Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 5th, 2007
Theatrical Release Date: France, 1970
Director: Claude Mulot
Writers: Jean Carriaga, Claude Mulot, Edgar Oppenheimer
Cast: Philippe Lemaire, Anny Duperey, Olivia Robin, Elizabeth Teissier, Michéle Perello, Valérie Boisgel, Gérard-Antoine Huart, Jean-Pierre Honoré, Jacques Seiler, Michel Charrel, Véronique Verlhac, Roberto, Johnny Cacao, Howard Vernon
DVD released: August 28th, 2007
Approximate running time: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo French, Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Mondo Macabro
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Synopsis: Professeur Römer (Howard Vernon) who lost his medical license because of improprieties is blackmailed Frédéric (Philippe Lemaire) an eccentric painter whose wife Anne was disfigured during a tragic accident. Frédéric kidnaps and kills beautiful young woman whose skin can be used by Professeur Römer to restore Anne’s former beauty. Will their experiments be successful or will the end results prove to even more hideous?
The Blood Rose was directed by French filmmaker Claude Mulot who in the 1970’s would rise to fame making hardcore titles like Pussy Talk. After making a handful of hardcore films he would spend the remainder of his career directing soft-core features like Black Venus. Visually is where The Blood Rose really shines as the film is filled with wonderful locations, beautiful women and many striking colors are used through out to bring life to this Gothic fairytale. The film is slickly edited and the plot moves a moderate pace. I really liked how Anne is rarely if ever shows her disfigured face after the accident and when she is in the room things are shown from her fuzzy point of view.
Sections of the film are told in flashback most of which is occurs during the first thirty minutes of the film. The plot overall is simple and not that elaborate. The plot also clearly shows its influences films like Eyes without a Face or the Jess Franco Orlaff films. The Blood Rose is touted as the first Sex-Horror film which many Franco fans might debate that Franco made these types of films first. Also while watching The Blood Rose it is easy to see how the cinema of Jess Franco might be one of director Claude Mulot’s influences for this film.
The films unbelievable ending is truly out of this world. It features a showdown between the two midget servants and their master Frédéric. Other zaniness occurs during things final knocked down drag out fight including the unfortunate demise of Professeur Römer thus ending the experiments and any chance to repair Anne’s disfigured face.
End of Spoiler:
The film besides featuring a bevy of luscious and enchanting women also includes two deformed midget servants. The acting is good and luckily the visuals and story are as strong as they are since no performance outside of Philippe Lemaire as Frédéric really stands out. My favorite moment in the film occurs when a young woman posing a writer researching château’s looks around Frédéric’s château for clues about her missing sister. She walks around in a see through nightgown which is barely exposed by the dim lit candle light. The films eerie chamber/choir like score adds the films ambiance. Ultimately The Blood Rose is a cautionary tale about the consequences of obsession.
Mondo Macabro presents The Blood Rose in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This transfer has not been flagged for progressive playback. Colors, flesh tones, black levels all fare well and details look generally crisp throughout.
This release comes with two audio options French and English. Both audio options are presented in a Dolby Digital stereo. Both audio mixes sound clear and balanced. Removable English subtitles that are easy to read and error free have been provided.
Extras for this release include cast and crew bios (Claude Mulot, Philippe Lemaire, Anny Duperey and Elizabeth Teissier), a text piece about the film, still, lobby card and poster gallery (21 images) and an interview with Didier Phillipe-Gerard (23 Minutes). Also included with this release is the Mondo Macabro preview trailer which includes clips from titles they have currently released or about to release. After a nine month hiatus Mondo Macabro returns with yet another fantastic DVD with their latest The Blood Rose. Everything about this release (audio/video/extras) is on par with Mondo Macabro’s usual high standards. The extras are highlighted by a superb twenty three minute interview with Didier Phillip-Gerard who gives a through and insightful overview about the cinema of Claude Mulot. The Blood Rose is a unique slice of Euro-Sleaze that fans of Gothic horror and sexploitation cinema will want to add to their collect ASAP.