a list that is trying to contain every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the…
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…
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 at various points of the journey, slowly returning to the rocky ground that they look to have sprung 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…
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…
Takes the No. 1 spot on the overtime list: letterboxd.com/ipcress/list/31-rides-out-the-overtime-edition/
My first Rollin. Immediately queued up three more after I finished watching this one. The film exists as a near-perfect evocation, rendering, making present of a time and place through "the flicker of film"--a time and place that seems both rooted in the "real" world (i.e., real countryside and vineyards and ruins in France in 1978) and in a filmed (filmic) dream. People use "oneiric" all the time to (rightly) describe certain gialli, or Lewton's horror films, or stuff like *Shock Waves* and *Night of Death* and *Tombs of the Blind Dead*, but this, in addition to being "dream-like" in ways similar to those movies, also manages to access something…
Nice take on the zombie film. The title is what sealed the deal for me...sounds just as funny in French as it does in English...beware the Raisins/Grapes!!!!!!
Rollins Versuch sich auf der anrollenden Zombiewelle mitzusurfen. Der extrem hohe Splattergehalt übertüncht aber nur selten die etwas unausgegorene Dramaturgie und den etwas gestauchten Spannungsbogen.
Beer before wine, you'll be fine; wine before beer... DIE!
Tainted wine causes zombie-like murderous behaviour in this French film. Fairly conventional but fun, with some truly unpleasant pustulant make-up effects and the gorgeous Brigitte Lahaie in a supporting role as "La grande femme blonde". Indeed.
where the beer flows like wine. im talking about a little place called aspen
"I know I'm going insane."
The Grapes of Death loves to show off the fruits of its labor. Zeroing in slowly on gruesome deaths and gory flesh wounds. My personal favorite is the pitchfork in a bare chested broad. The death scene lingered on giving you ample time to examine the practical effects of the lodged pitchfork, and marvel at its quality.
The Jean Rollin films that I've seen, including The Grapes of Death, remind me greatly of Mario Bava as if they are brothers in horror (though one is French, and one is Italian). But their films are very similar in terms of tone and atmosphere. Jean seems to be a bit more out there though.
The Grapes of Death is billed as a zombie flick, though the film doesn't necessarily deal with the undead. But it's pretty close. Imagine Night of the Living Dead set in a French farming village. Needless to say with that comparison, it's a decent flick.
"Lucy, I love you!"
Wow! What a film! I am somewhat speechless. This film is so atmospheric and unsettling. Yet Rolin is a lover of beauty in the midst of the macabre and so the film contains moments that stun on two levels.
I really enjoyed the set-up and the overall narrative. Two lovely ladies are traveling alone on a train together - that's a perfect set-up for a lot of sleazy twists that I'm expecting from a Jean Rollin film. Yet, it proves to be the only calm moment of the film - as the pace picked up then took you to scenarios of unsettling menace and terror.
It's an allegoric zombie film by the way of old school crazed killer zombies who have some thought processes intact - as opposed to the mindless shambling brain eating variety that Romero made popular. For all intents and purposes - these zombies are more akin to the Nightmare City variety - diseased undead.
Jean Rollins The Grapes of Death is a zombiefilm in which wine turns people into homicidal, bloodthirsty maniacs. What could be more French?
The films I've seen by Rollin has always had a mild level of entertainment, but often suffers from a lack of tempo. The same goes for The Grapes of Death. There are long periods that focus on uninteresting dialogue, which in turn make you loose interest real easy.
I'm a fan of unconventional structure, but when it comes to classic horror movies I like the standard build up for the first 30 minutes and then 40-60 minutes of total chaos. This is where Rollin fails. He is attempting to create authentic characters in an unrealistic fictive universe.…
I must confess, I wouldn’t be as much of a movie fan as I am now if it weren’t for…
All the films mentioned by name in Kim Newman's definitive encyclopedia of horror films, Nightmare Movies. Well worth a read.…