Mary Poppins Returns
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Jean Rollin's "La Morte Vivante" or "The Living Dead Girl" is an excellent erotic ultra-gory vampire tale and I like it very much.The film has some wonderful atmosphere and some striking images of eternal painful life.There is graphic gore (not much of it) in some scenes, to satisfy fans of extreme horror. Along with all of the gore there is a large amount of beautiful naked women running around. Rollin's trademark photography is naturally here but this film is much gorier than his other films that I've seen.Francoise Blanchard who plays bloodthirsty Catherine is incredibly stunning. Overall,I enjoyed this film and you should too if you like zombie/vampire cinema.There is also an unofficial sequel to this one called "The Revenge of the Living Dead Girls"(1987).
A dead girl comes to life, feeds on the living, and seeks out her childhood blood sister. Bad horror with nudity, silly gore and lots of long dull patches. The least inspiring effort I've seen from Jean Rollin, who usually has moments of inspiration in even his worst films.
A great horror movie. It's faster paced than Rollin's other movies, and a lot more bloody, but it still has enough of his signature atmosphere and beauty. The story is really good too, easy to follow, and very spooky. I loved it. Plus the ending is surprising and brilliant.
La Morte Vivante, or The Living Dead Girl as it's more commonly known as to English speaking audiences, starts with three men in a white van pulling up outside the Valmont family Castle where they unload some barrels of toxic waste. They take the barrels into some catacombs beneath the Castle & dump them there, one of the guys suggests that they venture into the Valmont Family tomb, open the coffins up & steal any jewellery. While doing so a small Earth tremor cause one of the barrels to topple over & leak it's contents, the fumes fill the tomb & brings the corpse of Catherine Valmont (Francoise Blanchard) back to life & Catherine proceeds to kills the three men. Catherine heads upstairs into the Castle & starts to remember her childhood friend Helene (Marina Pierro) while touching a sentimental music box. Catherine phones Helene & plays the tune from the music box to her which instantly reminds her of Catherine so Helene sets off for Valmont Castle. Meanwhile Greg (Mike Marshall) & Barbara (Carina Barone), two American's on holiday, spot Catherine & thinking she looks weird Barbara takes some photo's of her, back at the nearby village Barbara ask's some locals who she is & they all claim that she died over two years ago. Back at Valmont Castle & Helene turns up to find Catherine & two dead bodies, Helene quickly discovers that Catherine needs to drink fresh blood to survive & decides to help Catherine in her quest for victims...
This French production was co-written & directed by Jean Rollin will be a bit weird for most people's taste's. The script by Rollin & Jacques Ralf moves along at a nice pace & isn't too boring. The basic premise is decent enough & had plenty of potential with with a re-animated flesh eating blood drinking zombie roaming around but in the hands of Rollin he turns it into a tragic love story. Catherine knows what she is & is guilt ridden, she tries to regain her humanity but in the end can't & it all ends in tears with a very downbeat climax, she doesn't like what she is but can't do anything about it & Rollin manages to create some sympathy for her. La Morte Vivante was shot partly in both English & French although the dialogue is very sparse & minimal as Rollin, as usual, likes to tell the story through images.
Anyone familiar with French director Rollin's work will not be surprised that La Morte Vivante is full of surreal images, plenty of interesting locations, some nicely lit scenes & has a nice elegance about it. Rollin doesn't forget about the gore either, a man has his eyes poked out, people have their throats ripped open & torn out, there are graphic scenes of bodily mutilation & blood drinking along with a girl being tied up & tortured. There is a fair amount of nudity as well.
Technically La Morte Vivante looks basic but is generally well made. The special make-up effects aren't that realistic but solid for a low budget film. The acting is variable but Blanchard does a pretty good job at expressing emotion & most of the ladies are easy on the eyes.
La Morte Vivantes is a good horror film with a slightly deeper & involving story than one might expect & it passes an hour and a half easily enough. However there are very few meaningful character's, it's a bit shallow & the subtitles may put some people off. Obviously an absolute must for Rollin & Euro horror fans alike but other more casual viewers may be advised to give it a miss.
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