I must confess, I wouldn’t be as much of a movie fan as I am now if it weren’t for…
The Grapes of Death
When the wine flows, the terror begins…
A young woman discovers that the pesticide being sprayed on vineyards is turning people into killer zombies.
I have a rule that if I can not remember the last time I watched one of my favorite films, then it's obviously time for a revisit. When going through some of our foreign DVDs, looking for something to watch, I came across The Grapes of Death and the feeling that came over me, you would have thought I spotted an old flame amidst a sea of possibilities. I couldn't resist the urge to pick it up and watch it, for old times sake.
I think the power Jean Rollin has over me is visceral. As soon as I hear the music on the menu screen, I am transfixed and I have a physical reaction, a favorite movie shouldn't just…
And THIS is why I love Letterboxd so much. ♥
With its spurts of red blood, its green-yellow sores, and its purple clad heroine, Jean Rollin paints with the colors of a vineyard in "The Grapes of Death." A French horror film that finds zombie-esque masses roaming the French countryside, Rollin eschews his typical gauzy aesthetic and nonexistent pacing for a forward moving, quietly colorful, and mostly engaging genre outing.
The story revolves around a young woman who finds herself alone in a village peopled with the murderous near-dead. Escaping one perilous scrape after another, she teams up with two men to find safety. The narrative combines a typical zombie plotline with threads of a spreading epidemic and environmental themes. It is a compelling, somewhat layered tale.
Rollin's token stillness…
Part of Hell On Earth: Horror Around The World, a 30 Days 30 Countries challenge.
Eighth stop: France
Where has this film been all my life? In fact, where has director Jean Rollin been all my life? The Grapes Of Death is my introduction to the man's work, and for sure I will be seeking out everything else he has done.
Made in 1978, before that other zombie film, which until today has never had anything close to an equal in my book, The Grapes Of Death benefits from being that rarest of zombie films that cannot be viewed through the influential filter of Romero's classic. Notable as one of France's first gore films, Rollin's direction lends it a remarkable…
Coming home from the Languedoc region of southern France to the flat and completely "improved" landscape of the Netherlands is a little depressing, so we thought we'd hold onto the feeling a little with a revisit to a film featuring the countryside we were just enjoying. I had forgotten just how good a film it is - due in no small part to Rollin's excellent use of that amazing landscape, full of ruined stone buildings that seem to be slowly returning to the rocky ground that they sprang from. The performances are also top-notch, with Brigitte Lahaie showing that she's more than just a great body. There's even some clever teasing around the subject of gratuitous nudity, with Lahaie stating…
This is NOT a zombie film! I doubt the writers and director had any idea what exactly a zombie is when they went forward with this film! It is about the undead.. undead WHAT is the question! The undead exhibit NONE of the characteristics associated with Zombie's!
Viewing this, Jean Rollin is becoming one of the best discoveries for me this year, finally going through his work in depth, and he's veering towards becoming one of my favorite directors as well. One deciding factor for this is that, so far, I've yet to see a film that is a rehash of something else, greatly surprised and delighted at how every film I've seen so far is different from the other. This means a lot when my first knowledge of him summed Rollin up someone who spent his time filming low vampire films where the actresses were always naked. What you discover actually watching the films, while the nudity was true, is that even the films that share…
Jean Rollin's unique take on the zombie genre, The Grapes of Death, evokes a sense of dread right from the bleak opening sequence accompanied by a haunting score. The film has that creepy English countryside setting reminiscent of The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue. Beer drinkers must love this movie since only the wine connoisseurs get dicked over.
Nothing like watching a Jean Rollin movie to help practise my French: a shlock movie with adult but simple to understand dialogues, all pronounced in a slow and clear fashion. Helps me more than any classroom lesson.
As for the film....
Well, it's one of his less visually appealing flicks though it still has certain moments of haunting beauty.
As for the rest...
And THIS is why I love Letterboxd so much. ♥
Fantastic gothic, plague-themed, zombie horror film, with a great euro-library synth score. Filmed in the Massif Central region of France, amid natural limestone formations and stone farmhouses, it's a stripped-down, straight-forward survival plot, with atmosphere to spare. With a great mix of gothic imagery, modern eco-horror, and a taste of euro-sleaze, I'm thinking it may be my favorite non-Romero zombie film. It should be noted that it's non-canonical, in that the "zombies" are not revived corpses, do not eat the living, and express grief and regret when they kill.
More nihilistic than many of Rollin's films. If you love slow moving, homicidal zombies roaming the French countryside and nubile women running from them, then this is your film.
Ebola by way of Jean Rollin. Boobs, ooze and colors that pop. The French title is Les Raisins De La Mort which is just about the coolest sounding shit ever.
Ebola in French Wine Country
Spooky Scary Horrorthons - Film #11
Élizabeth's traveling plans are ruined by a sudden zombie outbreak. Now she has to go on a crazy journey involving suspicious farming couples, a blind person and other wacky characters.
I didn't know anything about this film before I watched it, which was refreshing in this day and age where spoilers seem to hide around every corner. Firstly I have to say that this was a very pretty movie, the shots of the French landscapes served as a nice moodsetter and the nightime scenes have a nice gritty feel to them. And the makeup effects for the zombies are nice as well, looking like gushing wounds oozing with pus and blood. The zombies felt…
- The Seventh Victim
- The Devils
- Carnival of Souls
- The Perfume of the Lady in Black
- La dolce vita
- Fanny and Alexander
An ever-fluctuating list of personal favorites.
**Spirits refers only to Toby Dammit and Boccaccio refers only to The Temptation of…
- The Beyond
- City of the Living Dead
- The House by the Cemetery
100 of my favorite horror movies. Loose order. Likely missing many things. I wanted to get a snapshot of everything…