Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 28th, 2007
Theatrical Release Date: France, 1973
Director: Jean Rollin
Cast: Françoise Pascal, Hugues Quester, Nathalie Perrey, Mireille Dargent
DVD released: September 25th, 2007
Approximate running time: 77 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Anamoprhic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono French
DVD Release: Redemption Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Synopsis: Two lovers visiting a graveyard are unable to find their way out later that evening after making love in a tomb.
There are some directors like Jess Franco that it takes a few of there films before you start to warm up to them or a worst case scenario you just give up on them. Having seen a handful of Jean Rollin films like The Grapes of Death, The Shiver of the Vampires, The Nude Vampire and Zombie Lake I was not that impressed with the films of Jean Rollin. Then there is always that one film that finally opens your eyes to where you see what as the fuss is about and in this case that film for me was The Iron Rose.
The film opens with dream like images that at times slightly remind me of Jess Franco’s Female Vampire. The first words are not spoken until nearly six minutes into the film and these next few scenes which lead up to the two lovers going to the graveyard are very mundane in their content and structure. The film really starts to cook once inside the graveyard which is a character unto itself very much like the overlook hotel is a character in the Shining. The story is and its characters are so simple that they almost get lost in Jean Rollin’s visual tapestry of nightmare imagery.
The best horror films rely more on what you don’t ever get to see and less on what they show you. The Iron Rose keeps the horror just out of viewers peripheral and lets the actors convey through their actions, words and facial expressions their terror. One of the film strong assets is Françoise Pascal who beauty and nativity pull us in for this dark sinister journey in which two people let their fears separate them from the one common goal they once shared. Ultimately The Iron Rose is a first rate horror film which drowns its viewers in its baroque and at times surreal visuals.
Redemption Films presents The Iron Rose in an anamorphic widescreen that retains the film’s original aspect ratio. Outside of some mild edge enhancement the transfer for Iron Rose looks really good. There is no noticeable print damage or any problems with compression or artifacts.
This release comes with one audio option French and English subtitles have been included. Overall the audio mix is not dynamic or robust and despite its limitations it more then gets the job done.
Extras for this release include a photo gallery (12 stills), Les Pays Loins image gallery (7 B&W stills) and a English theatrical trailer for The Iron Rose. The main extra for this release is the Jean Rollin short film titled Les Pays Loins (16 minutes- in French with English subtitles). Also included with this release is a promo for the book “Blood & Honor” and trailers for other Redemption titles current on or soon to be released on DVD. The Iron Rose one of Jean Rollin’s more obscure films gets and it gets a good release from Redemption films.