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
Not for every taste, but richly rewarding just the same.
The renowned French filmmaker Jean Rollin visits themes of childhood, nostalgia, undying love, and the vampire mythos in this typically enigmatic, striking work. Jean-Loup Philippe, who also wrote the script with the director, stars as Frederic, a maternally dominated young man. One day he chances to see a photo of some old ruins that stir in him a long buried childhood memory, when he got lost, came to those ruins, and was protected through the night by a mysterious but alluring stranger (Annie Belle). He becomes determined to solve the mysteries of his life, like for example why people such as his mother (Natalie Perrey) don't want him to know the truth. He's aided in his quest by four sexy female vampires.
Rollin films are most assuredly not for every horror fan. He keeps horror elements fairly limited, with not very much gore or scare set pieces. He does, however, include enough nudity, both female and male, to keep faithful viewers and the curious enticed. He also creates an intoxicating atmosphere here, and a genuinely compelling enigma over which our hero can obsess. One of his most affecting touches here is to develop a sense of desolation. There are never any big crowd scenes, nor are there many in the daytime. A lot of the time, there are precious few characters on screen. Almost from start to finish, Rollin gives "Lips of Blood" a true surreal nature, and the dialogue is often appealingly literate.
Our leading man isn't the most charismatic one will ever see, but he's not unlikable. His various female co-stars fare extremely well, though, especially the radiant young Belle, whom one might recognize from the far more trashy "House on the Edge of the Park".
"Lips of Blood" is wonderfully shot, and definitely romantic in its own way. It's both artful and exploitative in equal measure, making it well worth seeing.
Eight out of 10.
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