Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Rape of the Vampire (1968)

Director: Jean Rollin

Starring: Solange Pradel, Bernard Letrou, Ariane Sapriel, Eric Yan, Jacqueline Sieger

More info: IMDb

Plot: 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.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again? Nope.

This is Rollin's first feature film as director and, well, uh, it's his first feature film as director. If you're not familiar with the guy he made a crap load of stylish (debatable) yet boring Eurosleaze predominately in the 70s and 80s. From what I've seen so far, he's hit and miss and the hits are hits in comparison to the misses - not exactly what you'd call a winning endorsement.

Although RAPE is slow and pretentious (it's apparent that this is a first time director and one who is trying to make an art film), it's not without merits. I actually kind of enjoyed the first story about a man trying to convince four girls that they're not 200 year old vampires. It was interesting but, like the rest of the picture, it's slow and there are aspects of technique that call attention to themselves but the ending to this story was great.

For the most part, the picture is nicely shot but, overall, it cannot escape its arthouse-wannabe vibe, no matter how much blood and boobs are in it. But for fans of Eurosleaze and vampire films of this era, it's probably something you're going to want to watch even if only once.

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