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on July 18, 2000
Yet another well-done, beautiful-looking Jean Rollin film. Some workers storing chemical waste in a crypt decide to moonlight as grave-robbers and open a coffin containing an astonishingly well-preserved young woman. But oops, there's this earthquake, y'see, and chemicals spill and o' course this brings the girl back to life and she starts killing (sharp fingernails!). Then she wanders off to a large chateau, of which her undead brain contains vague memories. There she meets her best friend, who's so glad to see her back among the living (sort of) that she decides to help her get the blood she craves by luring in victims. This leads to some pretty heavy gore - more graphic than what you usually see from Rollin - and o' course there's plenty of nudity, all of it beautifully, poetically filmed. Pretty extreme in all counts, and has that dreamlike suspension-of-logic that'll make you not worry about details (like why didn't the girl decay at all? and is there anything worse than the accordian-rock of The Fireflies?). Another good 'un from Rollin.
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on July 12, 2012
God forbid...the utilization of nudity as an artistic mechanism--and by a pornographer, no less! An odd, happy little find from the antique horror section, this film manages to take a serious approach at what may be prematurely deemed a lesbian zombie exploitation flick.

Our story is about a young woman (Catherine) who rises from the dead after an earthquake causes a small toxic waste spill. Completely undecayed and looking quite lovely, she stabs two guys in the eyes and throat with her apparently deadly fingernails in some ultra-campy gored up scenes that should please with broad smiling Oh Gods. She then finds her way to a castle in which she once lived. Now this may feel like the beginning of some classic, trashy, Euro-horror smut with excessive gore, but this film actually offers us a lot more than that and shouldn't be prematurely judged.

She sheds a few tears--as zombies do, if indeed that's how we're to classify her--as the house stirs up some memories of her childhood and best friend (Helene). She kills a few others, again with brusquely executed fingernail throat stabbings, then does some blood-feeding--not really sure if I'm supposed to say the word "vampire" here. Now comfortable in her home, Catherine strips to nothing as if reborn into her new form. I'm not gonna' lie. There is a lot of full frontal nudity in these scenes and, again, I'd remind you not to judge just yet.

Catherine's beloved friend Helene arrives and knows that her best friend has been dead for a good while by now. But her reaction is not disbelief or panic. No, no, no. It's are you okay? as she stands before her mute, naked, blood-soaked, clearly murderous, long dead friend like everything is normal. There is a serious suspension of reality now as Helene lays undead Catherine down to rest as she relocates the victems' naked corpses to the cellar vault. Then, as if routine, she invites Catherine to bloodfeed on her wrist very much like a scene out of True Blood.

So you may have noticed a bit of a theme with the nudity here. However surprising, this is all done with a straight face as if the goal was to make a serious, even poetic horror film. As it turns out, after these first few scenes there is no more nudity in this film and the nudity that passed, in fact, served a tactful purpose in setting a heavy, dark, romantic tone.

Like a boudoir version of Regarding Henry or The Vow, Helene rehabilitates Catherine, teaches her to speak and tries to remind her of their love. And, like those movies, Catherine is overwhelmed and meets hysteria at times. Without a flicker of consideration, conscience or reason, Helene starts luring attractive women to the castle for Helene to feed. Why young attractive women? Duh! They're delicious!

As Catherine becomes more self-aware, she feels conflicted about her "evil" existence in which she must drain others of life to survive. Once she finds her humanity she doesn't wish to continue. Meanwhile Helene, trying to preserve her friendship by any desperate means necessary, becomes more monstrous as she tries to force victems on Catherine, letting their blood before her as if to inspire her beast within, and killing any who may threaten the livelihood of her love--now more Helene's obsession.

Directed and written by Jean Rollin, whose work includes The Nude Vampire (1970), Lips of Blood (1975), The Grapes of Death (1978), Zombie Lake (1982), Two Orphan Vampires (1997), La Fiancee de Dracula (2002) and a lot of porn, this film represents a pornographer's foray into expressive film using, of all things, horror as a delivery mechanism. I'd say it was a success and should be included in any true horror fans' resume. The somewhat poetic ending is neither predictable nor original, but it serves the story perfectly.
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on July 16, 2000
THE LIVING DEAD GIRL is easily my favorite of the 7 Jean Rollin DVD's released thus far by IMAGE on DVD and it's the only one in my permanent collection. If you like your euro-horror a little sexier, a lot GORIER, and even quite humorous, you cannot go wrong here. From the opening scene with the graverobbers being disfigured by toxic vapors (hilariously fake) to later ultra-gory scenes as our tragic zombie-female-vamp dispatches one victim after another with her long sharp fingernails or devours their necks in extra-long munching scenes, this one DELIVERS the goods! It has a very euro-horror feel to it and is not as esoteric and heady as some of the other Rollin films. Although french, it easily would appeal to fans of italian horror as well...so if you're not a big Rollin fan, you may want to give this one a chance anyway. The DVD looks great and includes a trailer with ALL the highlights of the film in it (so watch the movie first). Check it out!
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on February 4, 2013
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Jean Rollin films are an acquired taste. Maybe that's not quite it - it may be that those who enjoy Rollins output were immediately attracted, while those who don't get it never will.

I don't get it.

I mean, I get sexy women prancing around in the nude; I get gory scenes of flesh eating and eye-gouging and axes to the head; and I certainly get the not-so-subtle lesbianism. I get how all those things and more can be a part of an entertaining film - B-class or otherwise - and The Living Dead Girl has all these and more. All the necessary ingredients are here, and, to varying degrees, Rollin's zombie export is on par with other, low-budget, poorly acted horror films.

