[FASCINATION screens Friday October 30th at 8:30 pm at the Cleveland Cinematheque.]
Review by Bob Ignizio
Like LIPS OF BLOOD and LIVING DEAD GIRL, this is one of the more coherent films from French director Jean Rollin. Mark (Jean-Marie Lemaire), a thief, takes refuge from his former partners in a mansion. The building is inhabited by two women who claim to be the servants. In reality they are part of a cult of blood drinkers. One of the women, Eva (Brigitte Lahaie), plans to turn Mark into the main course for her and her friends. However Elisabeth (Franca Mai) takes a liking to Mark and wants to save him.
Plot isn’t usually Rollin’s main focus, but the story in FASCINATION is actually pretty interesting and boasts a nice twist at the end. Rollin’s trademark visual style is still apparent, but it’s somewhat toned down compared to his earlier works. There’s also a little more sexual content, a necessary concession to the trends of the time, though not the full-on hardcore material that some of Rollin’s later films would include. It’s not exactly horror, and not exactly erotica, and not exactly an art film, but a little bit of all of the above. 3 out of 4 stars.