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Fascination (Version française) [Import]

Brigitte Lahaie , Franca Mai , Jean Rollin    Unrated   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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A pair of society women dressed in all their finery stand in the middle of an abattoir, animal carcasses hanging behind them and blood splashed across the floor. Giggling and fidgeting, they drink their prescribed glass of ox blood. The startling, unreal image of high-society manners in the midst of gore and death pitches Jean Rollin's 1979 feature Fascination into a turn-of-the-century culture come unhinged. When a well-dressed rogue, fleeing from angry partners he double-crossed, takes refuge in a lavish, moat-protected mansion, servant girls Franca Mai and Brigitte Lahaie cajole, tease, and seduce him into staying for their nighttime soiree. "You have stumbled into Elizabeth and Eva's life, the universe of madness and death," mutters one of them as they await the cabal where he is the guest of honor. Shot on a starvation budget and populated with stiff performers, Rollin's direction is arch and at times sloppy and his story never more than an outline. It's the mix of dreamy and nightmarish imagery that gives Fascination its fascination: blonde Lahaie stalking victims with a scythe, the bourgeois blood cult swarming over a fresh victim like wild animals, alabaster faces streaked in blood. While it lacks the delirious spontaneity of his earlier vampire films Shiver of the Vampires and Requiem for a Vampire, the languid pace and austere beauty creates an often-mesmerizing fantasy. The DVD also features the original theatrical trailer, a gallery of production stills, and a Rollin filmography. --Sean Axmaker


Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascination fascinates Feb. 20 2004
Format:DVD
Okay, Jean Rollin is far from a great director, I suppose. He's really inept in some respects. For instance, the "action" and gunplay scenes at the beginning of this film are very amateurishly shot and staged. BUT (as Pee Wee Herman says, everybody has a big but) . . . Rollin is brilliant at creating a hypnotic, dreamlike atmosphere, and he has a real feel for surreal imagery. Rollin's a true original, his films truly aren't like anyone else's, and I award big points for originality.
Fascination has basically no plot. A criminal on the run hides out in an old chateau and ends up the victim of a strange blood-drinking cult of women. That's about it. But believe me, you haven't lived until you've seen a half-naked Brigitte Lahaie wielding a scythe. Lahaie is a wonderful film actress. Besides being unusually sexy, she's blessed with real screen presence.
If you're open to unconventional films, you owe it to yourself to check out Fascination, or any Jean Rollin films other than Zombie Lake.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eurosleaze classic Jan. 26 2004
Format:DVD
Jean Rollin is a name instantly recognizable to hardcore horror genre fans, but meaningless to nearly everyone else. That is too bad because this French director concocted some of the sleaziest, most unusual films ever made during the 1970s and 1980s, films usually imbued with hypersexuality and bloody violence. I have often tossed Rollin's name around in impolite company with seeming aplomb even though I had never seen even one of the man's films. You read enough plot synopses about someone and you start to feel as though you know every intimate detail about their work. What I did hear from others about this director oftentimes did not bode well. He is apparently well versed in schlock filmmaking--which in and of itself is not a problem with me, a true lover of bad cinema--but several of his films continue to draw raves from a selected minority of genre fans. Well, I finally sat down with a Jean Rollin film, his 1979 effort "Fascination," and was pleasantly surprised with the results. As I viewed the film with a growing sense of intrigue, I began mentally composing a list of other films from this director that I should watch in the near future.
