Spoilers follow ...
- The Living Dead Girl review by NP
Possibly buoyed by the success of his grisly ‘Grapes of Death’ feature four years earlier, French director Jean Rollin eschews his dislike of gore to produce a film that, within the first few minutes, features a face being burnt off by radioactive acid, and two eyes being clawed out.
Whilst not quite as graphic as his earlier film, ‘The Living Dead Girl’ nevertheless piles on the blood effects – somewhat at the expense of Rollin’s usual poetic atmosphere, which proves slightly detrimental to the end result. Ever the experimentalist, it is nevertheless good to see Rollin approach his horrors with a variant in emphasis, and there are certainly a couple of scenes that blur the line between real and dreamlike.
This will be remembered (by me at least) as the Rollin film with the most enthusiastic deaths. From the wonderful demise of the rascals who bring about the resurrection of the titular female to the final inevitable death of the far more evil Helene, it seems that the actors have been directed to give it their all when it comes to expiring.
I enjoyed this, as I enjoy the vast majority of the Rollin films I have seen. The idea of a beautiful blond girl despising her need for blood and longing for death makes me wonder if this was inspirational to Chris Alexander’s wonderful ‘Blood for Irina (2012)’, which can be seen as a successful modern take on the theme.
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