This low budget first film from director Jean Rollin is in reality two very loosely-connected, surreally erotic shorts about vampirism. In the first, three Parisians including a psychoanalyst try to convince four neurotic sisters living in a decaying country chateau that their belief that they are 200 year old vampires is false. The alluring young women are influenced and controlled by a enigmatic disembodied voice which turns out to be the an aging, aristocratic lord of the manor, whose motives are unclear but clearly perverse. Local rustics unite to hunt down and kill the sanguine siblings. In the second, the Queen of the Vampires and her acolytes arrive on the scene, resurrect the dead, and promulgate the cause of the Undead while a medical researcher works to find an antidote to vampirism.Written by
Jean Rollin improvised most of the story after losing the script on the third day of shooting the picture. See more »
Queen of the Vampires:
Because of his incompetence, we will have to start again. But first disguise those corpses, destroy their clothes, and make sure that they remain dead forever. Don't forget, they are vampires.
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After a psychoanalyst unsuccessfully tries to convince four sisters that they are not 200 year old vampires, the Queen of the Vampires (Jacqueline Sieger) promulgates the cause of the Undead.
Having watched Jean Rollin's "Nude Vampire" before this, I can say one thing: Rollin works better in black and white. His stark composition recalls some of Roman Polanski's better films (such as "Repulsion") and is just beautiful to look at. While the second half is completely incoherent if we focus on plot (which we should not do with Rollin), the film as a whole has images to show us that cannot be put down.
A newspaper at the time of the film's release said "we can only remain puzzled by the intentions of the director, Jean Rollin." Even Rollin himself admitted that it was confusing. He would later say, "Le Viol was a terrible scandal... People were really mad when they saw it. In Pigalle, they threw things at the screen. The principal reason was that nobody could understand the story."
But perhaps this is alright? When Luis Bunuel or Salvador Dali release nonsense, it is a work of art... when Rollin does it, we call it "nonsense". Where does one end and the other begin?
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