Thursday, 4 March 2010



Yet another Jean Rollin production drags itself through the DVD player. This is the most recent of his works that I've seen, and in all honesty what magic there was has faded, because it's not a patch on his semi-glory days. His usual stomping ground consists of nubile lovelies wandering round castles in the nude, and the best of his will always be things like The Living Dead Girl (which I saw in Hampstead fourteen years ago, when a chunk of footage had been inexplicably transplanted from early on in the film to much later - it didn't make much difference) and Le Frisson Des Vampires.

But even when nothing much is happening beyond naked girls traipsing around beaches and ruins, it never tended to be dull. But dull is the word for Dracula's Fiancee, despite a narrative that includes several batches of mad nuns and a dwarf. In a Paris convent, a woman has been kept prisoner by the Order Of The White Virgin until the time for her marriage to Dracula, entombed somewhere on an island awaiting his bride who will set him free. He can also appear to others via a grandfather clock. The nuns have been sacrificing people (mainly other nuns, apparently) to Dracula for years. Meanwhile a Van Helsing-type professor and his assistant (who's in love with the bride) plod along the trail using telepathy. There's also a circus dwarf (complete with jester's cap) who's helping Dracula and is in love with a naked vampire woman. Oh, and another woman whose sole function is to stand around playing the violin.

All this, and even the line "Careful: those nuns have gone totally berserk!" can't liven it up: I could actually feel myself starting to nod off. Despite being fairly short (90 minutes and change) it feels a lot longer. Not Rollin's finest hour by a very long chalk.


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