Probably the most goth/gothic film ever made. If you thought that gothic meant spider webs and crimson red curtains think again: a stale grey, bleak, rainy Normandic/Belgian Autumn day and night is what La Rose De Fer gives you. The type of day you would normally cancel your film crew for because the weather is so devoid of atmosphere it’ll kill your film. Rollin’s best work
The Iron Rose and Jean Rollin have a cult following but there are little redeeming qualities about this campy, juvenile film. It accomplishes no meaningful social or political work and breaks no boundaries. No self-reflection on French post-colonial identity, gender relations or a world economy undergoing drastic collapse and reform in the early 70s. A frivolous exercise organized around Françoise Pascal’s breasts.
Somehow captivating in its moodiness and latent eroticism despite making little sense. The transition of the woman from being scared of the cemetery to loving those dead people (maybe she seems dead people, too), the walkthroughs of Bozo the Clown, the leering monk and Count Chocula, the impulse of the lovers to jump into an open crypt for "privacy," all make this high on the weirdness quotient.
Given the more than passing resemblance of the main man to Bryan Ferry I almost expected Brian Eno to rise from the crypt amidst an array of keyboards whilst some of the statuary monuments metamorphosed into Andy Mackay and the rest of the band for a rendition of Do The Strand. Sadly it wasn't to be.