(director/writer: Jean Rollin; screenwriter: Alain Yves Beaujour; cinematographer: Guy Leblond; editor: Jean-Denis Bonan; music: Yvon Geraud, Francoise Tusques; cast: Solange Pradel (Brigitte), Bernard Letrou (Thomas), Ariane Sapriel (La femme de Samsky), Jacqueline Sieger (Queen of the Vampires), Doc Moyle (Le Chatelain),  Ursule Pauly (La soeur vampire rousse), Marco Pauly (Marc), Catherine DeVille (Brigitte); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Sam Selsky, Jean Rollin; Kino Lorber; 1968-B/W – France-in French with English subtitles)

“Weird and schlocky.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

This weird and schlocky B/W vampire  incoherent melodrama, made in two parts, was the first feature film directed by the French cult filmmaker Jean Rollin (“Killing Car”/”Lost in New York”). It’s an extended French version of the 30-minute 1943 American short film that starred George Zucco, “Vampire, Spawn Of The Devil” into a 90-minute low-budget French film, with the title changed to The Rape of The Vampire.

It’s a heavily flawed a film, though still maintaining the usual sinister ambiance and tone of Rollin’s later more successful films.

Alain Yves Beaujour helps Rollin co-write the script.

Four sisters live in a country mansion in France and believe they are 200-year vampires because of their thirst for blood.

In the film’s first part, the psychiatrist named Thomas (Bernard Letrou) along with two fellow doctors visits them to investigate their claims.

In the better filmed second part, the Queen of the Vampires (Jacqueline Sieger, a Black lesbian in her only acting role) whose aim is to raise vampires so they someday can rule the world, enables the doctors to experiment in their labs with the vampires she trained to be undetected in society. The medical folks seek to find ways of curing those who may have become vampires. We also learn that bacteria can be one of the causes of becoming a vampire.

Aside from the disjointed film, known for its violence and shocking sex scenes in the nude, being weird, it offered little else that would make you want to see it.

REVIEWED ON 8/28/2023  GRADE: C+