Calling all lovers of the unusual! if you have never experienced this aria of 1970s experimental erotic Euro-horror on the big screen, you’re in for a serious treat -- an atmospheric fusion between the Nouvelle Vague, the hippie and sexual revolutions, and classic horror cinema trappings, re-worked with a distinctly fetishistic edge.
A just-married couple stop off at a decaying castle to visit cousins, only to learn that their relatives both died only days ago. They are invited by their cousins’ former servants to stay the night. It can be said that night at the castle becomes an alternate world where space and time distort. All manner of weirdness ensues, the least of it being the appearance of both dead cousins, now undead. They have become bourgeois hippie vampires, under the guidance of a vampire queen who roams the castle grounds, and has already taken an interest in the virginal wife… with plans to seduce her into a world of living shadows.
For the uninitiated, Jean Rollin’s work in this period of his career could be described as a crossroads where the cinema of Jodorowsky meets Hammer Horror on a stagecoach driven by Jean Cocteau with a throbbing hard-on. His imagery is dreamy, his narratives lyrical and often playfully absurdist. The vampire queen emerges from a grandfather clock. A man wanders into a library and finds himself under attack by books. One inspired sequence depicts the heroine in conversation with the vampire queen. Only, because it is during the day, the Queen is speaking to the girl from inside her coffin –- which is resting on an antique couch in front of the castle!
A fascinating, funny and very strange film, Frisson harkens back to a more adventurous time in European fantastic filmmaking when people would find exotic locations (in this case, a stunning centuries-old French castle), assemble a group of artist friends, let their collective imaginations tear loose and create radical works that defy all classification. Rollin’s cast was a mix of professional actors, performance artists, writers and exotic dancers. One allegedly died in an insane asylum many years later. No wonder then, beneath the surface lurks a subtext about the struggles between Reason and Passion. Macabre poetry, dark erotica, pulp visuals, insane art direction (skulls are everywhere, even in a fishbowl), a heightened sense of theatricality and a psychedelic rock soundtrack add up to an unrestrainedly euphoric flashpoint in the annals of eccentric cinema.
"For those who can appreciate Rollin's wildly idiosyncratic and non-conformist vision, his movies are filled with morbid delights" - James Newman, IMAGES JOURNAL
"A weaver of dreams" - Pete Tombs, IMMORAL TALES
Hosted by Writer / Director JEAN ROLLIN, who will be presented with a lifetime achievement award before the screening
Director: Jean Rollin
Screenplay: Jean Rollin, Monique Natan
Cast: Sandra Julien
Producers: Jean Rollin
Distributor: Les Films ABC