Fascination – Jean Rollin, 1979, 78mins
This is director Jean Rollin at his best; visual delights, sensual, lesbian love-making, the beautiful Brigitte Lahaie as a scythe-wielding avenger, and a group of castle-dwelling bourgeois women addicted to drinking blood. The story centres on two women, chosen by the group, who have to find a man that they can ritually slaughter and communally consume in a cannibalistic vampiric feast.
“An elegant, sensual, sexual slice of hallucinatory gothic nightmare eurotica”
“Death has golden hair, and a scythe, and is coming for you in all of her loveliness.”
Grapes of Death – Jean Rollin, 1978, 90 mins
The grapes used to produce the wine for a village’s annual Grape Harvest Festival have been polluted by toxic chemicals that bring on a form of zombified insanity in those who drink the wine. The victim’s flesh also melts, adding another layer of torment to their crazed suffering and madness. For director Jean Rollin, Grapes of Death was a major departure from his usual dream-like vampire films in that he set out to frighten and horrify rather than to captivate and astound, and he does so with great success.
“Rollin unearths fresh rural dread in surreal zombie poem–Creepy and Original ‘Environmentalist’ Zombie Gore!!”
“a less than flattering portrait of rural France as a hotbed of greed, madness and extreme and very bloody violence…. as far from the surreal, oneiric vampire films as one could imagine.”
Night of the Hunted – Jean Rollin, 1980, 91 mins
A man driving finds a distressed woman in a nightdress running wildly in the road. He stops to help her and finds that she has no recollection of who she is or why she is there. He takes her home and one thing leads to another, but it is also apparent that she is very ill and rapidly losing her memory. He traces her immediate past and finds that she has escaped from a sinister building known locally as the The Black Tower” where people accidentally exposed to nuclear contamination are being taken. Night of the Hunted (1980) is a stark, often brutal, and sexually sadistic sci-fi film; with scenes that are in many ways reminiscent of Cronenberg’s early films and George Lucas’s THX 1138.
“astutely captures the existential horror of being reduced to a mindless vegetable state”
“interesting, erotic, surreal, atmospheric… oddly poignant”