Fascination is a fine starting point for anyone interested in Jean Rollin. It captures the essence of his earlier work and with a beautiful backdrop of a French château, allows a perfectly selected cast free reign with their subtle script. The plot is basic, yet interesting. Debutantes drink the bulls blood each morning as a prevention of anaemia. This in turn leads to some special evenings with young men being the bottle to drink from. One such chap, Marc (Jean-Marie Lamaire) a thief on the run from his companions which he’s wronged, seeks shelter in the château. There he is graced with the delightful charms of Eva and Elizabeth (Brigitte Lahaie and Franca Mai) that do all within their power to keep him in their castle until their 5 female friends arrive later that evening for a secret event. There is much running from room to room in various states of undress. Marc’s troop of thieves turn up only to meet their end by the hand of Eva with a scythe, arguable one of horrors most symbolic images of European cinema.
The whole film looks magical, blending soft focus with static set pieces which could all be photographic stills. That’s not to say it isn’t perfect, the script fails in many places, maybe due to the translation. One thief has the stunning line ‘people like you think I’m Looney, I’m just a bit special’. (I think he’s actually played by Simon Pegg’s Dad)
Other lines are quite imaginative, which you could only get away with in this style of fairy horror tale. ‘Welcome to the universe of madness and death’ is quite exciting. The memorable final line of the film, which stays with you long after the movie has ended. ‘You’re beautiful like that, with blood on your mouth’, I think sums up the films spirit.