Monday, June 16, 2008

Poppy Seeds Around the Tombstone

The Rape of the Vampire (1967)
directed by Jean Rollin
rating: 1 out of 5 cravats
on DVD from Netflix

Another French "master" of the macabre can't move his hippie antics past the provocation of a few strangely passive scenes of vampiric sexuality. You know when the DVD menu features a color photo of a late-1990s Gothic bride with a set of fangs and an over-imaginative veil that the black-and-white arthouse movie you read about somewhere probably didn't get a home-video release with expectations much beyond the average Friday night teenage voyeur. Which makes me feel... a little embarrassed, frankly.

I'll be generous with two particular creative points: one, that vampirism is a disease with an antidote (a la Near Dark), and two, that a vampire whose eyes have been branded from her head cannot be killed by daylight. That makes the myth of a vampire slain by the sun (per Wikipedia: "though folkloric vampires were believed to be more active at night, they were not generally considered vulnerable to sunlight," emphasis mine) less an alarming allergic reaction and more a blasphemy against the bright face of God.