I watched Jean Rollin’s The Iron Rose for the first time quite recently and loved it. Had I seen The Iron Rose when I did my 1970s top ten lists it definitely would have made the top ten for 1973. I’ve been excited to check out more 70s Rollin; re-watch some titles and discover new ones. I thought I would start the journey with one I had never seen; The Nude Vampire, one of Rollin’s earliest works.
A strange evening encounter with a beautiful woman inspires Pierre to do some investigating. Pierre learns his father Georges has kidnapped the woman believing she is a vampire. She has been kept a prisoner in hopes of discovering the key to her immortality. Pierre is immersed into a dreamy world of suicide cults, animal masks, foxy broads in crazy costumes and mad science,
The supernatural and science meet again! I loved the mixing of themes here. We’ve got elites, cults, science, vampirism,; a touch convoluted but enthralling all the same. Paced to compliment its dream-like visuals every set piece and location is beautiful and stylish and the costumes are utterly superb. I love the copious use of hoods and masks; particularly the animals masks; which were wonderfully folky, creepy and elaborate. Its jazzy little score is the perfect accompaniment. Of course one cannot talk about a Jean Rollin film and not mention the lovely ladies and their various states of undress. The women as always are sexy and stunning and particularly fun eye-candy are Rollin regulars the Castel twins Catherine and Marie-Pierre. Caroline Cartier who plays the titular nude vampire is the story’s motivation and doesn’t speak a word. As a matter of fact there are several long lingering dreamy scenes without dialog that were simply hypnotic, Cartier is a pleasure to look at. The two central male characters are also strong, Oliver Rollin plays the handsome and likable Pierre Radamante and Maurice Lemaître plays Georges Radamante the icy businessman to a T.
No science lab is complete without multi-colored liquid filled vessels.
The suicide cult holds a black-tie affair where some lucky member will be chosen to shoot themselves in the head.
I can’t say enough about the amazing costuming in The Nude Vampire. There were a million other screenshots I could have put here as every costume in the film is worth posting; but I do love me a cultiesque ensemble.
I love symmetrical shots like this. The twins are each holding large torches and place them down and walk through doors in perfect uniform fashion. It is one of many visually arresting moments in The Nude Vampire.
A nifty shot of twins Marie-Pierre and Catherine. They walk around in a fog functioning as servants to the Radamante men. A lot of films could be made better by adding sexy wandering twins in ginchy outfits.
An unforgettable finale on the beach. Beautiful Caroline Cartier in a gauzy orange getup. Rollin does love the beach.
The Nude Vampire’s dreamy visuals, amazing sets, fantastic costumes, nifty score, and intriguing albeit convoluted plot is a sexy, surreal treat. I would have liked more emphasis on the “horror” but otherwise The Nude Vampire is delectable. Highly recommended.
Dungeon Rating: 4/5
Directed By: Jean Rollin
Starring: Maurice Lemaître, Caroline Cartier, Ly Lestrong, Bernard Musson, Jean Aron, Ursule Pauly, Catherine Castel, Marie-Pierre Castel, Michel Delahaye, Pascal Fardoulis, Paul Bisciglia, Olivier Rollin