A former Miss Portugal, Nichols married an Argentinian soccer player on July 16th, 1973, European Golden Shoe winner Héctor Yazalde, and moved from Portugal to Argentina in 1977 and has stayed there ever since.
When reading articles about the fashion model Carmen Yazalde on the web, as far as I could tell, there didn’t seem to be any mention of her cinema career in the early ‘70s. As I have found on a thread from the Latarnia Forums, she apparently does not wish to discuss that period of her career but claims to still be proud of the films she has been in; the bulk of which consists of films directed by the late, great Jess Franco. She also appeared in Amando De Ossorio’s Tombs of the Blind Dead and a giallo by Juan Bosch, The Killer with a Thousand Eyes.
Nichols left cinema behind shortly after getting married, but her relatively small body of work in film is fondly remembered and embraced by Eurocult movie fans. She is commonly seen in Franco films with Anne Libert (our favorite woman-in-black) and is perhaps heavily remembered as the sapphic vampire lead in Daughter of Dracula and more so as the bizarre, living-dead bombshell haunting the ancestral castle of the title character in A Virgin Among the Living Dead.
|Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971)|
Aside from playing a 'venomous vixen,' she also managed to land brief roles in two films, The Rites of Frankenstein and the aforementioned Tombs of the Blind Dead, as a kind of beautiful sacrificial maiden. It seems in both films a beautiful creature was needed, someone who could physically represent a perfect aesthetic ceremonial idol to be used for ritual sacrifice scenes, for the purpose of bringing about immortality and life-after-death for these films' monsters. Considering her goddess-like physical appearance, it’s easy to assume she was probably top choice for these parts.
The main villain in The Rites of Frankenstein, Cagliostro (Howard Vernon), plans to create a female mate for his Frankenstein monster with an Adam and Eve inspired plan to usher in a new super evil race, by using body parts from kidnapped females whom he describes as the most-perfect females of the village, with the intention that Nichols’ character’s head be the crowning spectacle of the creature.
|The Rites of Frankenstein (1972)|
|Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein (1972)|
As to be expected from most Eurohorror-starlets, Nichols took on the ever agreeable role, twice, of playing an enticing vampiress in Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein and in Daughter of Dracula; both films are a part of a monster mash-up trilogy, by Jess Franco, inspired by the "Universal Monster Rally" movies of the ‘40s, which also included The Rites of Frankenstein. Of course these classic monster films are tinged with Franco’s knack for eroticism but still provide all of the monster madness fun that one craves on Halloween. Nichols isn’t given a whole lot to do in Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein except look gorgeous while rising slowly out of a coffin or lurching through Dracula’s (Vernon) castle dungeon passageways, transforming into a bat, and attacking an unsuspecting victim or two.
|Daughter of Dracula (1972)|
One of her most significant roles was the lead character in Daughter of Dracula, a descendant and instrument-of-death of none other than Dracula (Vernon again) entombed underneath a chapel near her family mansion. Nichols and Anne Libert have excellent chemistry in this film. Their love scenes are extended but still very enjoyable and relaxing due to a number of ingredients coming together perfectly; the music being played on an old piano by a Baroque looking gentleman and the ornately Gothic interior of the mansion makes for a very picturesque and tasteful experience. Jess Franco seemed a little inspired by the giallo or krimi thriller with Daughter of Dracula, as there is also a killer with an unknown identity, dressed in the usual black trench coat and hat, making the rounds and offing characters, as well as the usual police investigators.
|Les Demons (1973)|
An additional lead role where she has an even greater chance to shine is in Franco’s Les Demons, one of those persecution-of-the-innocent movies that takes place during the witch hunts of the Inquisition. I prefer it over Franco’s The Bloody Judge. The added little twist is that Nichol’s character gets to become a real witch with deadly powers and show all those witch torturing and burning fools what someone who actually did consummate with the devil can do to them, all in the name of vengeance for her persecuted mother, also a witch. Les Demons has my favorite witch burning scene that makes for an insane climax (I took a shot from it for the title image to this article). Forgive my use of the overused idiom, but it must be seen to be believed.
|A Virgin Among the Living Dead (1973)|
Most are familiar with our latest 'venomous vixen' as the character of Carmenze, the weirdly seductive, sexy living dead diva with an even weirder way of satisfying her affinity for blood in the Jess Franco favorite, A Virgin Among the Living Dead. In my full review for this film, I described her character as “a sexy diva with the personality of an intoxicated teenager”, and, after re-watching it again, I think that description still fits. She’s not an integral part of the plot, but her presence makes things so much more bizarre and memorable, painting her toenails during a funeral ceremony or seductively rolling around on the floor, a Jess Franco hallmark, and crawling towards and sexually terrifying the idiotic servant of the house, played by Franco, in a great comical, tongue-in-cheek scene, in a very beautifully dark movie. She’s really just a standout, lascivious figure amongst the cast, doing weird-and-sexy like no other.
|Devil's Island Lovers (1974)|
She also had a small, kind of background, role in the woman-in-prison film, Devil’s Island Lovers, which is actually a lot more of a political drama than an exploitation film. Furthermore, some additional acting credits she has from films I haven’t seen yet are Virgin Report (1972), The Killer with a Thousand Eyes (1974), and Los reyes del sablazo (1984).
After perusing a lot of photos on her blog CARMIZE-BRITT NICHOLS-CARMEN YAZALDE and doing a Google image search of Carmen Yazalde, it’s apparent that she still looks great and is just as photogenic and delectable today as she was in her Eurocult heyday. I love this ageless mentality I sense from her, and it is very inspiring. She started hosting a cable show called Salud Y belleza (Health and Beauty) in 2004, so she probably knows a thing or two about anti-aging. If the birth date I pulled from Wikipedia is to be believed than today (May 29th) is her birthday! Happy Birthday, Britt/Carmen/Maria!, Eurocult actress, fashion model, and media diva, as well as an inspiration and a reminder to live healthy and age well.
|Image Source: CARMIZE-BRITT NICHOLS-CARMEN YAZALDE|