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"This movie is quite different from the usual Jean Rollin film. There is practically no nudity or blood or softcore eroticism. It is tamer however it is visually more impressive than most of his other works. So those who prefer to watch Rollin films for purpose of atmosphere, elaborate sets and artistic value might find this to be one of his better efforts.Two blind young women enter "Les Glycines", a religious orphanage in rural France. Apparently, the two lost their sight at a very early age and for no apparent reason. Assigned to the case is Dr. Dennary, an expert eye specialist who seeks to unravel some of the reasons for their condition. Little do the doctor and the nuns in the orphanage know that at night, the two girls can see just fine. At night is when the two girls turn into vampires and sneak out of their bedroom window to scour the orphanage's external surroundings for human blood. After a while, Dr. Dennary and the two orphans will relocate to Paris in an apartment, which suits the two orphans just fine since in the city the streets at night are a haven for fresh blood..."Two Orphan Vampires" captures a good 70's eurohorror vibe but with a modern look and minus the grainy picture. There is precious little gore effects in this one, besides a sickening scene involving the throat-ripping of a dog in a cemetery. Mostly it's just a few blood capsules dripping down the orphans' necks when they kill a victim. There is only one scene of nudity, where the two orphans (who barely look older than eighteen I might add) bare all at dusk during one of their night crawling expeditions. Despite the absence of nudity and blood (or action, for that matter) what kept my eyes glued to the screen was the amazing sense of atmosphere Rollin created. The scenic shots of rural France and Paris are stunning, filled with ancient architectural pieces, statues, cathedrals, churches, cemeteries, etc. There was a very surrealist feel to this movie, Rollin's sets akin to a painter's art. The other major reason to watch this film of course is the two leads, first-time actresses Alexandra Pic and Isabelle Teboul. They are the centrepiece of the entire movie, as there are very few other characters in the film. While in no way is their acting great, or even good, these two very attractive young women still managed to ooze presence and sensuality. However the omni-presence of these two young leads cannot hide many of the film's faults, the least of which are the lack of action and slow pacing throughout. There were also many things that simply made no sense; Why does night sometimes look so bright? Why are passer-by's the least bit scared of these two young women before even knowing they're vampires? Why do the streets of Paris look semi-deserted, even during the day? Personally, I chose not to let these things bother me too much and instead focused on Rollin's artistic wizardry and flair for the visual. So no, "Two Orphan Vampires" doesn't exactly qualify as a masterpiece but to my eyes it was still very entertaining throughout. That was probably in no small part due to the two female leads being developed so well. We spend the entire film with them, and grow a strange attachment to them that makes us want to see everything that happens to them. This kept me entertained despite the slow pace. Though the movie was solid, I got my biggest kick from watching the extras on this disc. The interview portions are the most fascinating. Both the two main actresses are interviewed and then of course there's director Jean Rollin who came across as one of the most energetic and radiating film directors I've ever seen interviewed. A discussion with Rollin is the exact opposite of pulling teeth; ask him a question and he'll talk non-stop for the next 10 minutes or so. His explanations as to why he has decided to tackle vampirism for nearly his entire career were fascinating for a long-time horror fan like me."
Still scratching my head
Roger C. Martin | Austin, TX USA | 03/17/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I had never seen a Jean Rollin film before until I saw this one. I don't quite know what to make of it (that's why I gave it 3 stars). Part of me wants to watch it again and again and another part of me wants to use the damn DVD as a beer coaster. This film appears to be more of an "artsy" type of flick than a vampire movie. The imagery in the movie is pretty good, even though most of it has nothing to do with the "plot" (a plot that is paper thin). To me, the best things about this movie are the main characters (two gorgeous young French girls) and the dialogue. Not that what they are saying is very interesting, but it's the WAY they say it, and the fact that they are speaking French in a pretty sexy way. (That being said, make sure you watch the movie with French audio, not English. The DVD offers English subtitles in case you don't speak French.) Speaking of sexy, there is one pretty good nude scene in which both girls (who are very hot) get naked in front of one another. They also occasionally lick blood from each others necks. All in all, not a great movie, but worth checking out. "
A dreamlike fairy tale
Camille | USA | 09/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This isn't just another horror movie. This film caught me in it's spell of strangeness and beauty. I can't really explain it. It's childlike, dreamlike, and beautiful. You'll have to watch it for yourself to see what I mean. Best when watched with subtitles. I really loved this film."
"Our chaos is mad poetry"
Carlos Burning | North Syracuse, USA | 03/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In many respects "Two Orphan Vampires" epitomizes the films of Jean Rollin. Its subject matter is Rollin's favorite: murderous but strangely vulnerable vampires. His protagonists are (as usual) two girls--possibly lesbian, certainly vampiric. Furthermore, the film's overall atmosphere, a disquieting blend of elegy and fairy tale, is typical of Rollin's work. Nevertheless, "Two Orphan Vampires" stands out as the great director's finest masterpiece--a poetic gem whose underlying theme is nothing less than the Imagination itself. Though the film's predacious central characters, Henriette and Louise, are raised in a Catholic orphanage, thence removed to the Parisian mansion of their adoptive father--their actual home is within their own minds. Typically adolescent, the two girls share a secret fantasy world based largely on all the forbidden literature they can borrow or pilfer--fantastic picture books, penny dreadfuls, horrific chapbooks, etc. Absolutely Romantic, they allow their Gothic imagination to enter the real world in a quintessentially Gothic form: they practice vampirism. Who can blame them? The normal world, as presented by Rollin, is unbearably dismal. Initially it is symbolized by the orphanage's monotony. At the film's close the world contracts to an indifferent, motionless swamp. Given these prospects, along with the apparent death or slumber of God(s), Henriette and Louise declare bloody war against the status quo. Vive L'Imagination! Rollin's idea, expressed through his heroines' actions, couldn't be clearer: "I think I am a vampire; therefore I am a vampire." (My apologies to Descartes.) Naturally, Henriette and Louise lack a classical vampire's superhuman powers. Though they claim to have night-vision, they use a flashlight to read one of their fantastic books at night. Furthermore, one of their first victims (legendary Brigitte Lahaie) observes that even their vampiric fangs are fake! Their limitations notwithstanding, the two girls manage to bring down a number of victims, usually by well-coordinated surprise attacks. Of course, as their vampirism springs from their inner Romanticism, their relish for blood is quite excessive. Unfortunately, as the young vampiresses' contempt for the all-too-human world becomes more pronounced, their attacks grow more audacious--which makes their defeat inevitable... Perfectly cast as the film's title characters, Mlles. Alexandra Pic and Isabelle Teboul are a joy to behold. While each possesses a unique beauty, together they are downright sublime! Combining youthful playfulness with a true longing for adventure; infinitely tender toward each other, while despising everyone else as something akin to sacrificial cattle: Alexandra and Isabelle are at once wonderful and malefic--perfect emblems of Romantic Imagination! Thus they've earned a place among the greatest horror film girls--Ingrid Pitt and Soledad Miranda. And that comparison alone indicates that "Two Orphan Vampires" is as excellent a film as "The Vampire Lovers" or "Vampyros Lesbos"--classics of the genre.
One of my favorites
d. logan | 12/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i enjoy the films of jean rollin and i find myself watching this one time and again. there's nothing like a rollin's vampire film and i love this one."