Les Demoniaques (1973)

Article #605 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 11-10-2002
Posting date: 4-6-2003

Thieves who specialize in wrecking and looting ships assault two women, who then make a pact with the devil to seek revenge.

From Ingmar Bergman to Herschell Gordon Lewis to Jean Rollin makes for a rollercoaster ride of movies for the last three days. The last time I dealt with Rollin, three adjectives came up repeatedly; arty, erotic and gory. However, I find this one more palatable than THE RAPE OF THE VAMPIRE; though some of the plot elements have a nastier edge to them (there is a lot of rape here, moreso than the other movie), at least the impulse to artiness doesn’t run away with him this time so that all narrative is thrown to the four winds; you can more or less follow the story. It’s still very bizarre at times; just how having a woman dress up in red tights and clown make-up is supposed to keep people out of the ruins in this story is something that does leave me scratching my head, despite the fact that I do agree with the theory that clowns are scary. Nonetheless, telling a story is secondary to Rollin; his main goal is to get the women unclothed as often as possible, and there is no doubt that he accomplishes this particular feat. I’m just glad that he has nice feel for surreal visuals to make up for what would otherwise be a long stretch of arty sleaze.


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