This low budget first film from director Jean Rollin is in reality two very loosely-connected, surreally erotic shorts about vampirism. In the first, three Parisians including a psychoanalyst try to convince four neurotic sisters living in a decaying country chateau that their belief that they are 200 year old vampires is false. The alluring young women are influenced and controlled by a enigmatic disembodied voice which turns out to be the an aging, aristocratic lord of the manor, whose motives are unclear but clearly perverse. Local rustics unite to hunt down and kill the sanguine siblings. In the second, the Queen of the Vampires and her acolytes arrive on the scene, resurrect the dead, and promulgate the cause of the Undead while a medical researcher works to find an antidote to vampirism. —IMDb
Ever since his feature debut with the controversial Rape of the Vampire (1967), French horror auteur Jean Rollin has gained a loyal cult following for his stylishly gothic exercises in erotic horror.
Born into an artistically inclined family on November 3, 1938, in Neuilly-sur-Siene, France, Rollin’s father was an actor and theater director, inspiring both Rollin and his brother to pursue careers in show business. Editing recruitment films during World War II provided Rollin with an entry into film, with the future director finding subsequent work in an animation studio before stepping behind the camera. A scant few years after working as an assistant director in the early ‘60s, Rollin made his feature directorial debut with Rape of the Vampire. Greeted with outrage and violent protest upon release, the film nevertheless established Rollin’s continuing themes of eroticism and vampiric fetish while at the same time finding his visual style developing an atmosphere of otherworldly… read more
Jean Rollin's first film is a bizarre, nonsensical tale of a psychiatrist who tries to convince four vampires that they are actually just mentally ill, while they are convinced they are ageless creatures of the night who were once raped by the villagers. A mostly experimental work, it presages Rollin's penchant for surrealism in later films. There are some great shots to be found here, but the film itself is a mess.