Requiem for a Vampire
Requiem for a Vampire
Two girls on the run get lost in the French countryside, and wind up in a haunted chateau occupied by an ailing vampire and his servants.
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July 10, 2018 at 07:10 AM
This film was rated higher by others than I would have thought. Vampires usually do a lot of biting and blood sucking. There was more erotic virgin handling and molestation than biting and the like in this one. The use of silence in the film gave it a surreal quality. The whole movie was dream-like. The lure of the victims was not captured. The chase and seduction is the best thing about vampires but those subtleties were lost here. But, I must admit, the film did remind me of Vampyros Lesbos and, to a lesser extent, Suspiria. I must state that vampire films do not have to be bloody etc. But a little blood at the bite would have been welcomed. Not a bad watch if you seek those who walk at night.
Stream of Consciousness Nuttiness from France's Foremost Nutcase
Initially, this incredibly simplistic film may look like a step backwards for Rollin after the highly experimental Rape of the Vampire and the highly strange The Nude Vampire but it could also be argued that it is, in fact a precursor to the dream-like The Iron Rose. It looks like it was shot over a long weekend and, indeed, would perhaps have worked better as a short film. The plot, what there is of it, concerns two girls (dressed as clowns) on the run after killing a would-be rapist. After their getaway driver is killed, they stumble upon a castle in which resides the last of the vampires and his servants. Aside form the odd diversion (one of the girls meets a man in a graveyard and offers him his virginity so as to remain free of the vampire's curse) that's about it.
Upon first viewing the film, there is very little to get out of it aside from the odd bit of S+M imagery (chained up naked girls attacked by bats, a kinky lesbian whipping scene) but ones whole perspective changes when one discovers that Rollin wrote it in ONE NIGHT. For those unfamiliar with Rollin, this would simply re-enforce the notion that what they are watching is complete crap but for those familiar with his work, it provides and excellent insight into the man's unconscious. Rollin's work is all about repressed sexual desire; his films are essentially adolescent fantasies, which is why many of them feel like fairy tales; they disguise their true meaning through the circumstances under which the images are presented. This is a true relic of the 60's/70's, a time in which Western culture was going through its own adolescence. Perhaps part of the problem with cinema today is that it has none of the innocence of that sexually uncertain time.
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"You cannot be both virgin & Vampire." Arty crap from Rollin.
Vierges et Vampires,or Requiem for a Vampire as it's more commonly known to English speaking audiences, starts with a 'high' speed car chase through the French countryside which ends in the death of one guy & two young women dressed as clowns, Marie (Marie-Pierre Castel) & Michelle (Mireille Dargent) escaping on foot. Eventually they end up at a run down Château where they discover a Vampire & his group of followers, Marie & Michelle are initiated into the world of Vampirism as the head Vampire dude plans on turning them into the blood drinking undead...
This French production was produced, written & directed by Jean Rollin & personally I didn't think too much of it. The script is rather slow going to start with & nothing particularly significant happens for about an hour until things pick up a bit towards the end. The plot is virtually none existent as you would expect from Rollin who could never be accused of wasting good running time on small unnecessary things like a coherent storyline. The dialogue (spoken in French so expect subtitles) is sparse to say the least & the amount of meaningful conversation can be counted on one hand while it seemed to me that a good 40 odd minutes past without anyone saying a single word. The character's are as one dimensional as could possibly be, it's dull, boring & doesn't make a whole load of sense & quite frankly I didn't get much, if any, enjoyment or entertainment from it.
Director Rollin again puts the visuals way before the story which in my opinion is a bad move all day long. Anyway, I didn't think that this was his best film visually but the colours, lighting, imagery, locations & cinematography give it a certain style & flair. I must mention the Vampires, they are probably the worst looking Vampires I've seen in a film. They're fangs look so fake it's untrue, the colour of them, the way they look like plastic, the strange angle they exit the mouth & they just don't fit properly. That bird with long red hair looked really funny in close-up. There isn't much gore, just dead rotten corpse although there is some nudity & sex.
Technically Vierges et Vampires is good & it's well made, no one was ever questioning Rollins ability to make a film just his ability to write a script for one that makes any sort of sense! Since the dialogue is so sparse & it's in French I couldn't really tell you how good the acting was although some of the faces these people pull are worth a few laughs on their own.
Vierges et Vampires is just a collection of loosely connected imagery as usual with Rollin. Personally I'm not a fan of his work or style although I'm sure there are people out there who are, it's definitely not for me though.