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The Nude Vampire


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By Al Kratina
Nov 21, 2007 - 21:27

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The Nude Vampire
1969, France
Director: Jean Rollin
Written by: Jean Rollin, S.H. Mosti
Produced by: Jean Lavie
Starring: Olivier Martin, Maurice Lemaitre, Caroline Cartier, Ly Lestrong
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction, Erotica
DVD Distributor: Redemption Films
Website: Buy it here
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 88 minutes

If you’re really into breasts and fashion design, then this is the film for you. Likely, however, if you’re into one you’re not into the other, so the double whammy may not have the impact famed erotic horror film director Jean Rollin intended. However, for those of us who watch America’s Next Top Model when spotty Internet access prevents the more complicated fetish sites from loading properly, The Nude Vampire satisfies.

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Jean Rollin is known for his surreal imagery, poetic beauty, and attempts to insert various levels of pornography into every film, regardless of context. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it feels like a giant vulva floated across screen halfway through The Lion King. Thankfully, in The Nude Vampire, the dream-like imagery mixes well with the sexuality, creating an effective mood without feeling exploitative.

That’s not to say that the film is entirely successful. It’s Rollin’s second outing as a director, and a certain clumsiness undermines his more ambitious aspirations. The story, in which a young man discovers his father is involved in a suicide cult worshipping a vampire, is needlessly convoluted. By the time the end of the film rolls around, science fiction and mysticism have been woven into the horror and erotic elements, creating a rich tapestry that threatens to stifle the script and the already shaky performance from lead Olivier Martin.

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However, the visual imagery is astounding. The avant-garde costumes are beautiful, when the actresses are permitted to wear them, and the surreal imagery elevates the film’s flaws into a dream-like netherworld. The scenes of cult worship, rife with sadomasochistic overtones, carry the film, and could have inspired sections of Eyes Wide Shut just as easily as the more purple sections of Anne Rice's prose. By the end of the film, script and performance issues fade into the background as Rollin’s fantasy world takes hold, to the point where nothing, not even a giant vulva, would seem out of place.

Rating: 7 on 10

alkratina@comicbookbin.com


Last Updated: Dec 16, 2014 - 11:00
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