Two beautiful runaways seek refuge in a castle. When night falls, they become prey to a sadistic vampire named "The Last Vampire" who, as luck would have it, intends to use them to produce progeny who will continue his blo... more »odline.« less
Jeffrey HIggins | Bloomington, IL USA | 10/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this is, in my mind, the greatest of all of rollin's films i've ever seen; and that includes 'living dead girl' 'fascination' 'shiver of the vampires' and this one. there are more beautiful and poetic images in this one rollin film than in any other, save perhaps 'la vampire nue', which i have yet to see. the clowns are exquisite, and the dream perpetual. the first 20 (mostly silent) minutes shiver by like a ghostly dream, encapsulating all that stands. the remainder of the film takes the dream and stretches it, turning itself to rubber, elongating and perpetuating the surrealistic structure it inhabits. anyone with a taste for european low-budget beauty should apply, anyone with a taste for rollin should jump the door."
Gorgeous sensual visions
I. French | austin, tx United States | 04/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This fantastic film allows us to see the vivid fabled visions that must fill Jean Rollins' mind. The flighty narrative is liberated from sequential logic, but is positively elevated in the process. The story comes off like a flickering memory. A haunting attraction pulls us in for a rare glimpse into a dream we can't pull away from for fear of forgetting upon awakening. The characters are beautiful and frail creatures. Possessed with a determination to uphold their forbidden and blithe lust they use childlike luck to guide their journey. An unbelievably beautiful film."
Not what you might expect.
Jeffrey HIggins | 02/04/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Ever since I saw a copy of David Piries "vampire filmcult" in a public library, back in the 70ies, I wanted to see this movie. The book then contained a lot of impressive pictures of stunning beauty and erotic violence. Finally Salvation shipped me the DVD, and I could finally see my second Rollin movie - after I'd seen Grapes of Death in a movie theatre back in the 80ies. So I set down, pressed play and watched two beauties (though strange beauties)lost somewhere in Europe who stumble upon the last vampire and his red-haired desciples. So what to expect? Rollin is no Franco, so anyone reading about torture scenes should proceed with caution here: Rollin cannot decide whether he wants to recreate the silent beauty of Dryers "Vampyr" or create an exploitation movie. So you'll sit for the first 35 minutes whatching the girls walking through fields, woods, graveyards and nothing - absolutely nothing - happens. The way it is filmed though creates a dreamlike atmosphere that can drag you - if you like this kind of movies (like Eraserhead) - into this surreal world. Then they meet the red haired witches in a (not really impressive) castle - a little bit of violence and nudity - and then again they run through the woods for 20 minutes (this movie is 70 minutes long !!!). The vampire himself is not very impressive and some "effects" are truly laughable, detracting from the sense of wonder the movie had tried to create. Then, the S/M scenes: They are not what you'd expect, not like the Franco-stuff you might have seen. It's more like recreating the paintings of Bosch, and so there is little to no action in these scenes, it's more like looking at photographs. And they are very short, and in-between. So don't expect half an hour of relentless torture.You can see the lack of money everywhere in this movie and I think the endless woods-walkings have to do more with them being cheaply to film than with any artistic imagry. But they work and that's ok.Technically, you can't expect more from a 70ies low-budget (nearly amateur level) flick. Salvation/Redemption did a great job there. Although I miss the director's commentary, the private behind-the-scenes stills are funny. All in all the movie is short and the extras do little to enhance the value. Salvation should take a look at the DVDs from Something Weird to see how it's done."
Paris and Nicole with unshaven armpits meet Vampires.
Mark James Drummond | 09/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This can best be described as what happens when a horny French teenager gets his hands on a movie camera after reading too many issues of "Vampirella". If you're looking for an artistic masterpiece or eye-popping horror, forget it. If you want an unintentionally silly, cheesy,sleazy(a bat in the shrubbery!) 1970's film, it is perfect. Director Jean Rollin tries to get arty in places, but the occasionally choppy editing and forcedness of the shots deflate every attempt. Questions abound: If the two female leads were cutting some school party in their clown costumes, why carry guns(much less shoot at their pursuer and torch their dead driver)? Why does every man have Gerard Depardieu's nose? How was Rollin prescient enough to cast that blonde chick who somehow looks hotter today than she did back then? Anyway, this film is perfectly enjoyable on its own terms, and worth owning due to some shots that no Hollywood film could get away with today."
Rollin curbs his cheeseball tendencies and makes an art film
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 04/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Requiem for a Vampire (Jean Rollin, 1971)
As usual, when you see a Jean Rollin film, you can be relatively sure you're going to get beautiful women and really cheesy effects. What's surprising about this one, however, is how entirely different it is from any other Rollin movie I've seen. And the things that make it different-- the things that seem to have made legions of Rollin fans consider this one of his worst movies-- are the things I think make it the strongest. Legend has it that the producers of the film asked Rollin for a single scene (which should be obvious, if you've seen more than one Rollin film) and let him free to do whatever he wanted with the rest of the movie. As such, he did quite a few things here that he'd never done before, and that he never did again.
The plot: two schoolgirls, Marie (Rollin regular Marie-Pierre Castel) and Michelle (Mirielle D'Argent, another Rollin regular, though she and Castel worked together in only two films-- this and Lips of Blood), find themselves lost in the countryside in clown suits after a high-speed chase and shootout that leaves their accomplice (Paul Bisciglia) dead. While trying to get their bearings, they wander onto the grounds of a chateau inhabited by a family of vampires, led by the enigmatic Last Vampire, who seems to have conflicting ideas on what he wants from the girls.
The first thing that will likely strike you about this movie is the almost total lack of dialogue in its first forty-five minutes. In an essentially silent movie, all you have is the visuals. And what visuals they are. There's some minor, and distracting, attempt to explain later why these two lovely young things are wandering around in clown suits. But who cares? Not Rollin, and certainly not us. They even take them off for a bit and then put them back on. I'm sure there's all kinds of weird psychological stuff going on (especially when Michelle comes close to getting buried alive by the world's least attentive gravedigger during the brief time they're not wearing their clown stuff), but beyond that there's just the simple fact that this makes absolutely no sense-- and Rollin has no intention of having it make sense. But does it have to? In poetry, the most important thing is not the words, but the sound the words make as they run together. Why should it be any different with movies and visuals?
There are also scenes here that achieve something I've never gotten from a Rollin film to date-- they're disturbing. The Last Vampire's thralls are bestial on their good days, and the whole batch keeps a few human women chained up in the basement for releasing of the beasts' tension. It's the scene where Rollin is most Rollin, sexploitation central, but there's more to it than that. It's not so much that it's savage; it's actually quite the opposite. I suppose for some, it will simply have the effect of shattering any sort of suspension of disbelief. I just kept wondering what sort of depraved mind could come up with a scene like this, and then choreograph it so beautifully. It's powerful, in a rough, raw sort of way. Which is always what Jean Rollin is about, really. *** ½ "