Le Frisson des vampires (The Shiver of the Vampires) (1970) - Rotten Tomatoes

Le Frisson des vampires (The Shiver of the Vampires) (1970)

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Movie Info

French cult director Jean Rollin had his roots in the avant-garde film movement, so it's no surprise that many of his early films are nearly unwatchable. This vexing piece of psychedelic nonsense concerns newlyweds Antonio and Ise, who visit an old castle owned by the bride's dead cousins. When Ise is too grief-stricken to consummate her marriage, a vampire named Isolde pops out of a grandfather clock and plays with Ise's breasts then takes her to the cemetery and bites her neck. Isolde is joined by two lesbian servants and Ise's undead cousins -- a pair of bourgeois male vampires who wear hippie clothes and spout incomprehensible philosophy. A subplot involves a village woman named Isabelle, who slept with both of the cousins when they were living vampire-hunters. Isolde ends up killing her while wearing ten-inch spiked pasties. It is up to dull Antonio to get his wife out of the castle before she becomes a vampire, but he fails, so he ends up crying on a beach after Ise, and her cousins are disintegrated by the morning sun. Every other scene seems to use a different colored gel -- from red and blue to a sickly orangish-purple -- and Rollin includes a great deal of mist and wind to add "atmosphere," -- as well as a dreadful score by a teen-rock group called Acanthus, which mercifully disbanded shortly afterward. Rollin eventually improved, becoming a master of erotic horror, but this film shows no evidence of such talent. Sandra Julien co-stars with Jean-Marie Durand, Jacques Robiolles, and Michel Delahaye. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

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Cast

Nicole Nancel
as Isabelle
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Critic Reviews for Le Frisson des vampires (The Shiver of the Vampires)

All Critics (1)

...a mad skin flick for surrealists where bad acting, slapdash effects, and narrative abstraction are transformed into an aesthetic.

Full Review… | February 19, 2012
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Audience Reviews for Le Frisson des vampires (The Shiver of the Vampires)

Two newlyweds find themselves in the midst of bloodthirsty (and sex-crazed) vampires when they stop off to visit their last remaining relatives in France. Jean Rollin's third vampire film is no less strange, twisted, and stylish than any of his others, before or after. SHIVER OF THE VAMPIRES seems to benefit greatly from the works of Mario Bava, as the wild use of color paints the screen in similar tones of blue and red. The odd imagery has a sexy female vampire randomly appear in the most interesting of places, including the inside of a grandfather clock and dropping down through the fireplace. It is difficult to tell whether Rollin is attempting to make a pretentious art film or more sleazy Eurotrash, as several of the scenes make odd use of the camera for no apparent reason (particularly when the two vampire brothers deliver their dialog while bobbing their heads through the arms of a scale). The two foppish cousins give way to high camp, along with the progressive rock beats that line the film. Like the works of Jess Franco and Joe D'amato, SHIVER OF THE VAMPIRES and Jean Rollin will only cater to a very selective audience, though this may be a good starting point for anyone that is interested in experiencing the French Horror of the 1970's. -Carl Manes I Like Horror Movies

Carl Manes
Carl Manes
½

A honeymooning couple stop at a creepy castle to visit the bride's distant cousins, but they've been turned to vampires. Director Jean Rollin's formula is beautiful visuals, thick Gothic atmosphere, a thin but dreamlike plot that's pared down to the bare essentials of the vampire genre, and ample nudity and eroticism. It works here.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

½

A pretty good vampire movie, very 70s, but it lacks fangs, and the story could use some rewriting, but other than that, it's atmospheric and a pretty good vampire movie.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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