In 'Carpathian Eagle' frumpy (glasses, pinafore dresses) writer Natalie (Suzanne Danielle) becomes obsessed with a 16th century Russian Countess who, after being treated rather shoddily by her husband (branding is mentioned), became a serial killer with a particular penchant for cutting out the still beating hearts of her male victims. So readily does Natalie identify with the crazy Countess she begins to wear a variety of skimpy outfits, and starts picking up men attracted to her purring voice and endless legs and, just as they are laying in bed expecting the night of their lives, she kills them. You ought to see their stupid faces.
Most of the blokes deserve it, though. There's Barry Stokes from 'Prey' who picks her up in his car after doing that 'Right, I'm having a slice of that' face; a horrible bloke in a winebar who says 'Andy's the name, randy's the game' before taking her back to his truly bizarre flat with big plastic feet at the end of the bed and a 'No Stopping At Any Time' sign above it; a well heeled twat who takes her to a friend's place 'the wife doesn't know about' (he escapes, unfortunately) and Pierce Brosnan, who was still Irish at this point and is extremely unsuave in his Fred Perry tracksuit. Still, you can't go about murdering people just because they're twats, can you? Can you?
|'Do you remember Mick?'|
Frazzled Copper Cliff (Anthony Valentine) is on the case, however, and although he has his suspicions, he can't help fancying Natalie. He's an interesting character, actually, with his comb across and blazer, somewhat lonely and vulnerable but a bit of a geezer, as if Joey Maddox from 'Performance' (another Valentine part) had grown up on the right side of the law. Another surprising facet is his hatred of stereotypes: when a colleague mocks a drag act, talking about 'queens' and handbags, Cliff gets annoyed and says 'you still think in cliches, son'. He's a pretty liberal guy for a late 70's copper.
Suzanne Danielle dominates here, mainly because she is in a variety of extraordinary outfits, many of which are highly revealing. You may recall that her nickname was 'The Body', but what she exhibits is, more acurately, an early example of what would be known as a 'hard body': taut, strong, lithe - the total opposite of the fleshy, big breasted, ample bummed types that dominated the sex symbol stakes in the seventies. She's not a bad actress, really, but Hammer cover that by revealing her to be the killer almost straight away, as if they didn't trust her to not to give it away.
Not bad in an undemanding way, the story ends with a coda in which Natalie is about to start on a new book, and a new murder spree - and she's got a load of new underwear. I'm surprised this never became a series, to be honest.