...Or, a Jean Rollin film, in other words.
Certainly, this is his best film in years. Despite the sort of technical inadequacies that have always dogged his low-budget work, I have never been able to resist Rollin. Indeed, larger budgets have often hampered him, in that his unique style largely depends on a sense of post-apocalyptic dereliction and a wistful sensuality shot amidst empty castles and isolated necropoli.
If I remember right, Rollin had the largest budget available to him so far, yet does not make the mistakes he made with Deamoniacs (the first film where he had any real money) and fill the run time with lots of pointless but boring "action" sequences. Instead, the extra wad of cash allows him to expand his universe but at the same time revisit many of the locations of the past. And yes, before you ask, that beach IS in it.
As always, Rollin's unique sense of humour is present, though in a far more sophisticated manner than in his previous works(it helps if you see the original French versions). A sequence in a nunnery, for example is underscored by various paintings by Clouvis Trouille seen in the background. Long a huge influence, or rather "brother" in the same fraternity as Rollin, Trouille's work has been referenced more and more in his films as of late. Thank God, none of the campery of Frisson De Vampires here.
Most importantly, Rollin references and recreates images seen in earlier films. The Grandfather clock/TARDIS arrangement; the beach; various castle seen in other works. I could go on. The point is, Rollin has not only taken his time to retrofit is films into one great whole but to also hint that there is one continuous Master Story Arc throughout his entire oeuvre.
If you are new to Rollin, see The Nude Vampire, Rape of the Vampire and Fascination first. If you are a long-term fan you will not be disappointed and, indeed you will await his next film (which, despite all the secrecy, has, in fact finished shooting already) with eager anticipation...
La fiancée de Dracula
La fiancée de Dracula
A Van Helsing-like professor and his protegé are tracking Dracula's descendants through the world of "parallels", creatures who are human in form but live quite distinct psychic lives. A circus dwarf who is in love with one of these creatures leads them to a mansion filled with oddly behaving nuns, The Order of the White Virgins. The nuns are detaining a beautiful woman who is the betrothed of the still-extant Dracula. When she escapes, everyone follows her to Dracula's seaside castle, on the way dealing with a baby-eating ogress and a wolf-woman (Brigitte Lahaie in a cameo), witches and madwomen. The bizarre wedding ritual commences.
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May 29, 2019 at 12:35 AM