"The Rape of the Vampire"(1968)Directed by Jean Rollin
Starring: Solange Pradel, Bernard Letrou
I was expecting the film to be incoherent. The first segment is very linear and normal, employing extremely expressive and original camera angles. The second part, "La Reine Des Vampires" is a lot more confusing, but exhibits the same level of visual excellence and dreamlike, naive atmosphere. Even though the story does get very fragmented and it's best to give up on following the constantly multiplying numbers of characters, I wasn't put off or bored. "Le viol du Vampire" is haphazard and unstructured, like Jess Franco's "Succubus" or Jodorowsky's "Holy Mountain". It's a slow and slightly pretentious film, but it doesn't feel artificial because it's got its' heart in the right place. The same can be said about the majority of Rollin's films. He may not have professional actors, but he nevertheless gets them to deliver emotional performances and create interesting, if not realistic, characters. The acting may be unpolished, but Rollin has a natural gift for drama which he displays more consistently then the other Eurotica directors (Franco, D'Amato) whom he often gets bundled up with. The story is a mess, but a poetic mess, and the images are arresting. "Le viol du Vampire" is more more adventurous with cinematography then director's more popular films "Fascination" and "La Morte Vivante". I have the warmest feelings for this very brave film and will be rewatching it again.