Wealthy and decadent industrialist Georges Radamante rules over a strange secret suicide cult and wants to achieve immortality by figuring out a way to share the biochemistry of a young ... See full summary »
"Les Frissons des Vampires" can't be considered, in the strict sense, a horror film, because there are no suspense and/or scares waiting for the viewer. What the film has to offer is atmosphere, plenty of atmosphere. The plot is thin: a couple arrives in a castle, in order to pay the fiancée's two cousins, a visit (they were once brave vampire hunters, but one night they fell in battle, and became afterwards enthusiastic vampires). These cousins, together with their team (two beautiful servant maids and a solemn vampire girl that emerges out of the most unexpected places), prowl around the innocent guests. This stuff could lead to a really suspenseful film, but I guess that was not Jean Rollin's intention.
The lighting effects create beautiful night colors. Every new night, bathed in a different color - the castle - a visual leitmotif. The conversations are frequently literary (especially the two philosopher vampire cousins) and a self-parody - not to be taken seriously. Delicate camera movements, strange angle shots, various colored lights flooding landscape, castle and graveyard.... the idyllic prog rock of Acanthus..... the fog grows and spreads in wonderland.
We should relearn to watch films. "Les Frissons des Vampires" is slow-paced - maybe if you just relax and don't hang too much on the story, you may experience the film - enjoy its gorgeous colors effects, its poetic-humoristic dialogues (spoken in French, a very sweet language) and its bizarre atmosphere.
Welcome to the fantasy world of Jean Rollin. Give free reins to your senses and imagination. Dive in.
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