Thursday, September 11, 2008

Et Mourir de Plaisir (1960)

The movie is also know as Blood and Roses (UK/USA), Le Sang et la Rose (France), To Die with Pleasure (International), Und vor Lust zu Sterben (Austria and Germay).
Director: Roger Vadim
Running Time: France 87 min, USA 74 min
Genre: Horror, Vampires
Country: France and Italy
Based on 1872 novella Carmilla by Irish writer Joseph Sheridan le Fanu.
Wiki imDb

Carmilla is seduced by her lesbian vampire ancestor who takes over her body, the lusty Carmilla first goes with a young maid, and then her beautiful cousin.
Another more interesting synopsis -as opens the door to Vadim very creative filmmaking-: Young Carmilla is jealous of her friend's engagement, and her obsession leads her to the tomb of a female vampire. The vampire possesses her and leads her to kill and terrorize the inhabitants of the estate. But is it all in her mind, or is she really under the control of an ancient vampire ancestor?

Not exactly the kind of genre I like to watch as it’s a vampire movie, but it is a Roger Vadim movie starring very beautiful actresses: Elsa Martinelli (Carmilla) and Annette Stroyberg Vadim(Georgia). Then most of viewers’ comments claim that this is not the regular vampire movie (I don’t doubt it as is a Vadim movie) and that some hard-core fans of the vampire genre were disappointed.

Here is an excerpt of an article that you can read here.

"Blood and Roses was Vadim’s creative attempt to retell the classic Sheridan Le Fanu vampire tale Carmilla (1871-72). The story had previously been adapted by Carl Dreyer for his film Vampyr - Der Traum des Allan Grey (1932), but Vadim was the first director to attempt a somewhat more literal adaptation of the story set in modern times. The film’s impressive cinematography by Claude Renoir and creative directing by Vadim are years ahead of their time, and have undoubtedly inspired many other filmmakers. While I hesitate to name names, I’ve always had the impression that directors like Mario Bava, Roger Corman, Jean Rollin and even Alain Resnais may have all been fans of Roger Vadim’s Blood and Roses.

Vadim infused Blood and Roses with a high-level of eroticism that had rarely, if ever, been present in previous horror films made earlier and his personal retelling of Le Fanu’s Carmilla would go on to spawn a legion of similar films such as Hammer’s wonderful Karnstein Trilogy, Harry Kümel’s Daughters of Darkness (1971), Jess Franco’s Vampyros Lesbos (1971), José Ramón Larraz’s Vampyres (1974), etc. As much as I love all of the films that followed in the footsteps of Blood and Roses, Vadim’s original movie remains one of my favorites and it’s a film that I love to return to again and again due to the incredibly intoxicating atmosphere and the beautiful imagery conjured up by Roger Vadim and Claude Renoir. The film also benefits from a beautiful score composed by Jean Prodromidès."

Again I’m very interested in watching this movie in the original French version, as other versions are not only dubbed to English but miss 13 minutes.

This seems like a must be seen for those that enjoy vampire movies and especially for those -like me- that enjoy Roger Vadim movies.

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