THE SHIVER OF THE VAMPIRES (1971) – The Dungeon Review!

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 19:59:53
If you visit the Dungeon regularly you already know I have had a Jean Rollin fixation the past few months. The obsession continues with The Shiver of the Vampires! I fully expected to enjoy the film but not nearly as much as I did! The Shiver of the Vampires definitely ranks among my favourites from Rollin and from the vampire sub-genre period. I have a large appreciation of Rollin’s work and while you can not deny the reoccurring themes and settings each piece feels like a unique entry. The Shiver of the Vampires is richly atmospheric but it is also the most humorous entry I’ve seen from Rollin’s repertoire. There is a heavy hippie vibe mixed in with the gothic goodness and the humour was the perfect touch. The film’s three vampires are an eccentric trio. The film’s two male cousins (who remained nameless) are two of the most flamboyant and entertaining vampires I have happened upon. The two afflicted men were formerly vampire slayers. I especially loved the way Rollin’s camera follows these two, back and forth like a tennis match or round and round in circles. It went a long way to amping up the duos quirky behavior. Isolde is the vampire who made them; a skinny intense broad with one wacky 70s-licious wardrobe. She is like Houdini the way she just appears in a scene. This unholy trinity is an absolute delight!

The Shiver of the Vampires is stylish, sexy, strange, funny and totally enthralling. I love the different color tints Rollin uses; the shades of lavender, blue, green, sepia, it all lends so well to the dream logic of the proceedings. The crumbling castle and its outrageous decor, the graveyard rituals, the beautiful countryside and of course the beach are all wonderful eye-candy. In the eye-candy category there is an array of lovely ladies to behold; often nakedly. With so many brilliant stills to choose from I had a hard time deciding which to eliminate. I saved so many damn pictures in fact that I created two slideshows using the wickedly wild music from its soundtrack provided by Acanthus (coming soon!). Enter if you dare into Shiver of the Vampires country…

Newlyweds Isla and Antoine stop to visit Isla’s cousins. Isabelle, a woman claiming to be the men’s lover informs Antoine that Isla’s cousins are dead. The couple decide to visit the castle anyway. They are greeted by two nubile female servants and are put up for the night. Isla, upset by the news of her cousin’s deaths sends Antoine to sleep elsewhere. While undressing Isla is visited by a woman named Isolde who seduces and feeds on her. The restless Antoine checks on Isla; finding her missing he searches the castle. Antoine witnesses a disturbing ritual so surreal he thinks he might have dreamt it. It will not be the last disturbing or surreal sight for Antoine as the couple soon learn the mystery behind the cousin’s demise.

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 19:58:58Screenshot from 2013-07-02 19:59:40Nicole Nancel plays Isabelle; here she attends the sepia-toned funeral of her two lovers.

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 20:11:44Kuelan Herce and Marie-Pierre Castel play two female servants or  “ghouls” if you will.

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 20:15:28Dominique plays Isolde a powerful vampire who spends the entire film “popping up” here and there. She comes sliding down a chimney, up a well, out of a clock and from behind curtains. Here she “pops up” from her grave.

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 20:19:05Screenshot from 2013-07-02 20:19:16Sandra Julien and Jean-Marie Durand play Isla and Antoine who stop to visit Isla’s cousins at their castle.

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 20:20:48The ghouls welcome them.

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 20:33:07Isolde introduces herself to Isla by entering her room through a grandfather clock while she is undressing.

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 20:35:53The castle at night.

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 20:38:48Isla donates some blood.

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 20:41:04Jacques Robiolles and Michel Delahave play the cousins… here the boys are post-indulgance. These two are seriously entertaining!

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 20:46:30Screenshot from 2013-07-02 20:47:20Antoine enters the violent library (Violent Library is the name of a piece of music on the soundtrack for this film). Books come flying from the shelves at him!

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 20:56:28Screenshot from 2013-07-02 20:56:44The ghouls serve many purposes besides preparing meals for long-lost relatives.

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 21:00:35Screenshot from 2013-07-02 21:00:47Isla is once again visited by Isolde.

