Monday, February 1, 2010

Living Dead Girl (1982)

LIVING DEAD GIRL leaves behind all of the signature trademarks director Jean Rollin has become known for. Besides the bright daytime settings common to many of his films, Rollin injects several surreal dreamlike qualities to his imagery and characters. He also mixes sex and violence in even measures, but while there is plenty of gore, it is offset by the beauty and innocence of the undead Catherine. Catherine is an extremely sad and tragic character that often reflects Shakespeare's Ophelia through visual references and tone. She is by no means the typical cinematic zombie popularized by Romero or Fulci, nor is she in any way a reincarnation of the familiar Gothic vampires from the Universal or Hammer productions. She is quite plainly a girl brought back from the dead by no will of her own that only wishes to return to her grave after realizing that she must drink blood to survive. She has no purpose or meaning after being brought back, and she is forced to give into to her baser instincts. Catherine is assisted by her childhood friend, who seduces young women back to their secluded mansion in an attempt to save her deathly companion. This also drives the lesbian subtext common to many other Rollin films. Much of the dialogue reads like poetry, with beautiful exchanges about life and death that make up for the lack of realism in rich romantic fantasy. Blanchard handles the role very well, with a dull, lifeless, and penetrating stare and angelic white robes that give her an ethereal appearance. LIVING DEAD GIRL is not your average undead Horror film by any means whatsoever, and while the slower pace and strange characters are sure to turn off many fans, it is these same unique elements that others will enjoy most.

Rating: 7/10.
Entertainment: 8/10.
Gore: 5/10.
Number of views: 2.



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4 comments:

  1. Hmm... I am intrigued. Might be checking Netflix.

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  2. This along with Requiem for a Vampire, Grapes of Death, Fascination, and many other Rollin pics are are worth seeking out, but many have fallen out of print

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  3. After I saw this, I couldn't decide if I ever wanted to see it again, but I did enjoy it. The surreal, dream-like qualities were so well photographed. As you mentioned, it's definitely a signature Rollin film, but at the same time, it doesn't feel like a typical Rollin film. Does that make sense? For whatever reason, I felt like this had more heart.

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  4. agreed, Catherine is one of the only empathetic characters I have come across in Rollin's work, and a sad one that that I cant claim to the the biggest Rollin fan, but I really enjoy this and GRAPES OF DEATH

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