The Nude Vampire – original title: La vampire nue – is a 1969 French horror film (released May 1970) written and directed by Jean Rollin. It stars Christine François,Olivier Rollin, Maurice Lemaitre, Bernard Musson, Jean Aron, Ursule Pauly, Catherine Castel, Marie-Pierre Castel and Michel Delahaye.
Wealthy and decadent industrialist Georges Radamante rules over a strange secret suicide cult and wants to achieve immortality by figuring out a way to share the biochemistry of a young mute orphaned vampire woman.
Complications ensue when Radamante’s son Pierre finds out what’s going on and falls for the comely lass…
The Nude Vampire was Jean Rollin’s first collaboration with cinematographer Jean-Jacques Renon and his first film in colour.
“The film comes across with the emotionally intense illogic of a dream, intellectually nonsensical but meaningful on an instinctive plane. No means a total triumph, dialogue is stilted, and the story lags in several places. Still, there is enough suggestive menace and outrageous imagery to make up for this shortcoming, and the touches of science fiction and kink point dramatically to the dreams of surrender and destruction that Rollins had up his sleeves.” Sex Gore Mutants
“Though the pacing of The Nude Vampire is still recognizably Rollin-esque, this film may prove easier for newcomers to swallow as its story veers from one oddball element to the next. Leopardskin fabrics, party masks, and lots of teasing partial skin shots set this one firmly in 1970, and as a mod French art film gone berserk, it’s plenty of fun.” Mondo Digital
“There are a lot of signs of what is yet to come from director Jean Rollin and yet this early effort is also appealing because it is not as filled with the usual Jean Rollin clichés. Ultimately The Nude Vampire is a solid early effort from director Jean Rollin with its many memorable images and fascinating take on immortality.” 10,000 Bullets
“Jio Berk designed the fabulous costumes and the visual style was drawn from pulp comics and old paperback covers. La vampire nue is one of Rollin’s most enjoyable films and a great leap forward, technically, from Le viol du vampire. It also remains remarkably true to its original conception of a film around the idea of mystery, of enigma. Even the ending, when an explanation is given for all the mysterious events, is successfully undercut.” Cathal Tohill, Pete Tombs, Immoral Tales: Sex & Horror Cinema in Europe 1956 – 1984
“The film’s visual highlights include shots of night-lit streets which evoke the paintings of Paul Delvaux, or tableaux ala Max Ernst (a strong influence on Rollin) often using spotlights to achieve vivid contrasts and shadowy outlines, as well as back lighting to make women’s transluscent. The picture is most fascinating if seen as an intensely fetishistic but luscious play of textures punctuated by beautifully stylised, extravagantly romantic comic-strip compositions chronicling the obsessions of a guiltily Catholic voyeur, wallowing in a sense of perversion and sin.” Phil Hardy (editor), The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror
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