Les Raisins de la mort (The Grapes of Death) (1978)
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Critic Reviews for Les Raisins de la mort (The Grapes of Death)
If you appreciate Rollin's gothic, sexually provocative films, you should love this, his most suspenseful and accessible production ever.
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Audience Reviews for Les Raisins de la mort (The Grapes of Death)
Jean Rollin's "Grapes of Death" is a refreshing living dead poem, and an effective low key horror film from France's gentleman auteur. After Elizabeth (Marie-Georges Pascal) encounters a rotting man and the corpse of her traveling companion on a deserted train, she flees into the countryside where she must battle a plague of the sad, tortured dead. The "grapes" of the title relate to the cause of the spreading problem. Rollin's films have always found horror and dread in rural landscapes and crumbling architecture; in "Grapes" the fascination with these elements continues and is intensified by suitably evocative photography. Despite some ropey focus and action sequences that don't quite cut smoothly, this is the director's most technically polished work and an important addition to French "cinefantastique". Although the plot line bears some similarity to Romero's "The Crazies" and the visuals pre-date the recent dead-on-arrival French "Revenants" (see review), Rollin does not run this show along traditional genre lines. Instead, he has the heroine Pascal encountering a blind woman who is oblivious to the contagion and a recluse (Brigitte Lahaie) who may be her savior in a white nightie. Elizabeth's final reunion with her boyfriend has a sad, tragic quality that becomes, like the rest of the film, quite surreal. There is sporadic gore and the violence is shockingly sudden in parts, but Rollin's trademark dream-like pacing and social commentary are there to be enjoyed and appreciated.
More dreamy weirdness from Jean Rollin, who I have to say that I think I really love as a director, due in no small part to his strange style of film-making, which always feels like I'm trapped in a Eurotrash person's fever dream. Worth a look if you know what you're getting into, as this won't be for all tastes.
Atmospheric French 70s horror flick. Not the most original story (Poison wine turn populace into disfigured crazed killers) but very well done. Violent + bloody (hey, this is the country that brought us the Grand-Guignol). Inventive gore. Cool use of locations. Worth a peak.
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