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The Blood Rose (1970)

La rose écorchée (original title)
A Famous artist becomes obsessed with restoring the beautiful face of his badly burned fiancée, resorting to blackmailing a plastic surgeon into shady operations involving the skin from young girls.


Claude Mulot


Claude Mulot (scenario), Jean Larriaga (scenario) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Philippe Lemaire ... Frédéric
Anny Duperey ... Anne
Olivia Robin Olivia Robin ... Barbara
Elizabeth Teissier ... Moira (as Elisabeth Teissier)
Michèle Perello Michèle Perello ... Agnès (as Michelle Perello)
Valérie Boisgel Valérie Boisgel ... Catherine
Gérard-Antoine Huart Gérard-Antoine Huart ... Wilfried (as Gérard Huart)
Jean-Pierre Honoré Jean-Pierre Honoré ... Paul Bertin
Jacques Seiler Jacques Seiler ... Le policier
Michel Charrel Michel Charrel ... L'homme louche
Véronique Verlhac Véronique Verlhac ... La cliente de la galerie
Roberto Roberto ... Igor
Johnny Cacao Johnny Cacao ... Olaf
Howard Vernon ... Professeur Römer


Frédéric Lansac, an artist and botanist, has a wild affair with party girl Moira, but throws her over when he meets the lovely Anne. They marry, but tragedy strikes when Moira shows up at the wedding party and makes a scene, causing Anne to fall into a bonfire. Frédéric and Anne lock themselves up in his mansion with his servants, a pair of mute dwarfs. Anne, needless to say, becomes bitter and demanding. Frédéric tells everyone Anne has died, then on the sly, hires a nurse to look after her.

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The First Sex-Horror Film Ever Made!




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User Reviews

Beware of deformed household midgets
25 June 2012 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

In the old days (1955 – 1970) it seemed like all French horror directors had a fetish for facial reconstructions… Either that or they all just wanted to rival the tremendous success of Georges Franju's immortal and hugely influential genre landmark "Eyes without a Face". The notorious Jess Franco succeeded by making his "The Awful Dr. Orloff" one of the biggest euro-Exploitation hits of all time, whereas Claude Mulot's attempt "The Blood Rose" merely just remains a modest and obscure gem for the die-hard fanatics to seek out. Since times and audiences had already evolved quite drastically by the year 1970, "The Blood Rose" is a lot more graphic and provocative than the aforementioned two titles, but Mulot nevertheless tried – and managed – to insert with style, elegance and artistic elements into his movie. Although blatantly promoted as a sleazy exploitation shocker (with the enticing tagline: "The First Sex-Horror Film ever made!") the film primarily aims to be a surreal melodrama with a gloomy atmosphere and convoluted characters. It's almost regrettable to say that most of Mulot's ambitions and efforts are a waste of time, though. It nearly takes 45 minutes to come to the point that is actually summarized in one sentence on the back of the DVD. Mulot generates an ardent and detailed introduction, complete with narratives and flashbacks, solely to explain that the eccentric painter Fréderic Lansac finds true love in the shape of beautiful young Anne and retires with her in his remote countryside castle. On the day of their marriage, however, Anne averts from a cat fight with Fréderic's former mistress and falls face-down into a fire. She miraculously survives, but her beautiful frontispiece gets disfigured for life. The actual horror plot only properly lifts off at this point, as Fréderic – descending further and further into personal pity – discovers that the new tenant of his art gallery is, in fact, a suspended plastic surgeon instead of a botanical gardener, and blackmails him into operating his wife. The doctor obviously needs a living donor for the medically unorthodox face transplantation, but luckily Fréderic Lansac enslaves two disfigured midgets to do his dirty work. These creepy little fellas capture beautiful girls wandering around the castle area, whilst both Fréderic and the doctor begin to develop moral conflicts. Standard exploitation guff, in other words, but niftily decorated with extended dream-sequence and marvelous filming locations. The "sex" in the so-called first sex-horror film is limited to a couple of bare breasts and an attempted rape by the two midgets (which is, admittedly, a rather unpleasant sight to behold). Main actors Philippe Lemaire and Howard Vernon admirably manage to make their prototypic characters appear convincingly tormented and pitiable, whereas the female protagonist Anne undergoes a rather implausible metamorphosis… And not just physically. The cast girls are absolutely ravishing and the most memorable trumps of the film are undoubtedly Igor and Olaf. In case you always wanted to see a horror flick with two dwarfs, dressed in animal fur, virulently chasing a half naked brunette in castle tower; here's your only chance!

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Release Date:

25 September 1970 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Blood Rose See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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