Review: Psychedelic Sex Vampires – Jean Rollin Cinema / Author: Jack Hunter / Publisher: Glitter Books / Release Date: Out Now
A love-him-or-hate-him character, Jean Rollin beavered away during the '70s in that twilight zone between art house and blue movies, cranking out underfunded, poorly acted, incoherently plotted but strangely compulsive shockers about naked and/or gauzily clad vampire girls set against backdrops of windswept beaches and lonely chateaux. Until recently, he's been largely ignored by film critics, and for that reason alone the publication of Psychedelic Sex Vampires: Jean Rollin Cinema is very welcome.
Disappointingly, though, it's not the spirited defence of a neglected master fans have been waiting for. A meandering introduction is followed by brief notes on a quartet of key Rollin movies, plus an interview with the director (by far the best bit; Rollin was always charmingly modest and self-deprecating about his oeuvre, which he described as a patchwork of obsessions). Then, the text out of the way, it's down to the main business of reproducing page after page of saucy stills of actresses with their boobs out. The result, alas, is little more than a glorified titty book (we did a quick tot-up, and no less than 117 nipples are on show, not counting ones covered in pasties).
Rollin aficionados have to learn to take copious nudity on the chin; but even so, this is a bit OTT. They'll be grateful for the comprehensive filmography, however, which lists not just the vampire flicks but also Rollin's excursions into hardcore (Vibrations Sexuelles and Discosex, anyone?).