"Fascination," set in rural France sometime in the early twentieth century, is a story about vampires. Initially, this plot did not interest me. Vampire films have been done to death over the years, and I rarely express any interest in this popular mainstream staple. I plunged ahead anyway. A gang of criminals roams the countryside, waylaying and robbing hapless travelers who happen to pass by. Simultaneously, at a nearby castle, a group of women who regularly drink blood in order to stay young plan a very special nocturnal gathering.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars complete fascination for jean rollin films Nov. 3 2003
Format:DVD
let's face it, folks! you can say whatever you want about this film or any other jean rollin film but you must understand a few things. very few directors anywhere in the world have been as prolific or artistic as mr. rollin & even fewer can create such wonderful imagery on such small budgets. fasciantion is a splendid example of eerie suspense with a subdued pyshcological twist & i could easily watch this film over & over. the opening of the film is really quite simple as it deals with a thief who has cheated some other rogues out of some money & now has to run for his life. as fate or luck would have it, he ends up in a chateau where he finds two young & beautiful servant girls alone. as the viewer can guess, something horrible will happen eventually but we are lead to these horrific events with the greatest of ease while being left in suspense at all times. there is a great deal of flirting & teasing amongst the thief & the two servant girls which incude some rather sexy but soft sex scenes which rollin is generally known for. after the rogues are killed(this is the most hilarious death sequence i have seen in some time), we are introduced to more weird, upper class women who appear to be having some sort of midnite ritual & they are eager to include the thief. ok, stopping there. you will have to experience the rest & i dare you to sleep well with this one on your mind. some of you will be better off watching this one with the lights on. my favorite sequence invovles the ever-sexy Brigitte Lahaie carrying a scyuthe in her hands & dressed in a black robe. this is sexy, eerie, & ironically funny all at once. jean rollin is trying to show us that quite often the blood that runs from our bodies may be of more use than the body itself. oooooo, scary! enjoy it, folks. i certainly do.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Arty & pretentious bi-sexual vampire flick. Nov. 1 2003
Format:DVD
This little seen cult flick is mostly recommended for those who like art melded with their gore. Personally for that I would watch BLOODSUCKING FREAKS (1978) or THE GORE GORE GIRLS (1972); but this is the first Jean Rollin film I have ever seen so cut me a little slack.
Set in France in 1905, the movie opens with a pair of attractive young women drinking ox blood fresh from the local slaughterhouse as part of a bizzare therapy prescribed by their doctor. Predictably as a result of this they become addicted to blood, & soon reach the point where animal fluids don't work well anymore so they logically advance to human blood. Hiding out in a castle, the ever growing band of lovely female vampires, tired of feasting on their own gender; select two of their brethren to seduce young men & slaughter them for their blood. No mean feat, since (speaking as a heterosexual male) guys do about 90% of their thinking with their nether regions anyhow, so the mission is about as straightforward as finding ice in Antarctica.
FASCINATION is a pretentious arty film directed by cult fave Jean Rollin; there are a few lesbian sex scenes & some nudity but not enough to make the movie worthwhile, even given the brief running time (approx 78 mins). The gore scenes are boring too, & make one pine for the masterful works of Herschell Gordon Lewis. Who would have though a French exploitation film about two gorgeous bi-sexual female vampires could be so bloody boring? FASCINATION may rate as essential viewing for arthouse ponces but horror/cult movie fans will be disappointed.
However, if you enjoy this you may want to check out the Hammer horrors THE VAMPIRE LOVERS (1970), LUST FOR A VAMPIRE (1971 aka TO LOVE A VAMPIRE) & VAMPIRES (1974 aka DAUGHTERS OF DRACULA)- all of which are mediocre too, in my opinion. But I WILL give Jean Rollin a second chance & rent LIVING DEAD GIRL at some stage.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinated with Rollin and Lahaie
Director Jean Rollin and bodacious French actress Brigitte Lahaie have combined on a number of very special (if somewhat flawed) supernatural films. Read more
Published on April 9 2003 by Roxanna Pelly
3.0 out of 5 stars Eerie and haunting, but not perfect...
I suppose it's bad taste to expect something to be "perfect," whether that would be a work or art, music, film, or anything else for that matter. Read more
Published on Oct. 9 2001 by Janine Koenig
4.0 out of 5 stars Rollin IS the genre
This film embodies a lot of why i find these Euro horror/sleaze films so interesting.The way its filmed,the camera seems hand-held all the way through!! Read more
Published on Aug. 15 2001 by Sam
4.0 out of 5 stars pretty good but i could have been better
fascination is eerie and erotic. thats what makes it interesting. its about vampires but not the mythological kind, just ordinary people who like to drink blood. Read more
Published on July 20 2001 by michael wells
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fascination with evil.
Jean Rollin once again re-invents the vampire thriller in this tale of a not so gentleman bandit trapped in a web of insanity and intrigue between double crossed partners and blood... Read more
Published on April 16 2001 by Chadwick H. Saxelid
5.0 out of 5 stars Rollin's finest! 7 female bloodsuckers descend on a chateau
One of, if not the best Rollin flick. Rollin films are either real good (Fascination, The Shiver of the Vampires) or real bad (Night of the Hunted, Requiem for a Vampire). Read more
Published on Feb. 9 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Lesbian Blood Drinkers Rule
Once again, the prolific french director, Jean Rollin, provides the bored horror film market with a true classic. Read more
Published on Jan. 17 2000 by Sir Jub-Jub
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