, Carl explains to Susan that Diane had a rare blood disease and convinced herself that she was a vampire. Susan is reassured until she notices that Carl possesses a knife exactly like the one belonging to Diane in her dream. Alarmed, Susan accidentally cuts her hand with the knife, after which Carl puts his lips to Susan's hand and sucks the blood as Susan's eyes widen in terror.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||R||Premiere Info:||not available|
|Release Date:||1971||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Color (Metrocolor)||Distributions Co:||New World Pictures|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||New World Pictures|
|Duration(mins):||79-80 or 82||Country:||United States|
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