Movies Reviews

The Work of Jean Rollin: Requiem for a Vampire (1971): Jean Rollin’s fourth vampire film leans heavy on the S&M, but fails to fully entertain.

The films leads attempt to escape from a surreal and evil chateau.

I’m starting to feel Rollin fatigue. Jean Rollin’s movies have been occupying my limited free time for the past month, and it is starting to get exhausting. I enjoy looking at a director’s body of work, but I think I may begin reviewing some other stuff in the process that way I don’t get burned out. I think I may begin looking at some Godzilla films and then return to Rollin a bit later. I think I have made it to a good stopping point for the moment because I have just finished his fourth and final vampire film: well at least for his early works anyway.

Requiem for a Vampire is quite similar to the previous three Jean Rollin movies I have looked at: full of sexuality, cemeteries, chateau’s, and vampiric violence. The S&M is amped up in this movie and is one of the few reasons I didn’t enjoy it as much. Being S&M heavy, the violence is often more sadistic and gratuitous. In one extended scene we a woman being tortured that felt unnecessary and was far too long–it honestly knocked a whole star off my rating.

The film stars Marie-Pierre Castel–who featured in The Nude Vampire and The Shiver of the Vampires–and Mireille Dargent as Marie and Michelle, respectively. The film follows them as they get lost in the French countryside and eventually stumble upon a decrypted chateau. The film has a fairy tale atmosphere, and Rollin mixes that with erotic elements to give us something unique to his style. The plot of the movie is non-existent; instead, we are asked to follow these two lost girls as they stumble upon weird vampiric forces deep in the country. The movie features a familiar surrealist tone that is present in the previous films, but I don’t think the quality of the movie is at the same standard as The Nude Vampire or The Shiver of the Vampires which are both quite good at intermingling the surreal, the erotic, and the vampiric.

I wish I had more to say about this film, but it just didn’t leave an impression which I attribute to being burnt out. I enjoyed the fairytale-like atmosphere and it added to the surreal tone well; however, I wish that Rollin would have focused on that more instead of the lingering and gratuitous sexual violence that is present in the film.

Rating 2/5

By Film Slut

I am a creative writer who enjoys writing short fiction, poetry, short scripts, critical essays, and film reviews. I have been described as a “film slut” because I spend the majority of my life trying to watch every movie made.

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