The films of Jean Rollin are a feast of perverse and exotic imagery shot in the soft-focus style of a David Hamilton photo essay and paced as languidly as a Terence Malick film…but with sudden eruptions of grand quignol gore worthy of Herschell Gordon Lewis and lots of beautiful and bloody nude bodies
Rollin’s fractured fairy-tales are inhabited by lustful vampires who often seem more alive than the aspic gelée flesh of the women they’re feeding upon. Using mostly amateur actors that float in and out of the frame like zombies pierced by tranquilizer darts, Rollin opts for something ghostly, chilly and ethereal, often with little regard for narrative tension. The heat comes in the splatter of blood and cum. It’s as though sex is the primary sign of life among Rollin’s cast of the living dead, the almost dead, and the barely living.
The Shiver of the Vampires, Requiem for a Vampire, The Demoniacs, Fascination, The Night of the Hunted, Lips of Blood, and The Living Dead Girl fetishize blood, sex, dungeons, coffins and diaphanous nightgowns with the obsessiveness of a blood sucker foraging through the dumpster behind a blood bank.
Here’s a fun documentary about the fabulous Mr. Rollin. Be warned: this is definitely NSFW, although it was made for British TV.