Monday, November 10, 2008

d. Jean Rollin

Reviewed by
Tracy Hook

Fascination is an appropriate name for this film. This story haunted me for several days after watching it. I think that's what a great film sticks with you and reappears in your mind at the strangest moments, like drifting off to sleep, while driving, and even chopping vegetables. Some films reappear so much it becomes an obsession, but this didn't happen to me with FASCINATION, but it has with other Jean Rollin films. (I'm taking medication now so that's probably why. Thank God for Paroxetine!!)

The film starts with a scene in a slaughterhouse where two beautifully dressed women are drinking ox blood. Yes! Another vampire film. The fashionable ladies, Elizabeth and Eva, live in a nearby chateau and soon they have a visitor. The visitor is a young man with a gun and is running from a group of bandits who want the money that he stole from them. The young man, finds himself running to a large chateau where the women are staying, and so the story unfolds inside the chateau walls. This is a Jean Rollin film, so you know there's going to be full frontal nudity and lots of blood.

The man's pursuers are coming and they want their money. They know there's something forboding in the castle but greed propels them to it. Of course the bandits meet their demise, but true to Jean Rollin's formula that's not the end of the film. There's still the young thief to contend with. The female vampire group makes its appearance and they are ready to play games.

I've been a huge Rollin fan for about eight years now, so I'm pretty biased when commenting on his films. I love his use of camera work by showing the viewer the full view of a castle, a room, and even a pigeon loft. (What the hell are those used for? Ok..maybe they like squab stew. Oh well... I digress).

You may remember my review for LIPS OF BLOOD and I comented on the sheer curtains the female vampires were wearing. Well, in FASCINATION they are back! I started to formulate a theory that the French countryside was over-run by barely dressed vampires. Imagine A YEAR IN PROVENCE with vampires could happen maybe I'll write the sequel to that: A Year of Facination with Lips of Blood. Vampires will be terrifying Peter Mayle and his wife. Hold on to that Brie cheese! Brigitte Lahaie will cut it with her scythe.

If you are ready for more Jean Rollin after watching LIPS OF BLOOD, then this is a good and proper follow-up to it. Be sure to put on a see-through nightgown (they're in the top drawer of the dresser, as it's shown in the movie, now I know!) and be sure to pour the ox blood. The ladies love the ox blood!


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