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The Escapees

13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

On the run from an asylum for the insane, a feisty young girl and her forlorn female companion embark on a surreal journey with a group of traveling erotic dancers. Wandering from the fantastic to the farcical and back again, The Escapees contains all the magic and fairy-tale qualities of cult films like Fascination (1979) and Requiem for a Vampire (1971) and has everything one expects from a Rollin film, including two beautiful young women, startling scenes of death, burlesque shows in a junkyard and erotic lesbian encounters with Brigitte Lahaie!

This is a rare release that marks the film's DVD debut and this version has been re-mastered from the original negative.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Laurence Dubas, Christiane Coppe, Marianne Valiot, Patrick Perrot, Louise Dhour
  • Directors: Jean Rollin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001HZUOT4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,131 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Everson on September 12, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
French director Jean Rollin has garnered a cult following for his 1970s output of softcore vampire and "living dead" films. Generally shot with the crumbling ruins of European cemeteries and castles as his backdrops, all of his films evoke a wonderful otherworldly feel for an American audience. The frequent focus on lovely lesbians (generally with fangs) doesn't hurt the visual allure of his films either. THE ESCAPEES is one of his later films, and also one of his least seen. Issued in 1981, it differs from much of his catalogue in that it pairs him with a co-writer and eschews any connection to the supernatural, though it does continue his exploration of the macabre.

The film follows two teen girls who escape from an asylum where they were committed for polar reasons. One is afraid of people, the other is looking too hard for sexual adventure. They fall in with a troupe of junkyard burlesque performers, hook up with a pickpocket, and then are lured into the sordid sexual explorations of a yuppie foursome (which includes a brief but powerful appearance by Rollin regular Brigitte Lahaie.) While the settings of this film are largely grey and urban and thus lacking in some of the setting allure of his earlier work, and the vampire element is missing, THE ESCAPEES is still an intriguing film and like so many of Rollin's movies, a bittersweet examination of his two heroines. Its "underground" bar and burlesque scenes evoke some of the same offbeat feel of his earlier film THE DEMONIACS. Overall it is a bit uneven, and certainly not his strongest work, to be sure, but Rollin fans won't want to miss it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 5, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Michelle (Laurence Dubas) and Marie (Christiane Coppe) escape from a mental institution. This is astonishing since Marie is supposed to be terrified of people and catatonic! Michelle is strong and determined to get away, while Marie is very emotional and grows extremely attached to Michelle. Their adventure leads them to a traveling troupe of performance artists (aka: strippers). The girls decide to go w/ them, and wind up at a junkyard for a show, complete w/ a rowdy, mostly male audience. Michelle and Marie are the drink-servers, while the lovely dancers work their magic. Michelle desires excitement, thrills, and male companionship. Poor Marie only wants to be w/ Michelle forever. When the pair hooks up w/ a thief named Sophie (Marianne Valiot), they seem to have found peace at last. Jean Rollin has fashioned another adult fantasy tale, full of odd characters and bizarre situations. At its heart, THE ESCAPEES is a love story. There is far less nudity -until the ending- than in the average Rollin production. The plot is also less surreal, more straightforward. Rollin drastically restrains his penchant for absurdity! Alas, this allows for some rather dull stretches, especially the long-long-LONG goodbye near the end! Fortunately, Marie's people-phobia saves the day! Tragedy ensues. The finale is pure, bloody Rollin...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Binky Chottorrhœhia on November 11, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
This story of two young women determined not to be locked away (by an asylum, by society, by their own fears) is universal but, because told by Rollin, it is also delightfully unique. A nice, mellow piece with all sorts of Bohemian imagery, it never quite reaches its potential, but is well worth watching.
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Format: Blu-ray
When Redemption released Jean Rollin's Les Paumees Du Petit Matin (The Escapees) back in 2009 on DVD the disc felt a bit like of a Godsend for fans. After all, The Escapees had long been one of the hardest of Rollin's features to see, so finally having an official release was in itself a cause to celebrate. Sadly that 2009 DVD was mired by a number of technical issues. The non-anamorphic disc offered up a flat smeary looking print with drab colors and a generally inconsistent look. Add on to the visual problems present, Redemption's original DVD offered up the soundtrack in a muffled and static mix that did the film no favors. In other words, despite how welcome it was for Rollin's fans, the original DVD for The Escapees was a bit of a mess.
Flash forward nearly six years later and Redemption (partnered with Kino Lorber) has re-released The Escapees on Blu-ray in a terrific new HD print remastered from the original 35 mm negative that trumps that original DVD in every way. Finally we can see one of Rollin's most distinctive and unique films the way it was intended and the results are, at times, startling.
Few filmmakers used colors the way Jean Rollin did, and now with this new HD print we can see that this fact carried through with The Escapees. Whereas Redemption's original DVD had a flat and greyish look about it, with this new disc the colors really pop the way we know that Rollin intended. The improvement is apparent from the get-go (look at the way the dewy green grass present in the opening moments draws the viewer in immediately) and the disc's color palette stays wonderfully consistent throughout. The film's haunting and marvelous ice-skating sequence feels especially alive and vibrant now on this new disc.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By 4-Legged Defender on November 7, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Jean Rollin's films (maybe we should call them experiments/treatises in filmmaking, as few can be truly considered 'films') are captivating to some and heinous crimes comitted against the artform to others, and both camps are probably correct. His work in the late 60's was nothing more than interesting (to some) experiments at creating a feel and vibe of gothic imagery that is primarily devoid of narrative or plot. In the 70's, he started to hit a stride with a growing captive audience as his flicks got even more surreal, pseudo-psychedelic, and bizarre, where he created an obtuse and oblique alternate universe to standard filmmaking, thereby through default, engendering his own unique artform, much to the chagrin of 'serious' film lovers, who viewed his work as too vague and incoherent if not downright sacreligous. By the 80's, his work became incredibly spotty - 'Fascination', 'The Living Dead Girl' and 'Night of the Hunted' being his best output during this era, IMHO, and the remainder trashy and excessively low-budget attempts to reclaim past glories, if you consider his body of work anything glorious. I find something oddly compelling about most of his work, but my wife detests all of it, as do most of my friends who I've subjected to his world.

The only thing of interest he produced in the 90's was 'Dracula's Fiancé'/ 'Fiancé of Dracula' (it was released under both titles), upping the gore and blood quotient and freakishness considerably, with positive results, something he averted in earlier efforts.
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