May 1968. Paris is awash with violence and public unrest. In a small cinema, where a surreal film is showing, another riot is taking place. Here, the enraged audience smashes up the auditorium, tear out the seats, and chase the film’s director onto the street. This is the premiere of Jean Rollin’s feature debut, The Rape of the Vampire.
An outsider of French cinema, Rollin’s films are unique and dreamlike. They offer tales of mystery and nostalgia, obsolescence and seductive female vampires with a thirst for blood and sex. It is a cinema at once strange, evocative and deeply personal.
Funding his own projects, Rollin defiantly made the films he wanted to make and in so doing created a fantastique genre unlike any other. The Nude Vampire, The Living Dead Girl and The Grapes of Death are among those films now celebrated as the work of an auteur, one who confounds preconceived notions of ‘Eurotrash’ cinema.
This book is devoted to the director and all his work, across all genres, including a nascent French hardcore pornographic film industry. Written with full co-operation from Jean Rollin, shortly before his death in 2010, it contains exclusive interviews and archive material.