CineSavant Column

Saturday October 21, 2023



In this Halloween Rush we’d like to make mention of some Powerhouse Indicator horrors of the erotic kind, leading off with a double bill of vampire pix from Jean Rollin. Beautifully remastered are Lips of Blood (Lèvres de Sang) and Fascination, softcore sex & death epics en français that have always enjoyed an underground reputation. I at least did admire Rollin’s terrific art-nouveau posters.

The Hardy Encyclopedia of Horror doted on the works of Rollin, who operated as something of a minimalist. Jean-Luc Godard said that all he needed to make a movie was a girl and a gun; Rollin dropped the gun business and substituted lots of blood and sheer see-through costumes. We long ago reviewed the filmmaker’s initial effort The Rape of the Vampire just to see what the buzz in Cinefantastique was about.

Made in the second half of the 1970s, these two features have lush locations and bright color cinematography, and feature Rollin regulars Natalie Perrey, Brigitte Lahie and Jean-Marie Lemaire as his fang-toothed succubi in diaphanous drapery.

All of these titles have U.S. editions and come in either 4K UHD or Blu-ray. Indicator’s U.S. Editions page will take viewers to details, but for clarity I’m linking to U.S. Amazon listings.

Besides  Lips of Blood and  Fascination, also newly released in both formats are Rollin’s  The Rape of the Vampire (Le viol du vampire) and  The Night of the Hunted (La nuit des traquées), plus Renato Polselli’s  Black Magic Rites (Riti, magie nere e segrete orge nel Trecento).




The resourceful David J. Schow has circulated this link to an SFGate web article by Farley Elliott (10.15.23) that opened our eyes: behind the famous Hollywood Sign on Mount Lee, visible to most of Los Angeles, was once a swimming pool. The sign is a daily view to us at CineSavant Central, so it’s a bit of a revelation, and the most notable footnote about the sign since learning the grim tinseltown lowdown on the tragic Peg Entwhistle.

The short, illustrated article explains how and why, a story that involves movie mogul Mack Sennett, and a long-ago attempt to put a TV broadcasting facility on the crest of the hill, above the sign. The story also explains why it’s called ‘Mount Lee’:

Secrets of the Hollywood Sign.
Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson