Queen of the Vampires

1968 [FRENCH]


IMDb Rating 5.4 10 1137

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November 18, 2021 at 08:30 AM



891.38 MB
fre 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 37 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by BA_Harrison 2 / 10

Not the most auspicious start for Monsieur Rollin.

Rape of the Vampire is the debut of French director Jean Rollin, a two-part melodrama expanded from a 30-minute short, with most of the action apparently improvised (Rollin having lost his script three days into the shoot). The result is impenetrable, surreal and extremely hard going.

The first part of the film concerns four women living in an old château, who are convinced that they are vampires. Three Parisians - Thomas (Bernard Letrou), Brigitte (Solange Pradle) and Marc (Marquis Polho) - come to the countryside to try and cure the women of their vampirism, which Thomas believes is all in the mind.

The second chapter - shot by Rollin to bring the film to feature length - involves a vampire queen (Jacqueline Sieger) and her followers, and is pure nonsensical garbage that can be chalked up to inexperience, a lack of focus, and, quite possibly, mind-altering substances (hey, it WAS the late-'60s!).

As with every other Rollin film I have seen, there is plenty of nudity and unusual cinematography, and for many fans that will be enough, but I like to have something resembling a comprehensible plot to go with the boobs and avant-garde imagery. Not having a clue what was going on for most of the film led to my attention waning and the rapid onset of boredom.

2.5/10, rounded down to 2 for the migraine-inducing experimental jazz soundtrack.

Reviewed by Scarecrow-88 6 / 10

Rape of the Vampire

A psychoanalyst tries to cure the ills of four young women believing themselves to be vampires from centuries ago. It seems they have been manipulated into this type of thinking thanks to an old man with a cane. The old man builds up animosity in a mob of villagers against the young women, and the psychoanalyst's friends, a couple named Marc & Brigitte pay the ultimate price getting caught within the violence of the attack. Soon the psychoanalyst realizes that in fact they were vampires, and this Queen has control over them. The old man was supposed to kill the three mortals who were interfering with her "initiation process". The Queen also has a doctor, against his will, working within a hospital attempting to find a cure/antidote for their undead affliction..the doctor will attempt to betray the Queen with the psychoanalyst and his vampiress lover's help. But, the Queen plans to have a "blood wedding" betrothing her doctor with his mortal fiancé, turned vampiress so that he'd work on the antidote.

Well, this is the synopsis I tried to derive from the film director Rollin put together into two melodramas. I thought the first segment of Rollin's theatrical French vampire film, was rather surreal, but somewhat easier to follow. There were some very beautifully shot sequences using the allure of the vampire women, their decadent candle-lit home and the countryside(..and beach nearby)I think which show Rollin's talent at capturing the visual image. I think MANY will find his sacrificing coherent story-telling(..and lack of acting talent)for capturing surreal and bizarre imagery a bit difficult to swallow. I'll be the first to admit that I often voiced to myself, "Huh?!" & "What the..?!" during this entire low-budget production. I was often quite bewildered at many moments and character behavior in this film. I truly felt that Rollin had these images planted in his brain and put them to celluloid, not worrying too much about whether they fit into any type of true narrative or not. I think he cast people who fit a certain type of image regardless of whether or not they had a remote shred of talent. I found myself personally in awe at certain shots(..like the amazing "death march" of Brigitte, walking across the vast space of unfarmed fertile soil towards the end of the first part of the vampire tales told by Rollin, or the four vampire women with candelabra's in hand walking in unison together throughout their home;and the beach-front with the long row of logs which spring forth from the ocean for which Rollin would use repeatedly in other films afterward), while befuddled at other scenes(such as the naked blind vampire reaching for a possible groom in the ocean with those who tricked her into doing this gone from the area, or the same blind woman feeding the dead Brigitte food, talking to her as if she were an infant). The actress who plays the Queen just has a field day in the role. She reinforces dutifully the joy of being the leader of her vampire cult, by either grinning widely, exploiting her fangs, laughing uproariously, or flamboyantly accepting her title ordering her slaves to do this or that under her command with quite the authority. This cult is in many ways operated as a totalitarian dictatorship, with her people robotically obeying each request. It's easy to see why she's eventually fall to even as small an uprising as the doc and Marc(..enraged at what the Queen does to Brigitte, after her corpse is stolen by a faux funeral procession, in an inspired set-piece from Rollin;from a distance this looks like the typical Catholic family or mourners and pall bearers, until Rollin closes his camera in showing that they have fangs and the cross of Christ they are carrying is upside down)because she's too full of herself and the organization built by her hand. Still, I think this will appeal to the Rollin faithful, while other fans of vampire Gothic chillers will be at their remote control eject button dying of boredom. Rollin has talent, but tells his films in a certain way which will alienate some, and please others.

Reviewed by The_Void 5 / 10

The Yawn of the Viewer

The Rape of the Vampire marks the directorial debut of French erotic vampire enthusiast Jean Rollin. The film was originally intended to be a thirty minute short; but someone had the bright idea of making it a feature film, so Jean Rollin went ahead, filmed another hour of dubious vampire nonsense and released the combined parts as a feature film. It sounds like a recipe for disaster; and since a disaster resulted from it, I guess that's exactly what it was. I really don't know how someone could have shot this movie and put it together like this without realising that it doesn't make an ounce of sense! This is almost to be expected from the second story, which is basically just an hour of filler - but even the first tale doesn't adhere to any kind of logic (except maybe Jean Rollin's!). There is a plot here somewhere, though, and to start off with it follows four vampire sisters. We then move into the second part, which follows the vampire queen; played by a skinhead who looks a bit like Grace Jones. Exactly what's going on is anyone's guess - but those are the basic story backbones.

In terms of plotting and substance, this film is a joke. However; in terms of style, it's a little more credible. The black and white cinematography looks almost like Jean Rollin was going for a French nouvelle vogue style, and it is nice to look at. It's not nice enough for you to forget that you're watching a really boring film, but at least the film has plus points. Rape of the Vampire does look low budget - but good plots don't cost anything if you're writing them yourself, and so this film's main problems can't be blamed on the budget. Rollin has got together a wealth of hot young French girls to star in the film, and while it doesn't compensate for the plot; at least the casting might stop you from falling asleep. Considering it was made in 1967, the film is fairly graphic; we've got a scene that sees a girl have her eyes poked out (although we don't actually see it) and there's plenty of nudity, of course. I'm not really sure what kind of person this film will appeal to. Pretentious film fans may find something to like about it; but if you're not a Jean Rollin completist, I really can't think of a reason to bother with this.

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