The Shiver of the Vampires
The Shiver of the Vampires
A young honeymooning couple stop for the night at an ancient castle. Unbeknownst to them, the castle is home to a horde of vampires, who have their own plans for the couple.
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French hippie horror art film
Jean Rollin's early films are an acquired taste with their accent on mood
and atmosphere over linear plot structure. This film is the best of his
early output, right up there with LES RAISINS DE LA MORT. It's got a
prog-rock music score, long-haired hippie vampires, old cemeteries and
castles lit in bright shades of red, blue and green. Rollin's first feature
was like a pretentious student film. His second feature added a little
science fiction to the vampire mythos. But it's here that all the
ingredients came together in just the right way. I still find myself
falling asleep during the nonsensical dialog scenes or long takes but am
always riveted back to the screen by the next striking scene to come.
Le Monde Fantastique de Jean Rollin
"Les Frissons des Vampires" can't be considered, in the strict sense, a
horror film, because there are no suspense and/or scares waiting for
the viewer. What the film has to offer is atmosphere, plenty of
atmosphere. The plot is thin: a couple arrives in a castle, in order to
pay the fiancÃ©e's two cousins, a visit (they were once brave vampire
hunters, but one night they fell in battle, and became afterwards
enthusiastic vampires). These cousins, together with their team (two
beautiful servant maids and a solemn vampire girl that emerges out of
the most unexpected places), prowl around the innocent guests. This
stuff could lead to a really suspenseful film, but I guess that was not
Jean Rollin's intention.The lighting effects create beautiful night colors. Every new night,
bathed in a different color - the castle - a visual leitmotif. The
conversations are frequently literary (especially the two philosopher
vampire cousins) and a self-parody - not to be taken seriously.
Delicate camera movements, strange angle shots, various colored lights
flooding landscape, castle and graveyard.... the idyllic prog rock of
Acanthus..... the fog grows and spreads in wonderland.We should relearn to watch films. "Les Frissons des Vampires" is
slow-paced - maybe if you just relax and don't hang too much on the
story, you may experience the film - enjoy its gorgeous colors effects,
its poetic-humoristic dialogues (spoken in French, a very sweet
language) and its bizarre atmosphere.Welcome to the fantasy world of Jean Rollin. Give free reins to your
senses and imagination. Dive in.
Nothing in cinema like it.
Unforgettable Rollin extravaganza, daring to go for effects other
would dismiss as cheesy, and pulling them off. On one level, it seems
exploitation, with its somnolent virgins and lesbian vampires; but it is
prospective male viewer that the film targets - his representative on
is reduced to an impotent observer, finally breaking down into helpless
madness. Rollin's style is as delirious as ever, fantastic French Gothic
sets, seeping red filter, dreamlike pace, bewilderingly inventive
soundtrack, resonant set-pieces and unmissably pretentious dialogue. It's
easier to follow than THE RAPE OF THE VAMPIRE.
Read more IMDb reviews
Perhaps it's a matter of personal taste...
Perhaps it's a matter of personal taste, or the lack thereof; I love Jean
Rollin movies, and this Rollin film in particular I've seen several times.
Of all the European erotic horror of the sixties and seventies, Rollin's
movies most effectively maintain a certain morbid psychedelic vibe, a
genuinely Gothic atmosphere, which most of his peers' work only captures
fitfully, at best. "Shiver of the Vampires" was the movie that firmly
established my fondness for this entire genre; and if it sounds
to you, do yourself a favor and seek it out, especially the Redemption
which is gorgeously mastered from (according to the liner notes) the
director's own print.