Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Fiancee of Dracula|
Actors: Cyrille Iste, Jacques Orth, Thomas Smith, Sandrine Thoquet, Magalie Madison
Director: Jean Rollin
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Anime & Manga, Animation
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ROLLIN RISES FROM THE VIDEO GRAVEYARD
Derek Ho | Remsenberg, NY United States | 04/18/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"For over 30 years French director Jean Rollin has been the naughty boy of European horror (as opposed to his Spanish counterpart Jesus Franco who has been the nasty boy). Rollin's horror films have mixed nudity and sex with images of stylized nightmares to create an atmosphere of beautiful horror rather than bone-chilling terror. Perhaps this ideal of beauty and horror is one of the main reasons why Rollin has been assigned to cult status and has never flourished in the big time. His films are too artistic and attractive for horror fans and much too twisted for fans of haute cinema. Whatever the reasons for his cult status may be, his legion of fans has been loyal and omnipresent throughout the VHS and DVD age.
In FIANCEE OF DRACULA, Rollin has brought back his key female lead Brigitte Lahaie (see FASCINATION) and has even tipped his hat to his most loyal followers by using Cathy Pascal (one of his familiar "twins") in a bit role. The story here revolves around a professor and his dippy hippy assistant trying to find Dracula by following around an unusual band of parallel beings, including a circus dwarf, a red-headed female vampire, a female ogre, and a woman who drives everyone around her to a state of madness (and who also happens to claim to be Dracula's fiancee). If you watch the film in French with the English subtitles you will get a much better sense of the parallel world that Rollin has attempted to create. The music, the sounds, the language, etc. is so much more poetic and moving on the French soundtrack. The film almost works in French. With the English dub, however, you get a cheap and miserable low budget horror film with poorly chosen voices and an antiseptic background almost devoid of subtlety and atmosphere. Not a single one of the English dubbed voices works. For loyal fans the cameo by Lahaie is worth the price of admission. For newcomers, it will be a hard row to plow to get through this in one sitting. Perhaps in response to those critics who declared his beautiful horror to be too beautiful, Rollin has gone a bit overboard in the depravity department this time. Dwarves sucking blood, ogresses eating babies, vivid putrefying flesh: not exactly the calling cards of Jean Rollin; but these are a sign that even a mature filmmaker such as Rollin can learn to change with the times and will attempt to deliver what he senses the audience may demand. It's difficult to pan this film because it will rate highly with fans of European stylized horror. For those who are willing to live on a dare, buy it. Others may want to wade into Rollin and Franco territory with safer choices first, perhaps like FASCINATION or LUST FOR FRANKENSTEIN."
C'est Bien Étrange! Et Ça cést bien!
Derek Ho | 01/09/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is the latest film from French director Jean Rollin, and yes, it is in French (as French films are wont to be.) It is surrealistic euro-horror on a budget. It is a smart, erotic,scary and bizarre exploration of the supernatural world complete with a baby-eating ogress, punk/gothic vampire and her dwarf lover, a sorceress on horseback, nuns going insane and Count Dracula speaking in surrealist poetic verse. Rollin has been making horror films in France since the 60's, and this is the first of his films that I have seen. He has quite a cult following here (apparently), but the French have largely not known what to make of him. I had never seen any of his films before and bought this one out of curiosity (seemed like a good place to start). The story is wonderfully bizarre as an old Professor and his young assistant are trying to locate and kill Count Dracula, and prevent him from claiming a young women who is under the protection of some wierd nuns for himself and the world of darkness. Rollin's horror is very literary (he is also a writer), both the plot and script are otherwordly and fantastic like the writings of Bram Stoker himself. It is extremely well-written and Rollin has chosen some stunningly eery locations for filming. The ending is wonderfully strange. Much is left unexplained...this is, after all, the realm of the fasntastic and logic is not necessarily required. Some portions of the film are pretty gory and occassionally the meager budget that Rollin has shows through. The acting is merely passable, but this is all part of what makes the film unique and enjoyable. Forget big stars and expensive effects, Rollin trasports the viewer to a supernatural world which is unlike any I have seen. Having in it French with subtitles adds significantly to the atmosphere. It adds to the uniqueness of Rollin's film universe. Dubbing would alter the atmosphere that Rollin has created. I will definitely try to see more of this director's work."
Caught in rollin's spell
d. logan | 12/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i was caught up while viewing this film and greatly enjoyed being transported to another world. not many directors can do that so effectively. jean rollin has a unique style and it's always a pleasure to experience his special brand of cinematic spell casting."
This dracula wasn't a hammer film....
moongrenadine | high point, NC | 11/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"if you are a fan of jean rollin, you needn't be told that his vampires are definately more than interesting than any of the ones we're apt to see in a typical hammer film. needless to say, you should have some idea of what lies ahead in the world of rollin & need very little preparation. be warned that fiancee of dracula isn't like any dracula film you've seen before & probability suggests will ever see in your life or mine for that matter. for those of us who love the surreal & dreamlike atmosphere of his previous vampire works, we will also share a trance-like state of mind from opening scene til the very end even though it's obvious we may not grasp every single element of this french masterpiece. if what you've read so far holds no interest, chances are this film may not be the film for you. on the other hand, keep reading as i've more tidbits to share if you love rollin like i do or have a deep interest in great foreign/artsy horror films. first & foremost, shreik show has done a simply amazing job with bringing rollin's last film to dvd & even giving us a brief but enjoyable & insightful interview w/ the wonderful director himself. my hat goes off to shreik show for a splendid transfer & i hope that either image or shreik SHOW will eventually release some other rollin films which have never found their way to dvd such as the nude vampire or the crystal rose. having said that, there are many reasons to either love or hate dracula & there is so much to tell. so as not to spoil it all for those fo you who do plan on buying or viewing the disc, let me just give the highlights. as with any rollin film, you've got to have the interesting &/ or zany characters. contrary to most of his early work, the various characters in this film are just as outrageous & crazed as the vmpires which are being hunted by a professor & his hippie-like accomplice. we are introduced to a dwarf, a she-ogress who gobbles infants, & a bunch of crazy nuns who've nearly lost their minds all within the 1st hour. should this not be enough, we have a beautiful young woman who believes herself to be the fiance of dracula. wow! with layers of mystery surrounding the film like a second skin & such beautiful imagery, here we have a film which may be rollin's greatest work in years. great campy fun & just enough sensuality to make this film a poetic masterpiece which you will certainly want to view again & again. unfortunately, this film probably won't appeal to those who love the mainstream or those who don't like subtitles but the rest of us will be in a catatonic state of bliss. unpleasant dreams, my friends!!!"