Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 1st, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: France, 1989
Director: Jean Rollin
Cast: Anissa Berkani-Rohmer, Jean-Pierre Bouyxou, Jean-René Gossart, Frederique Haymann, Jean-Jacques Lefevre, Maurice Rohmer, Karine Swanson, Tiki Tsang
DVD released: April 29th, 2008
Approximate running time: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo French
DVD Release: Salvation Films/Redemption
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: A mysterious Asian woman steals an American car and kills everyone who she comes in contact with.
Watching Jean Rollin’s “Killing Car” I was immediately drawn to just how far removed this film was from his more classic era of filmmaking. He story is incoherent and the acting is putrid outside of the lead assassin played by Tiki Tsang while not flawless still holds her own in a silent like lead performance that is vaguely similar to that of Meiko Kaji’s performances in the Female Prisoner Series. The murder’s especially those gun inflicted are poorly done as gun shots sound more like fire crackers then lethal flesh piercing explosions of death. Visually director Jean Rollin shows signs of the style he once employed so many years ago with the majority of the film feeling uninspired ramblings. The sexiest part of this film is the seductive cover art for the DVD keep case.
How could things have gone so wrong with “Killing Car” a film that was directed by the same person who made such memorable exploitation romps like The Iron Rose and The Naked Vampire! Jean Rollin seems to have fallen in the same trap that Jess Franco one of his contemporaries has fallen into. Both filmmakers in their post 1970’s cinematic output where have failed since then since the style of erotic cinema they once were the leaders of no longer exists and most of their more recent films feel like desperate attempts to capture something that is no longer feasible to make since it is no longer in vogue. Ultimately “Killing Car” is a tedious and at times confusing film that fails to capture the mood of classic Jean Rollin.
The Transfer for Killing Car exhibits some mild instances of edge enhancement the transfer. The image looks clean with natural looking colors and flesh tones. Overall for a film that was made in the 1990’s I expected it to look sharper. This transfer is above average at best.
Only one audio source included a Dolby Digital stereo mix in French and error free English subtitles have been included. The audio is more then adequate as it is free of any audio defects. My only quip is that the audio never achieves the depth needed for a film involving as much gun fire that is unleashed in this film.
Extra wise mostly just stills and trailers with the standout extra being a excellent career overview of director Jean Rollin titled “Virgin’s and Vampire’s”. Killing Car is strictly a film that only his most hardcore fans could appreciate. If you are new fan of Jean Rolling or just want to sample some of his films I would suggest you check out any of his films made in the 1960’s and 1970’s before venturing into his later films like Killing Car.