Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media

Requiem for a Vampire (1971)
Redemption USA | Buy at Amazon | Review by Louis Fowler

OK. I am on, what? My fifth Jean Rollin film in a row now? What the fuck am I doing with my life?

I now feel a completely depressing disconnect between myself and reality. After I finished 1971's REQUIEM FOR A VAMPIRE, I took my dog for a walk around my stereotypical American condo-complex and the bats in the trees screeched louder, the wind in the grass whipped longer and the shadows between both of them...they seemed to move of their own accord, as if being threshed by an unseen, low-budget supernatural force. Am I entering the dream-like Euro-trashed world of Rollin's design? Has my perception become completely disjointed and disfigured from an overload of the French auteur's works? Was my Sauvignon blanc laced with lysergic toxins I was unaware of?

The films of Jean Rollin make me question the whole idea of existence because they capture an existence that, well, should not exist. They capture a world that has only been bandied about when I sleep, right down to the drenched and faded film-stock. REQUIEM FOR A VAMPIRE isn't a film, it's a two-star fever-dream that I can't shake.

Two schoolgirls in clown costumes that look like they were stolen from the set of David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes" video end up at countryside chateau that's home to a lair of vampires. Well, not really: there's one main vampire who dying. The others are in the process of turning but they aren't doing a very good job of it. Three fat guys rape some chicks in a dungeon and... there's some fake bats, too.

Look: the story here isn't important. With Rollin, it really never is. The whole point of REQUIEM is to distort and destroy the world around you. To trick your mind into seeing things deeper than you would ever want to. Or... or maybe I'm just tired and burnt-out after watching five of these things in a row. Maybe, in the morning, I'll see things clearer. I'll see that Rollin is just a right-time, right-place hack who is inept at both horror and skin-flicks?

The fake bats aren't helping, Jean.



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