Requiem for a Vampire (1971)

aka Caged Virgins, Vierges et vampires, and several others
Article 2274 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-13-2007
Posting Date: 11-3-2007
Directed by Jean Rollin
Featuring Marie-Pierre Castel, Mireille Dargent, Philippe Gaste

Two fugitive women find themselves prisoners at a castle that turns out to be the resting place of the last vampire.

Given the choice between having to watch the whole oeuvre of either Jean Rollin or Jess Franco at one sitting, I would opt for Rollin. Of course, there’s an obvious reason for that; the Rollin oeuvre would take almost a tenth as long. But there are other reasons; though they share many of the same cinematic interests, I get a sense that Rollin really pours his heart into every moment of his movies, which is an impression I don’t get from Franco. Once again, he’s indulging in the gory, the arty and the erotic, and though there is plenty of exploitation fodder on display, I never get the feeling that exploitation is his primary interest. In fact, there is something sad and moving about this tale of a two virgins encountering a vampire who has reached the end of his existence, and that feeling permeates everything here, even the scenes of sex and sadism. Surreal imagery abounds, especially towards the beginning of the movie when the two women are dressed as clowns, a touch I’ve seen in other Rollin films. I would have to pick this one as the favorite of the movies I’ve seen of his to date.



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