Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 25th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: France, 1975
Director: Jean Rollin
Writers: Jean-Loup Philippe, Jean Rollin
Cast: Jean-Loup Philippe, Annie Belle, Nathalie Perrey, Martine Grimaud, Catherine Castel, Marie-Pierre Castel
DVD released: July 29th, 2008
Approximate running time: 83 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono French
DVD Release: Salvation Films/Redemption
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: A photograph reminds Frederic about a forget childhood memory about a mysterious woman in white a young. Unable to shake his desire to see this woman once again he tries to locate the ruins in the photograph. Who is this woman and what is her connection to Frederic?
Lips of Blood, was directed by Jean Rollin whose vampire films rank among the most erotic and atmospheric ever made. The plot for Lips of Blood like many of Jean Rollin’s films is simplistic and dialog is sparse. The story revolves around a man named Frederic who as a young boy encountered a beautiful woman dressed in white. Twenty years later a photograph brings back his repressed memories of her. Was she just a dream or did she really exist. Frederic resolve to find this woman is increased by each new obstacle that tries to derail his investigation. The story instantly pulls you in with each new revelation more intriguing than the last. Some much is accomplished in just a mere eighty three minutes.
Jean Rollin returns to many locations that are prominent in many of his films. He does a superb job creating dream like images. The films deliberate pacing gives Frederic’s journey an urgency. The acting in Lips of Blood is first rate all around. Annie Belle who plays the young woman in white who tempts Frederic gives an angelic like performance. Jean-Loup Philippe who also co-wrote the screenplay does a convincing job as Frederic. Twin sisters Catherine Castel and Marie-Pierre Castel who have appeared in several Jean Rollin films are cast once again as vampires. Jean Rollin with Lips of Blood returns to familiar themes which he has used in many of his films like loss of innocence. The film’s final moments when Frederic makes his choice between the life he has always knows or spending eternity with the woman in white are beautiful and haunting. Ultimately Lips of Blood is Jean Rollin’s most visually seductive Vampire film.
Redemptions Films presents Lips of Blood in an anamorphic widescreen that retains the film’s original aspect ratio. The transfer for this DVD releases was sourced from the film’s original negative. This transfer does a remarkable job with the films lucid color palette. The colors look nicely saturated and at times vivid. Darker scenes fare well with the black levels looking strong throughout. One thing that grabs you right away with this transfer are just how sharp and crisp the image looks. Details look remarkably clear in the background and foreground. There are some mild instances were specs of dirt pop up throughout the transfer. These minor imperfections are never distracting and they never from the films overall presentation. Even though the source is interlaced there are no problems with blurring/ghosting. Overall out of all the Jean Rollin films that Redemption Films have released on DVD Lips of Blood is their strongest transfer to date.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in French and removable English subtitles have been included. There is some very more instances of hiss. Besides these minor instances of hiss the audio sound’s clear and is free of any major audio defects.
Extras for this release include three interviews. The first one is titled “Lips of Blood Introduction” which is a ten minute interview with Jean Rollin (in English). The other two interviews are with Jean-Loup Philippe (16 minutes) and Nathalie Perrey (13 minutes). Both of these interviews are in French with English subtitles. Also include with this release is a stills gallery (10 images), artwork for the film (2 images) and trailers for Killers’ Moon and Nature Morte. Both of these films are currently available on DVD from Redemption Films. The main extra included with this release is an audio commentary with Jean Rollin. The audio commentary in not feature length and it is about thirty three minutes in length. Overall Redemption Films Lips of Blood release is their best Jean Rollin DVD release to date.