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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A gang of pirates rape the two sole survivors of a ship wreck. The violated girls are rescued by the strange inhabitants of a supposedly haunted island, where they are granted supernatural powers to strike revenge against the pirates.
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
Not a masterpiece but far more compelling than many Euro horror films of the period
Jean Rollin is often thought of as a second-rate Jess Franco, but to be honest I can't really see as many similarities between the two's work judging from this film. Sure, there's a lot of naked female vampires running around (which as we all know Franco was also a fan of showing), but thats about it. Rollin, while a serviceable enough director himself, lacks Franco's flamboyant visual flair, nor does he seem to be emulating it. And even though I enjoy Franco's output more, I'll readily admit that Rollin is a much better storyteller. As much as I love both "Vampyros Lesbos" and "Venus In Furs", linear and coherent narratives they're not. "Lips of Blood" tells a reasonably engrossing story.
The story of this film is both a plus and a detraction somewhat. You really get intrigued by the sense of surreal mystery that the protagonist goes through. I also found the film to move at a much quicker pace than many others did. Still, the film presents us with a protagonist thats not remotely interesting and some supporting characters that become annoying quick (particularly the mother). It doesn't make the film any less interesting, but it prevents it from being as strong as it could've been.
The direction by Rollin is quite accomplished. He certainly manages to create a dreamlike atmosphere that makes even the real life settings such as Paris seem oddly alien and otherworldly. There's some rather pretentious moments that fumble, but overall this film evokes an unique atmosphere. The film is never tense or really creepy, but that didn't really matter to me because it looked so beautiful at times. The ending for the film was an absolutely perfect and ambiguous (not to mention completely unpredicted) way to finish it. "Lips of Blood" isn't perfect, but is unique enough and much stronger than most European horror films of the period. (7/10)
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