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  Two Orphan Vampires No Fangs To You
Year: 1997
Director: Jean Rollin
Stars: Alexandra Pic, Isabelle Teboul, Bernard Charnacé, Natalie Perrey, Anne Duguël, Nathalie Karsenty, Anissa Berkani-Rohmer, Raymond Audemard, Tina Aumont, Brigitte Lahaie, Véronique Djaouti
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: These two orphans, Louise (Alexandra Pic) and Henriette (Isabelle Teboul), are blind and a doctor, Dennary (Bernard Charnacé), has been called to see if he can assist them in getting their sight back. However, what he does not know, and what even the nuns in the orphanage are unaware of, is that the girls can see: just not during the day. When night falls, they can see the world in shades of blue, which helps in their nocturnal activities, meaning their bloodsucking. Yes, the two young ladies are vampires, and will do anything to get their fangs in someone's neck...

By the time he made this, French horror auteur Jean Rollin was past his prime, and even his staunchest admirers had trouble defending it, as the most common complaint was that the film was simply boring. Certainly the vampires of the title were much given to long-winded conversations, mainly about themselves as if they were obsessed with nothing but their own lives - or undeaths - but just as there was a poetry to the least promising of Rollin's films, there were a few who responded to what could have been viewed by the less charitable as insufferably pretentious.

Yet while that opinion was valid to a point, what Two Orphan Vampires was turned out to be more quaint that anything else, as if it had been made in the sixties when Rollin was starting out in his idiosyncratic genre: at most the seventies, as there was little here that marked it out as a product of the mid-nineties, such was its past it look. The plot could be boiled down to a series of excursions into the night to partake of the blood of those unlucky enough to cross the paths of the girls, although it had to be said the roles seemed to have been written for actresses a lot younger than the ones who wound up playing them.

So if there was not a suspension of disbelief necessary for you to accept that these twentysomething performers were supposed to be in their early teens at most, there were other hurdles to get over. Unlike most of Rollin's work, the sexual aspect he often used as a lure for audiences to be hooked into his peculiar world was largely absent here aside from two fleeting instances of nudity, which may explain why so many of his aficionados were turned off by what was on offer. What was left was a lot of chit-chat, much of it rather twee in a Goth teen kind of fashion, and some violence as the girls set about swooping down on those they meet, although also populating the night were some strange denizens.

Brigitte Lahaie for one, making a welcome appearance even if it was for a couple of minutes until she ended up with teeth in her neck, but also Tina Aumont as a passing ghoul who reacts with hostility to these pretenders to her supernatural throne. The vampires were essentially immoral, but romanticised as if their bond, one which nobody else would understand, made them extra-special and worthy of misty-eyed admiration. Therefore the doctor may try to help them, but the fact remained they were quite happy to venture out each evening to drain random dogs of their life essence, or settle on the female half of a couple of lovers to slake their thirst for the time being: they even, when things get tough, vampirise each other in what was surely a screen first. It all ends as you might expect, with a punishment for the naughty girls, but it would take a viewer who had truly embraced this to have a lump in their throat by the end (as opposed to fangs).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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Jean Rollin  (1938 - 2010)

A lifelong film fan, French director Jean Rollin worked consistently since the 1950s, but it was his horror films that would bring him most attention, starting with Le viol du vampire in 1968, a work that caused a minor riot on its initial showings. This showed Rollin the way to further dreamlike entertainments, often with a strong sexual element. Other films included Le vampire nue, Le frisson de vampires, Les Raisins de la mort, Fascination (often regarded as his masterpiece), The Living Dead Girl, Zombie Lake and a number of hardcore porn features. He was working up until his death, with his latest Le Masque de la Meduse released the year of his demise.

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