In the third part of their series inspired by Cathal Tohill and Pete Tombs’ book Immoral Tales: European Sex & Horror Movies, 1956-1984, Kat and Samm explore the work of French poète maudit Jean Rollin. First, they discuss Rollin’s colorful, Franju-inspired second feature, La vampire nue (1970) aka The Nude Vampire, about a suicide cult’s obsession with a young female vampire. Their leader, a nefarious businessman, tries to use medical science to unlock the secret in her blood, while his son has fallen in love with her and hopes to set her free.
Also discussed is Rollin’s iconic Fascination (1979), about a turn of the century cult of women who routinely drink human blood and are set upon by a young criminal who thinks he has taken them prisoner; this film encapsulated many of Rollin’s favorite themes, including female agency, sexual power, and the transgressive potential of violence. Finally, Kat and Samm discuss Rollin’s devastating yet poetic La morte vivante (1981) aka The Living Dead Girl, about a young woman who wakes up in an animalistic state after years of death, but is nursed back to health by her devoted childhood friend. Unfortunately, she craves human flesh and blood in order to survive, setting in motion a tragic chain of events.
Samm is editing and Kat contributed to a book on the work of Rollin — Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Roll — written by all female writers, critics, and historians. If you can, please contribute to the Indiegogo campaign or share it on social media. There are lots of exciting perks and every little bit will help get the book printed in full color.
Don’t forget to please order a copy of the next issue of Diabolique Magazine in print here.