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Fascination (1979)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 1,215 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 39 critic

This erotic horror film, set in 1905, tells the story of a thief who seeks refuge in a castle owned by two women, Eva (Brigitte Lahaie) and Elizabeth (Franca Mai). The women are seductive ... See full summary »

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Title: Fascination (1979)

Fascination (1979) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Franca Maï ...
Elisabeth (as Franka Mai)
...
Eva
Jean-Marie Lemaire ...
Marc
Fanny Magier ...
Hélène
Muriel Montossé ...
Anita
Sophie Noël ...
Sylvie (as Sophie Noel)
Evelyne Thomas ...
Dominique
Agnès Bert ...
(as Agnes Bert)
Cyril Val ...
Un Apache (as Alain Plumey)
Myriam Watteau ...
La femme apache
Joe de Palmer ...
Un Apache (as Joe de Lara)
Jacques Sansoul
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Storyline

This erotic horror film, set in 1905, tells the story of a thief who seeks refuge in a castle owned by two women, Eva (Brigitte Lahaie) and Elizabeth (Franca Mai). The women are seductive and teasing, but turn out to be part of a vampiric cult of blood-drinking aristocrats. Written by Ørnås

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Horror

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November 1979 (West Germany)  »

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Fascination  »

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1.75 : 1
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Featured in Eurotika!: Vampires and Virgins (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
FASCINATION (Jean Rollin, 1979) **1/2
26 October 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This is the seventh Rollin film I've watched, after THE IRON ROSE (1973; still his finest work), THE DEMONIACS (1974; the least among his vintage efforts), LIPS OF BLOOD (1975; another good one), THE GRAPES OF DEATH (1978; not bad), THE LIVING DEAD GIRL (1982; one of his most compelling) and Fiancée' OF Dracula (2002; an unsatisfactory hodgepodge of ideas). This unusual 'lesbian vampires' film – of which the director made quite a few, though the only other such title I'm familiar with is the above-mentioned (and slightly superior) LIPS OF BLOOD – evokes much of the same atmosphere, not only of Rollin's work but of that of Jess Franco as well. In fact, the scenes depicting a scantily-clad Brigitte Lahaie walking the castle grounds (albeit armed with a scythe!) in search of victims brings to mind Lina Romay in the Spaniard's own (rather dismal) FEMALE VAMPIRE (1973)!

One of Rollin's traits seems to be that of throwing modern-day characters (in this case a handsome but dumb crook) into essentially Gothic i.e. uncanny surroundings (the annual reunion at the château by a bunch of lovely ladies). The thief believes their mysterious activities to be of a sexual nature and decides to stick around, despite being warned by the two girls who came to the venue beforehand in preparation for the 'ceremony' that the only other male likely to appear is none other than Satan himself! Having the jaded aristocracy of another era indulge in odd rites (such as drinking ox's blood to treat anaemia!) is an intriguing notion – a group of depraved female members, then, decide to take the cure one step further and periodically resort to the intake of human blood (the revelation isn't all that surprising, but nicely handled just the same).

An 'unexpected' development results when it's time to do in with the young man (his criminal associates, who were actually pursuing him after he ran away with the stash of gold, had already been swiftly dealt with by Lahaie's scythe). Though the latter had already been sexually involved with him, her companion believes she has fallen in love and, when the leader of the 'vampires' dispatches Lahaie to eliminate the thief, the other girl shoots her instead! Lahaie stumbles outside to the passageway and, with the spilling of the girl's own blood drawing her 'anaemic' cohorts, they feast on her indiscriminately! The thief pleads with his savior to flee the cursed place together – but, on relating to him their back-story, she realizes that the 'call of blood' is too strong for her to ignore…

Inevitably, the film has all the trademarks of Rollin's style (and, by extension, the whole "Euro-Cult" vibe): lethargic pace, an effective score and – it goes without saying – plenty of naked women (even if, save for Lahaie's unmistakable looks, most prove interchangeable due to the film's essential dearth of characterization!). All of this ensures a haunting and often beautiful piece of work though, not necessarily, a fulfilling {sic} one; by the way, the DivX copy I acquired (which also regrettably displayed brief instances of pixellation) bafflingly omitted any form of credits either at the start or the conclusion – not even the film's very title is anywhere to be seen…


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