JEAN ROLLIN-UARY: Dracula’s Fiancee (2002)

Jacques Regis stars as a vampire hunter who is dragged along his apprentice (Denis Tallaron) on the hunt for the many descendants of Dracula (Thomas Desfossé), which leads him to The Order of the White Virgins and monsters that include a dwarf (Thomas Smith), smoking nuns who also — of course — kiss, a vampire woman (Sandrine Thoquet), an ogress (Magalie Aguado), a wolf-woman (Brigitte Lahaie) and Isabelle, a young woman destined to be the latest bride of Dracula (Cyrille Iste).

Dracula lives inside a clock, which alows us to know that this is the work of Jean Rollin, as that image was such a part of The Shiver of the Vampires. The other major clue is that this ends on a beach, where a sacrifice and a wedding and doom are due along the shore. And hey — one of the nuns is half of the Castel twins, Cathy, making an appearance after Rollin was critically re-evaluated and had a comeback big enough to get to make this.

There’s also a heart ripped clean out of a chest and a baby being eaten, making this one of the bloodier Rollin films. It’s also odd that Dracula himself appears instead of just being hinted at, but in a world that by 2002 had seen everything there was to see about fanged blood drinkers, leave it to Rollin to show us more by going back to what has always worked. Druggy, slow, doomy wanderings through musty castles and overcast coastlines.

I love that so many reviews start with “This shouldn’t be your first Jean Rollin movie.” There are more of those than where to start!

You can watch this on Kino Cult.

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