Requiem for a Vampire – original title: Requiem pour un Vampire – is a 1971 French horror feature film written and directed by Jean Rollin.
It was apparently the favourite of all of the director’s own films because he came up with the scenario from his subconscious, and because it was rushed into its written form so quickly (Rollin claimed that he wrote the entire script in only two days), he felt it was his purest work. For its US release, Harry Novak’s Boxoffice International retitled it Caged Virgins.
Two women dressed as clowns and a male driver are being chased through the countryside, for unknown reasons. As the man drives, the women shoot at their pursuers. When the man is shot, the women are forced to burn the car with his body inside and once they remove their costumes, they run through a forest, and later a cemetery, in which one of the women, Michelle, is almost buried alive.
Walking through a field, they come to the outside of a gothic castle. There they are bitten by vampire bats, which lead them to go into the castle, where they make love. They tour the castle and discover a few skeletons along with a woman playing an organ.
She begins to follow them, so they shoot at her, but she doesn’t die. They run away and are caught by some men who force themselves on them. A vampire woman stops the men, and the vampire woman who chased them almost bites them until they break away. They soon come across a male vampire, the last of his kind. He has plans for the women. They are bitten in order to continue his bloodline, but they must stay virgins…
Reviews [click links to read more]:
‘ …an easily watchable surreal exercise in foreign filmmaking, crammed with bizarre comic art imagery strung together with various incidents of fetishistic kinkiness and sadism. With the usual low budget Rollin was allotted, he makes excellent use of some authentic gothic locations, and the picturesque, massive chateau makes for a better vampires’ liar than any studio could possibly provide.’ George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In
‘Requiem for a Vampire is not a movie I would recommend to people with a distaste for explicit, rather creepy sexual content, but it is worth watching and discussing from an historic and filmic standpoint. You can tell that Rollin was trying to stretch his filmmaking and storytelling muscles, but was tamped down under the weight of having to make another vampire titty flick.’ Kyle Anderson, Nerdist
‘Apparently Rollin’s always had an eye for beauty in nature and architecture because once again his cinematic eye focuses on beautiful vistas, trees, mountains, night skies, he often times focuses on breathtaking sunsets and cloud formations. He also shot the film inside this ancient castle, it just looks haunting.’ The Film Connoisseur
Cast and characters:
- Marie-Pierre Castel … Marie
- Mireille Dargent … Michelle
- Philippe Gasté … Frédéric
- Dominique … Erica
- Louise Dhour … Louise
- Michel Dalesalle
- Antoine Mosin
- Agnès Petit
- Olivier François
- Dominique Toussaint
- Agnes Jacquet
- Anne-Rose Kurra
- Paul Bisciglia … L’homme au Vélo
The movie was filmed in the small village of Crêvecoeur. The castle, a historical place entirely furnished with genuine antiques had been rented from the duchess of Roche-Guyon.