The Vampire Lovers is a 1970 British gothic horror film directed by Roy Ward Baker and starring Peter Cushing, Ingrid Pitt, Madeline Smith, Kate O'Mara and Jon Finch. It is based on the J. Sheridan Le Fanu novella Carmilla and is part of the so-called Karnstein Trilogy of films, the other films being Lust for a Vampire (1971) and Twins of Evil (1972). The three films were somewhat daring for the time in explicitly depicting lesbian vampire themes. In early 19th century Styria, a beautiful blonde (Kirsten Lindholm) in a diaphanous gown materializes from a misty graveyard. Encountering the Baron Hartog (Douglas Wilmer), a vampire hunter out to avenge the death of his sister, the girl is identified as a vampire and decapitated. Many years later, a dark-haired lady leaves her daughter Marcilla (Ingrid Pitt) in the care of General von Spielsdorf (Peter Cushing) and his family in Styria. Marcilla quickly befriends the General's niece, Laura (Pippa Steel). Laura subsequently suffers nightmares that she is being attacked, and dies of a gradual sickness; whereupon Marcilla departs.