Frederick sees a photograph of a ruined seaside castle, which triggers a strange childhood memory. He then goes on a strange quest, aided by four female vampires, to find the castle and the beautiful woman who lives there.
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This erotic vampire film features a young man on a strange quest after recognizing a castle on a poster. He seems to remember the castle from his childhood and eventually finds it with the aid of a strange woman dressed in white. It turns out that his family has been keeping the secret of vampirism from him. Written by
There's no question that Jean Rollin films are something of an acquired taste. His style is certainly off-putting to many. Even from someone who is fond of most of his output, I can easily understand why someone would not like Rollin's movies at all. Lips of Blood is another textbook example of the man's work with all the usual eccentric and idiosyncratic details you could reasonably expect. Its story involving female vampires is typical of the sort of thing he is most well known for. Except I have to say that I think that this film may very well be the most complete expression that Rollin ever made. I get the feeling that this movie is possibly the closest of all his pictures to the original idea he envisioned.
Quite unusually much of the action takes place in the middle of the city. But as is typical for Rollin, this also incorporates scenes in a Gothic cemetery as well as the expected crumbling castle and beach sequence. However, the night time city scenes are very probably the best parts of the entire movie. They include some strange and surreal locations such as the aquarium, the night fountains and the late night cinema (showing Le Frissons des Vampires no less). The extended scene where our hero navigates all these locations is some of the most fully-realized and effective stuff Rollin ever filmed. He photographs and lights things very well too and Lips of Blood doesn't betray its ultra low-budget origins as much as most of his other films.
The storyline, however, is as basic as usual. The characterizations are as paper-thin as always. But these considerations are just not what you would watch his films for, and if these things do bother you then his films are most probably not for you. But if you appreciate more dream-like fare or melancholic horror films, then this could well be worth your time. Lips of Blood is arguably Rollin's best film, it's certainly one of his most well made. Recommended to those who like Euro horror from the more surreal end of the spectrum.
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