Graveyard sex, Italian-Finnish model Anna Falchi, existential longing, and an angsty and dashing Rupert Everett.
The sexiest blood-drinking cult of aristocrats on film. Jean Rollin’s erotic horror tale, starring adult film actress turned cult cinema siren Brigitte Lahaie, seduces the viewer as its scantily clad femme fatales lure a thief to an early grave in their mansion by the sea.
Rich, urban vamps (Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie) dressed in leather couture spend their nights at goth clubs looking for beautiful people to drink their blood. Sure, sign us up. Apart from the gorgeous cast and decadent setting, Tony Scott’s The Hunger features a famously erotic scene with co-star Susan Sarandon that was the rare classy, not trashy depiction of lesbian sex on film.
Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula is as romantic as it is sexy, depicting the deadly attraction between Gary Oldman’s Count and Winona Ryder’s Mina as a steamy, corset-laced affair. Sadie Frost’s Lucy, with her breathless delivery, and wide-eyed Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) being ravaged by a trio of sultry vamps also ranks highly with fans.
A young woman’s sexual awakening turns monstrous. Director Paul Schrader loosely based his 1982 film on Jacques Tourneur’s 1942 movie of the same name — but Schrader shot his film like a softcore porn and cast the oft-nude Nastassja Kinski as the lead.
The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh
An ambassador’s wife (Edwige Fenech) is haunted by her affair with a dark and dangerous lover (Ivan Rassimov), who may or may not be a serial killer. The leads in Sergio Martino’s 1971 giallo film have real chemistry, and their tortured affair is a fetishist’s field day.
School of the Holy Beast
Nunsploitation is an acquired taste, but Norifumi Suzuki’s School of the Holy Beast has an artistic eye and uses its theme of sexual repression for more than mere titillation. But it certainly aims to thrill, featuring sadomasochistic sex and lesbian nuns who get whipped by roses (poetic, really). It’s not a traditional horror tale, but the idea of being trapped and tortured by nuns in a convent is terrifying enough for most people.
Park Chan-wook’s tragic tale of forbidden love, vampire-style, eschews the usual tawdry antics of American movies. From the Village Voice: “The violence in Thirst is less shocking than the slurpy physicality of the sex scenes, oral ravishings that extend to toes and armpits. As the priest’s senses unfurl, the whole world seems made of meat — the obscene adipose rippling of Kang-woo’s waterbed is a particularly grotesque manifestation of erotic hunger.”
A puzzle box holds the forbidden fruit of people’s deepest and darkest desires. In Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, this becomes a place of sexual exploration for one man looking to push his sadomasochistic turn-ons to the extreme. Barker is perhaps the only person who could make an affair between a flayed corpse and a married woman seem kind of sexy — something director Tony Randel plays up in part two, where the woman becomes a bloody, bandaged thing who consumes her male victims during sex.
Throbbing TV sets never looked so hot. Come for Cronenberg and the cringeworthy stomach vagina FX, stay for Debbie Harry’s Nicki Brand and discover you might have a thing for kissable electronics.