Available on DVD !
To buy, click on link(s) below and help keep this site afloat
Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!
Two girls are travelling alone on an otherwise empty train. At one stop
though, a young man enters the train, who obviously suffers from something
like decaying alive - not only on the outside but obviously also on the
inside, so before long, he has killed one of the girls, the other,
Claudine, though showed enough nerve to hit the emergency brakes and take
off by foot, and is far too quick for our decaying killer to follow.
Eventually, Claudine coes across a lonely house in tghe vinyards where
she tries to persuade the owner, an old an, to help her ... but it seems
the old man suffers from the same condition as the man on the train, and
he soon turns violent and even kills his own daughter with a pitchfork.
Once he realizes what he has done though, he asks Claudine to kill him,
and she runs him over by car.
Next, Claudine stumbles upon a blind girl, Lucy, who claims she has run
away from her village and lost the way, but now she wants to get back.
Back at the village though, Claudine has to find out that all the
inhabitants are either corpses lieing int he streets and rotting away or
decaying zombies. And soon enough, the zombies have botten hold of Lucy,
strangled her and then crucified her onto the door of her own house and
beheaded her. Claudine only narrowly escapes the zombies when lovely
Jeanette (Brigitte Lahaie) drags her into her house and promises to look
after her and help her get away from the village for good ... thing is,
Jeanette is also affected by whatever-it-is (later it will turn out that
it was the local wine which was treated by a new pestizide), and instead
of helping Claudine to get away, she calls her zombie friends to have
their way with her ...
At this point two hunters arrive on the scene who haven't been drinking
the bad wine and are therefore not affected by whatever-it-is, and they
save Claudine from her zombie pursuers and shoot their way out of the
Then the three of them head to the wine-growing estate where everything
is supposed to have started - and also where Claudine's boyfriend Michel
is staying at. However, they find the estate deserted, so they just call
the authorities and think everything is over .... until Claudine finds
Michel, who is the only one on the estate who's still alive, but he is
also steadily decaying, and ultimately he asks one of the hunters to shoot
him - which he does. But seeing her love dead, Claudine takes the hunter's
gun and shoots him and his firend too, even if they were the very men who
saved her life ...
This is porbably the closest Jean Rollin ever came to making a straight
horror film: It has got a straightforward, a tad formulaic storyline, it
has all the shocks at the right places, and the distingction between
heroine and monster is very clear for the most part. This however does not
mean that the film is not also typically Rollin: the film is big on
Rollin's trademark lyrical, otherworldly atmosphere and not so big on
suspense, (female) characters are often dressed in revealing outfits that
fit the movie's mood more than the situation (e.g. the blind girl,
Brigitte Lahaie), and Rollin's has quite obviously put much greater care
into choosing the right landscapes than you would come to expect from a
horror film director.
In all fairness, Les Raisins de la Mort is not Rollin's best
film, but it's still worth a look or two, even if you are not into
Rollin's usual output of sexy vampire films ...