JEAN ROLLIN-UARY: Night of the Hunted (1980)

While she was still working in adult films, Brigitte Lahaie met and worked for Jean Rollin on the movie Vibrations Sensuelles (Sensual Vibrations). He noted that she had a “distinctly different personality” and an “incredible charisma,” so he remembered her when he made The Grapes of Death a few years later as well as Fascination. He’d also go on record saying that she was the perfect woman.

In this movie, she plays Elizabeth, a woman suffering from a disease that is slowly taking away her memories and will soon make her a walking corpse. A man named Robert that meets her by accident believes there’s no way that can be true and attempts to save her from a very Cronenberg-esque clinic where doctors are keeping her under observation at all times. There, the patients make love and kill one another in equal measure as they descend into madness because all they can remember is the chemical rush of sex and death.

This is a film that starts out as a softcore, goes into noir, emerges into science fiction and then becomes something else, something uniquely Rollin as memories and connections are explored amongst horrific imagery and a bleak ending that maybe is hopeful depending on how you think about it.

Written in a day, shot in two weeks and a film that has no vampires, no beach, no ruined castles and just the coldness of the city — along with Lahaie’s moving performance — this is a departure but a rewarding one.

You can watch this on Kino Cult.

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