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 21:05:39Isolde in a bat-shit crazy costume! Those are some dangerous looking pasties!

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 21:05:58One of the ghouls attends to Isabelle.

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 22:00:49Screenshot from 2013-07-02 22:01:37The final ceremony…the ghouls prepare in matching outfits.

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 21:20:03A ritual for Isla,  It is her family’s fate.

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 22:03:18The cousins feed on Isla.

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 22:04:51Isolde’s coffin is set on fire.

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 22:06:45Isolde feeds on herself.

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 22:08:00The ghouls look on.

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 22:09:57Isla awakes on the beach.

Screenshot from 2013-07-02 22:12:07The Shiver of the Vampires gets my highest of recommendations; a perfect score!

Dungeon Rating: 5/5

Directed By: Jean Rollin

Starring: Sandra Julien, Jean-Marie Durand, Jacques Robiolles, Michel Delahaye, Marie-Pierre Castel, Kuelan Herce, Nicole Nancel, Dominique

12 Responses to “THE SHIVER OF THE VAMPIRES (1971) – The Dungeon Review!”

  1. To my mind the most accessible and succesful of Rollin’s vampire films, even if sometimes I think the best thing about it is the Art Deco poster! And hey, look, it concludes with a trip to the beach? Who would have guessed.

    • goregirl Says:

      I think ultimately The Iron Rose is still my number one but I think this would be next. I loved the humor…that is what really hit the spot….it has all those things I enjoy (like the beach) about Rollin with laughs.

      • Im about 40 minutes on this flick but am not finding it to be satisfying the least bit. I do see the excellent imagery and lighting you talked about in your review but its just missing something. The one thing i will agree with is i thought The Iron Rose was brilliant when i viewed it a few weeks back. While i like my share of 70’s rock it just doesnt work for me in this film and seems way out of place.

  2. Excellent review as always. Probably my favorite Rollin horror film,and I love them all! A shame Sandra Julien didn’t make many films. Your reviews and videos always brighten the day(or night) in Conrad Land,Goregirl! : )

    • goregirl Says:

      Iron Rose is my numero uno but Shiver is right behind! Julien is lovely…it is too bad she wasn’t in more 🙂

  3. I purchased this in a 3-pack of Rollin films last year and enjoyed all three – it has a dreamlike quality as do most of Rollin’s films.

  4. I haven’t seen this in a while. Fantastic images!!!!

    • goregirl Says:

      Thanks Jo 🙂 Such a great looking film…it was hard deciding what pics to lose. And than again all of Rollin’s films are quite easy on the eyes.

  5. Sorry, that comment was meant for another blog, I’m not sure how it ended up on this one…

    Great post though!

  6. […] Newlyweds Isla and Antoine stop to visit Isla’s cousins. Isabelle, a woman claiming to be the men’s lover informs Antoine that Isla’s cousins are dead. The couple decide to visit the castle anyway. They are greeted by two nubile female servants and are put up for the night. Isla, upset by the news of her cousin’s deaths sends Antoine to sleep elsewhere. While undressing Isla is visited by a woman named Isolde who seduces and feeds on her. The restless Antoine checks on Isla; finding her missing he searches the castle. Antoine witnesses a disturbing ritual so surreal he thinks he might have dreamt it. It will not be the last disturbing or surreal sight for Antoine as the couple soon learn the mystery behind the cousin’s demise. The Shiver of the Vampires is jammed packed with atmosphere but it is also Rollin’s most humorous entry thanks to the two eccentric cousins. Jacques Robiolles and Michel Delahave are absolutely superb in their roles. Sandra Julien and Jean-Marie Durand who play Isla and Antoine, Kuelan Herce and Marie-Pierre Castel who play the two female servants and especially Isolde played by Dominique are all memorable in their roles. The Shiver of the Vampires is particularly stylish and I really enjoyed Rollin’s use of color. The crumbling Castle and its decor are completely outrageous and fantastic! The Shiver of the Vampires is stylish, sexy, strange, funny and totally enthralling. To read my full review for The Shiver of the Vampires click here. […]

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