my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Thrill of the Vampires
Director:   Jean Rollin
Year:   1970
Genre:   Lesbian Vampire
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   01.11.06

Other Movies Seen By This Director (1)
- The Nude Vampire

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
01.11.06Weird Wednesday So here's what I knew about Jean Rollin tonight: This girl I knew for a short time didn't like his stuff because it always seemed to boil down to lesbian vampires having sex. So based on that I made damn sure to get there early tonight for Weird Wednesday.

I guess maybe if you want to make these kinds of movies you can hang any genre on it but there seems to be a tendendcy for horror and sexploitation to meld beautifully. As if when you're making a horror movie you're already working so much with fetish and subjective taste that it's not too hard to go from showing dreams that are nightmares and dreams that are... much more pleasant. For whatever reason though... vampires are just better when they are chicks that like chicks. Torture and madness carry that extra edge when you know it's sexually deviant torture and madness driven by lust. I dunno, makes perfect sense to me.

So this movie is pretty all over the place, great in lots of different ways. In places it's absolutely absurd, really experimental in a nouvelle vague way, and authentically creepy. There's a shot early on in the film, this long shot of a castle and after a few seconds an enormous amount of blood floods from one window. That's a great shot, man... and really belongs in a movie as scary as The Shining. But this other shot in the movie, where these two guys vie for camera space as they talk and end up smashing their faces together to both fit in frame that totally belongs in... I don't even know what it belongs in. A few other shots insist on panning around and around forever in these huge long takes that must have been way too hard to simply be the easiest way to shoot the scene. I found myself watching this movie that, on the surface, was really messy and all over the place. Of course the audience laughed at every jump cut or off line reading, and yeah the plot made almost no sense and the effects were messy and you could see the blood baggy taped to the slave girl's arm, but underneath that I felt a sense that there were actual intentions going on in there, that Rollin wasn't just getting his kicks but maybe trying, in his own perverse way, to say something. Who knows what, but something.

I really get a kick out of how sincere this movie is with its basic plot though. I guess vampire movies have to either exist in some world where nobody knows anything about them "oh! so they drink blood! I get it now!" or a Kevin Williamson post-modern too-cool-for-school-fest. Maybe that's why I still have a soft spot for The Lost Boys... the Coreys at least know a vampire when they see one, albeit I guess they learn through comic books. Anyway... this movie spends a lot of time explaining the same thing that early Jim Carry movie Once Bitten does, except with lesbians. Which makes it better. Oh yeah, really great costumes in here as well... I love that in this vampire-less world, nobody also seems to know about underwear. fine by me.

Interesting note: I typed 'twice bitten' into imdb and this movie called Vampire Hookers came up. I wonder if Lars has seen that (brian@medialife.org if you have!)

So anyway again, I really got a kick out of this movie. I swear a few things in there should be stolen for "real" movies because they are great... but lots of stuff in here wouldn't really work anywhere else (although the graveyard sets reminded me a lot of Black Sunday... which got me thinking about Barbara Steele. lots of tangents tonight.

Afterward I asked Lars for other Rollin recomendations now that my appetite was sufficiently whet. He listed off a bunch of names which I'll have to check imdb to remember but also mentioned that at a certain point he took on a pseudonym to do strictly sexploitation movies. Pseudonyms pretty much rock if you ask me. I wish more mainstream directors would take on pseudonyms. I think that would actually help a lot of people. I'd love to see someone like Spielberg or Oliver Stone or even Tarantino do a nothing-budget totally risky movie under another name. I think stuff learned there would help them out with their bigger pictures (and in the case of Tarantino, just get the guy working more). I mean I wonder if Peter Jackson's agents and publicists would even let him do a Meet the Feebles or Braindead these days...

The topic of Jess Franco also came up. Lars loves him. I dunno, The few I've seen from him were just way too slow for me... and I sometimes thought I was watching Cinemax. But who knows... maybe it's about time to revisit Vampyros Lesbos. The soundtrack is still great.
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