A SLOW but very atmospherical dystopian and apocalyptic film about
countryside people turning into murderous maniacs, maybe also into
dead after drinking wine submitted to pesticide. An environmental
commentary too for sure from the French horror master.
Beautifully filmed in amazing surroundings in, i think ... not sure,
different parts of Occitania in southern France i.a. Gorges de la
Dourbie in the massif
central and in Montmejean (it's listed in the end credits), in areas
where the old christian sect, the mysterious Khatar resided, brutally
the Catholic Church. An area where the occultist, author and SS Obersturmfuhrer
Otto Rahn hunted the secret of the Khatars and the Holy Grail (as
seen in Richard Stanley's fantastic documentary "The Secret Glory
of SS Obersturmfuhrer Otto Rahn", a truly haunting film.
Oh, a minor diversion there, sorry, but this just underpins that the
area where this film (mostly) takes place has a mysterious aura about
The film starts with pictures of wine-growing workers
using pesticide on the plants, and with one worker suddenly feeling
ill. Next, we see 2 women
travelling by train, Elizabeth (Marie-Georges Pascal, very fine in
the role) and Brigitte (Evelyn Thomas). The before mentioned worker
and quickly develops a nasty goey face wound, like if he rots, and
suddenly he turns into a maniac full of murder frenzy and kills Brigitte.
was on her way to a meeting with her boyfriend, working in a wineyard,
has to change her plans and hastily leaves the train, fleeing from
She's running in panic and soon enter the before mentioned beautiful
but desolated landscape and finally an ancient village with most houses
where she seek shelter with a farmer family, a father and daughter,
but he's a wound too and ...
How to not use a pitchfork
Elizabet continues running and soon hooks up with
blind girl Lucie (Mirella Rancelot) and everyone they meet seem to
have turned into murder crazed
maniacs with ugly sores on them. Felix Marten and Serge Marquand is
a pair of un-contaminated hunters and Brigitte Lahaie (in one of her
first, if not
her first, role outside of Porn) as a mysterious woman are some she
meet during her unwanted apocalyptic adventure. Will she survive ?
I've always thought of Jean Rollin as something of
a French equivalence to Spain's Jésus Franco, both were offbeat
filmmakers, both had a lot of
nude Vampiresses in their films and both also made porno movies, but
Rollin wasn't as nihilistic and dark as Jess and he was more sensual
stories of nude vampiressess in coffins (without the streaks of misogyny
that Jesse sometimes had). Jess Franco was more profilic though, maybe.
This Spanish DVD edition is presented in anamorphic
widescreen 1.66:1 and with French audio WITHOUT any english
The old US Synapse DVD in the same aspect ratio and
as extras an interview with Jean Rollin and Brigitte Lahaie plus trailers