Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Jess Franco slasher film, Bloody Moon.

For those who are not familiar with Jess Franco, all i can say is that this is most definatly a place i wouldnt start at. Essentially all this is is Franco's foray into the 80's slasher scene. This is also a period in Franco's career that was pretty awful. Like all slashers the plot and the characters decisions are extremly frustrating. Example is scene were a chick is in her bedroom with another friend when the freind is murdered while the other girl looks in a closet. Never hearing the sounds of murder, even though shes just a foot away. But thats not were the absurdity ends. The chick comes out of the closet to find her friend lying on her bed with a knife planted firmly in her heart. So she does the right thing and runs out of the house screaming. Only to come back to the scene with others to find the body missing. She seems to accept the fact that maybe she just imagined it and goes to school the next day only to see the empty seat of her freind, were she ends up wondering were she could be!? Umm...didnt you just see her murdered last night!! But all the typical bullshit aside, this is a Jess Franco film. And though most who dont have a love affair with his films or have never really taken the time to study this underrated artist...then youll never get why this is more than just a slasher film. Because those of us who love the man and his work know and appreciate what hes capable of both good and very bad. This falls into the almost very bad. But it does have style and Franco style is more than half of the love affair.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Jean Rollin's Lip Of Blood.

The few Rollin films that ive seen have come across as surreal grim fairy tales with the photography and gothic locations that transend lower budget constraints. And thats how a true film artist does it. He knows how to manipulate the low budget to become a part of the atmosphere and lets you focus on the beauty he creates. And this is one of the main reasons i have such a love for Euro genre films of the 50's through the 80's. Especially Italian, Spanish and French.
Lips Of Blood is a beautiful film and from my limited experience with Rollin his most linear in terms of plot. Ive only seen Fascination, Shiver Of The Vampires and now this...unless you count the footage he shot for Jess Franco's A Virgin Amoung The Livivng Dead?

With Lips Of Blood there is very little dialogue which was a good thing because those subtitles were pretty fast at times. The female vampires are typical of 60's - 70's Euro vampires in terms of them being extremely seductive while being able to walk through scenes in a blank gaze. They are all 'clothed' in see through shawl wraps. They embody seductive sexuality.
Basically the story goes like this, A young man named Frederic goes on a quest after veiwing a poster of a castle which looks vaguly familiar to him from dreams. He has suppressed memories of his childhood and only his mother has been the one to tell him what took place during those missing years after his fathers death. But after becoming obssessed with the poster these memories start making their way to his conscious. In these visions he sees himself as a child wandering a beach front castle. As the light of day slowly turns to night this young boy is confronted with the vision of a beautiful woman in white who invites him to the castle were he is to take shelter from the dangers that lay outside of the castle's gates. After sleeping outside of the castle the boy is awaken by the woman just before the sun rises and is told it was now safe to return to his home. Young Frederic tells the woman he loves her and promises to one day return to her then makes his way home.
The key to his supressed memories lies in the location of castle from the poster. With the aid of a specteral vision of woman from his dreams, Frederic sets off on a quest to find this castle,his love and his fate. The plot is very inspiring.
Annie Brilland plays the seductive woman whom the child meets. Annie Brilland not only has the main protaginist under her spell but she also had me.
Lips of Blood is a prime example of why European horror is the best in the world! The locations are all beautiful be it the Castle or the streets and alleys of Paris. Rollin knows how to make the locations central to the atmosphere. This is essential veiwing, especially if your into the Erotic Vampire films of the 70's.