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jean rollin
Virgins and Vampires, 1997
Jean Rollin

"For a quarter of a century English cinephiles have tended to resist Jean Rollin's work, his descents into hermetically sealed worlds of desolate chateaus, solitary vampires and violent seduction, and above all the bizarre genius and poetic imagery with which he weaves his morbid fascinations"

-- - Daniel Bird, from Necronomicon Book 1, edt. Andy Black, 1996

Date Title Source IMDB DVD Reviews
1968 The Rape of the Vampire DVD IMDB
1968 The Nude Vampire DVD IMDB DVD
1970 Shiver of the Vampires DVD IMDB
1971 Requiem pour un Vampire DVD IMDB DVD
1972 The Crystal Rose DVD IMDB
1973 Demoniacs DVD IMDB DVD
1974 Lips of Blood DVD IMDB B
1975 The Seduction of Amy DVD IMDB DVD
1978 Grapes of Death DVD IMDB B
1979 Fascination DVD IMDB DVD
1980 Night of the Hunted DVD IMDB
1980 Zombie Lake DVD IMDB DVD
1981 The Runaways DVD IMDB
1982 The Living Dead Girl DVD IMDB B
1983 Sidewalks of Bangkok DVD IMDB
1991 Lost in New York DVD IMDB DVD
1993 Killing Car DVD IMDB
1995 The Two Vampire Orphans DVD IMDB B
2002 Fiancee of Dracula DVD IMDB
For a complete filmography go to the IMDB

Born: Nov 3, 1938, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris

France's sole horror auteur, Rollin prefers the label 'fantastique' to describe his erotic, rhyming, manifestly personal work. Typified by wistful lesbian vampires and a narcotic narrative drive, his films use gothic paraphernalia to ponder the paired mysteries of death and desire. They are also thoroughly Gallic, blending the melancholy romance of the poetic realists with the generic play of the nouvelle vague. Meagre budgets accentuate a surreal sensibility, with fetishtically attired players sighted amid derelict locations.

His freeform monochrome debut LE VIOL DU VAMPIRE attracted fluke attention by opening in Paris at the height of les evenements. Originally intended as a short, it boasts a second half that oneirically resurrects a cast killed at the end of the first.
- David Prothero from BFI Companion to Horror edt. Kim Newman, 1996.

"the fantastique is the opposite of the supernatural" - Jean Rollin.
What he wants is to introduce the fantastic elements into the everyday world, to push the normal until it becomes the super-normal. The key to this is the creation of an atmosphere in which anything could happen - and frequently does. His films are based around images and sequences of images, not around the logical, point-by-point exposition of a screenplay. The genesis of many of his films is a particular place that catches his attention or a specific image. Other images then follow, and often the screenplay is an exercise in linking the pictures that come almost ready formed to his mind.

"A grandfather clock is of no interest - a vampire woman getting out of this clock at midnight, that's me!" - Jean Rollin
Which is not to say that the stories in his films are unimportant. They are essential elements in helping to create a mood, giving strength to the introduction of outre elements that move the plot on to its next stage. Without the narrative, the images would lack focus. In LE FRISSON DES VAMPIRES, for example, there is a scene where the vampire, Dominique, emerges at midnight from inside a grandfather clock. The scene has narrative and dramatic sense, and is a startling image in itself; but if the film had consisted of nothing but such moments, the emotional impact of them would be lost. It's the poetry inherent in these scenes that Rollin wants to cultivate, not the shock value of them. His ideal is to find images that are strong enough in themselves to need no final rational explanation. To him, the need to explain takes away the power of the images.
- Immoral Tales, European Sex and Horror Movies 1956-1984 - edt. Cathal Tohill and Pete Tombs, 1994.

Official Jean Rollin site - Virgins and Vampires - the films of Jean Rollin from Shocking Images. Includes interviews, DVD's, Downloads and updates.

Mondo Erotico - The films of Jean Rollin site - Includes updates on current DVD and Video releases around the world.

Immoral Tales, European Sex and Horror Movies 1956-1984 - edt. Cathal Tohill and Pete Tombs, 1994. - Excellent chapter on the films of Jean Rollin.

Virgins and Vampires - from Crippled Publishing 1997. - Contains more than 650 colour and B+W photos from the private archive of Jean Rollin, essays and interview with Jean Rollin. Unfortunately out of print and hard to find.

Necronomicon Book One, edt by Andy Black, 1996, Creation Books, London - Contains 2 essays on the films of Jean Rollin