First of all, let me offer my sincerest apology. This review actually is for the Vampire Collection which contains three of Rollin's classic vampire flicks. Mind you, these are not Hammer films nor are these similar to the films that you grew up watching with good ol' mom & pop. Even so, they are worthy of viewing & I can't recommend them enough. Try to get this box set if you can.
OH YEAH! It's great & Redemption has made this collection available with an amazingly low cost. Yes, that's 3 great films of Jean Rollin at a small price. For those of us who've wanted to study the maestro's classics or just indulge in some fantastic eurotrash, this is an absolute dream come true. In fact, this was my introduction or 1st lesson in the education of Jean Rollin.
Of all three films, I'd have to say I love Rape Of The Vampire best. As strange as this might sound, I was initially very confused when I saw the film & wouldn't have rated it so highly had I not given it a second viewing. Having said that, I loved the images which are macabre & beautiful almost all at once. Needless to say, that 2nd viewing really stole my attention & gave me a deeper appreciation of the film altogether. I was able to piece together the events & characters the 2nd time around & I realized what a genius Rollin truly is. Rape Of The Vampire is to Jean Rollin as Eraserhead is to David Lynch. Rape is a rare landmark film that should be talked about for years & could be deemed an instant cult classic.
The next film was equally enjoyable but not as confusing. Shiver Of The Vampire is campy, macabre, and ironically funny. You'll find yourself shivering with delight at the hilarious but philosophical dialogue & shuddering with some of the images of erotic & vampiric activity. I could see this film would probably be more embraced by the mainstream than perhaps some of his earlier works. Not exceptionally graphic but there is a great deal of implied homoeroticism here.
The next film was perhaps one of his most mainstream films (or should I say popular) of all time. released under various names through the years, Requiem For A Vampire is presented here in all of it's uncut glory. Not my favorite of the three but it does have a surreal, child-like fairytale quality to it as many have mentioned. Strangely enough, this film is by far the most sexually explicit or graphic film out of the three. The dungeon scene alone merits an NC-17 rating easily. Had the film's dialogue been 30 lines shorter, this could very well have been a silent film.
If you enjoy these films, perhaps you might go on & try Living Dead Girl or Night Of The Hunted which are also terrific films. Although they are far more depressing than either Requiem or Shiver, they are indeed undisputed Rollin classics.
I decided to give Rape of the Vampire a spin, because I love the old B&W horror movies: Dracula, Frankenstein, Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney,etc. I also love cheesy horror flicks, both old and new. But Rape of the Vampire falls into neither classic, nor artistic, nor cheesy-good. It is simply horrible. In high school, we made a film called Captain Ecology, which could possibly rival this film on editing and plot and acting. … more
Starring Solange Pradel, Bernard Letrou, Catherine Deville, Ursule Pauly Directed by Jean Rollin Writer: Jean Rollin 1968
Product Description Cult director Jean Rollin's first feature mixes existentialism and vampirism with the added ingredient of chaos. Originally made as a short, it was expanded to feature length with the dead cast inexplicably returning to life half-way through (having been killed off at the end of the original). That said, "Le Viol du Vampire" is a masterpiece of the bizarre, mixing blood, a naked woman in a convertible, coffins and some fencing, semi-naked nymphs in a fragmented melee.