Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Shiver of the Vampires 1970

When looking for images for this post I had a very difficult time finding any without naked women in them.  Thus is the glory of Jean Rollin.  The Shiver of the Vampires is my first Jean Rollin film.  While it probably won't be my last, I am not quite ready to join the Rollin fan club.  Yes, there is much to love here: beautiful Gothic decay, awesome 70's fashion and music, strange characters and trippy camera work, lots of blood, naked chicks (if that is your thing) and scarves.  Lots and lots of scarves.

I don't even know where to begin with this one.  Young newlyweds (Ise and Antoine) decide to spend their honeymoon in a Gothic castle, owned by the bride's cousins.  When they arrive they hear that the cousins have died, but they are welcomed to stay by the beautiful, mute maids that act as the caretakers for the castle.  Distraught, the bride demands that her husband sleep in the other room.  Later that night, a naked woman pops out from a grandfather clock and seduces young Ise.  Antoine, restless because he did not get laid on this wedding night, walks the castle while this is going on and witnesses a horrific vampire sacrifice ritual taking place.  Instead of grabbing Ise and hightailing it outta there, Antoine goes to Ise, now sleeping after being bitten by the grandfather clock vampire, feels her up, and goes back to bed.  This is just the first night.

Then the cousins show up.  Turns out they were vampire killers who were "turned" by the grandfather clock vampire.  The maids are somewhat under their spell (they are also lesbians of course) and the grandfather clock vampire rules them all.  At least, until she is raped by the cousins.  Oh, it is so confusing.  Is every Jean Rollin film like this?

The Shiver of the Vampires is a weird mix of horror, comedy, and eroticism.  It is very trippy.  You feel like you are stoned when you watch it.  Initially I didn't like the film, but the more I think about it the more it is growing on me.  My absolute favorite part of this film is Antoine.  Whenever he is about to go chase after Ise or the cousins he stops to put on a silk scarf.  Like his vampire hunting outfit is not complete without the paisley scarf!  He is like Fred from the Scooby gang.  No wonder Ise didn't want to sleep with him!

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