Sunday, June 28, 2015
Blu-ray Review: THE GRAPES OF DEATH (1978)
THE GRAPES OF DEATH
a.k.a. "Les raisins de la mort"
Directed by Jean Rollin
Distributed by Kino Lorber/Redemption Films
If you are not familiar with Kino Lorber and Redemption Films, you really need to be. They have been putting out some amazing Blu-ray releases over the last few years, including lots of films from the late, great, Jean Rollin. The latest release that I watched was THE GRAPES OF DEATH, one of the scarier and gorier films from Rollin's body of work. Here is the basic plot of the film from the Kino Lorber website:
The polluted wine produced for a village's annual Grape Harvest Festival has left all but a few rabid with some chemically- engendered form of zombiism. They may saunter about like sleepwalkers, but these are not the zombies of George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968); they are, rather, oozing transmitters of an impassioned insanity that can only be termed anarchy.
This is a very interesting film, as the "zombies" are caused by a physical sickness, one that turns their skin into oozing mounds of puss and blood. Yes, that is gross for sure, but seeing it on film is even worse! Rollin did an amazing job with this one, greatly increasing the amount of blood and gore that are usually found within his films.
Like his other films, THE GRAPES OF DEATH is very atmospheric and gives off a very creepy mood. Rollin always uses great set pieces and great locations for his films. Unlike his other films, he focuses on story and horror elements rather than just nudity and sexuality like a lot of his other films.
If you've never seen a film by Jean Rollin, this is a great on to start with. THE GRAPES OF DEATH is available now on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Entertainment and contains the following special features:
* Mastered in HD from the original 35mm negative
* Introduction by Jean Rollin
* Interview with Jean Rollin, by Patrick Lambert and Frederick Durand (2007, 49 min.), in which Rollin discusses his varied literary influences
* 16-page booklet with an essay by Tim Lucas, editor of Video Watchdog
* Original theatrical trailer
* Original trailers of other Rollin films
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD or Blu-ray