Posted by: Seth Hall
You see yourself standing at the crest of a hill, overlooking the empty streets of your next obstacle. It was once a town; not too large. Likely a simple place, where everyone knew everyone else. There was never any crime; never any reason to lock your doors. That is, until the dead came to walk the earth. Shambling corpses roam the landscape. A single bite, a single scratch, and it’s all over. You started out alone, but a small group has come to look upon you as their leader. You are the bravest. You are the best slayer of the dead. And that cute group member of the opposite sex has been eying you recently with a hunger greater than that of the hoard. And now, they are entrusting you to lead them through this newest obstacle. Chamber a round. Aim for the head.
Just who the hell do you think you are?
Posted by: John Gholson
Some unscrupulous schlubs decide to dispose of some toxic garbage in the catacombs of an abandoned Valmont chateau and quickly meet their horrifying fates at the hands of Catherine Valmont, the zombie in the title of Jean Rollin’s 1982 effort The Living Dead Girl. It’s a gory opener, playing against the film’s gore-soaked resolution like a bloody bookend. The Living Dead Girl was my first Jean Rollin film. I watched it on a whim on Netflix one day, familiar with the director’s reputation for French “lesbian vampire” films, and was taken aback by how much I enjoyed the movie. Since then, I’ve watched what I could through Netflix and through the release of Kino-Lorber’s Redemption series of Blu-rays (ten of the seventeen releases in the Redemption line are Jean Rollin films). If you were looking to explore Rollin’s work, The Living Dead Girl is a great start.
The film is about Catherine Valmont’s (Francoise Blanchard) relationship with her best friend and lover Helene (Marina Pierro). A blood oath promise that they made as children is Rollin’s thin explanation of Catherine’s resurrection, but what he’s really getting at with their story is the way we allow ourselves to become trapped within co-dependent relationships. The undead Catherine needs fresh blood to stay alive, and Helene drops any moral regards to sustain her lover. She leads people to the Valmont estate so that Catherine can feed, and once Catherine becomes fully aware of the unholy abomination she has become, Catherine begs for a death that Helene will simply not allow.