What I don't get is the acclaim for this and other films by Rollin. I will grant that he has a particular story that he wants to tell, and in a particular style, and he stays very true to that vision. I will also grant that his films have a very visceral affect on me; even in something as goofy as School Girl Hitch Hikers (or High School Hitch Hikers, depending on what version you find) has a way of drawing me into his deviant world in a way I'm not sure I'm comfortable with - or at least not comfortable enough to seek out on a regular basis. Although apparently I have a need to dip back into that well occasionally just to remind myself that it isn't really my bag.

Or maybe it is an acquired taste after all, and I just haven't seen the amount of Rollin material necessary for me to properly appreciate it. But I do know that there is something about Rollin's camera work - the way it lingers - that is extremely voyeuristic. It is repellant and enticing at the same time, which reminds me of another cult director, Jess Franco. Both of those guys have a way of making me feel a bit depraved for watching their output.

Well, if you are already a Rollin fan, you don't need me to tell you to check this one out too; if you aren't, but feel as though the typical cartoonish horror of most mainstream films just aren't getting the job done anymore, then it may be time to step up to something truly outré. But if Saw, Hostel, The Devil's Rejects, or, God forbid, Twilight are still your cup of tea, then Jean Rollin probably won't be. While The Living Dead Girl may not be the best example of Rollin's work, it seemed representative enough to me, and if you are curious about his films, then I don't think it will hurt to start here. My only suggestion is to watch it alone. Voyeurism loses its charms when it becomes a group effort.

Trust the Chief.
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on April 3, 2013
Jean Rollin, French Horror Sexploitation Auteur hits hard with a Zombie-Lesbo love tale about a ressurected woman, Catherine Valmont (Fransoise Blanchard) and her long time girl friend Helene (Marie Pierro) and their exploits of lust-filled murder, kidnapping and the consequences that follow.

Foolish Grave Robbing Thieves, who also dump toxic waste meet their eye-gouging demise with the beautiful Living Dead Girl after a small tremor awakens her from her coffin. After Catherine racks up a 3 man body count, she wanders the beautiful French country side barefoot and only wearing a white gown and is photographed by a tourist and her husband. The tourist woman becomes obsessed that this Living Dead Girl is the young Catherine only back from the dead and confronts her. After a few more naked dead people pile up, Helene unsuccessfully attempts to feed Catherine with a dead bird, then kidnaps a random woman and gives her to Catherine who then tears the victim apart.

Most fans of Rollin expect his films to be loaded with French styled gore and nudity and also are aware of the slow pacing in between scenes. Such is the staple for Euro Sleaze.

The films last 10 minutes kick in to high gear and to honest, it is pretty damn grueling to the degree of saying out loud "what other horror film can offer such goodies"?

(Spoilers)
Catherine then frees her next stripped bare victim and sets her loose, realizing that she is evil and hates herself. Then Helene sets a tourist on fire who flees screaming and jumps off a bridge and chops another tourists head with a midieval axe. Catherine attempts to drown herself in a lake but is rescued by Helene. In Catherine's fury she rips Helene to shreds and devours her with a slow backwards moving camera shot, leaving the blood-soaked Catherine alone in the dark.
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on May 26, 2013
In terms of quality the blu-ray is good and i am sure these have their fans, but French horror does not suit me as much. I must admit this was my first of 3 French Horror movies and it is a good film, but i am not versed in French Horror and failed to connect with either the Americans or the woman and her zombie girlfriend.
I enjoy the movie as a Sensual Thriller, but as far as "horror" i felt i was left wanting more. Mild on effects and atmosphere but it does deliver on sex and nudity, this film explores how far a best friend would go for a childhood promise. There is plenty of near sensual bloody action, most of which revolves around our undead female feeding on blood to regain her memories and sustain life. She is not a vampire, though her feeding habits imitate it closely and daylight does not bother her and so much of the action occurs during daylight hours and uses no witchcraft, demons, or other elaborate mystical reasons for these events other than a blood pact made by the two girls as children.
So i would suggest going into this movie looking for the feel of an adult Twilight Zone if anything. There is no bump in the night or mystical talisman to banish eternal evil, no cobwebbed corridors or fog covered graveyards. Just a near lesbian sensual thriller with a chick drinking blood from mostly hot females' throats.
For what it is it is a good movie, but i went into the movie expecting a different experience and style of film.
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Some unscrupulous men are storing barrels of toxic waste in a crypt. Once inside, they decide to plunder the coffins and steal the jewelry from the corpses. Uh-oh! A mysterious tremor strikes, knocking one of the barrels over, spilling its contents on the ground. Catherine (aka: The LIVING DEAD GIRL) rises from her casket, and kills the men in grisly fashion w/ her long, sharp fingernails! She leaves the crypt and heads for her castle. Alas, her ancestral home is vacant, and is soon invaded by strangers. Time to clean house! Nudity, gore, and bloody mayhem ensue. Meanwhile, Catherine's sister Helene stops by for a visit. More nudity. Helene hides the bodies of Catherine's victims. She tries to get Catherine to act more "alive", but finds herself trolling for fresh prey for her instead. More blood and entrails. LIVING DEAD GIRL is Jean Rollin's tragic horror film about life, death, and the hideous state in between. Catherine is every bit as pitiful as she is terrifying. The finale is a grabber! A macabre classic...
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on April 22, 2014
Another reviewer already spilled the beans, so it won't be a spoiler to say a dead girl awakens with a thirst for blood, then develops a hunger for human flesh. Be warned, there is no conventional ending. If you're expecting the girl to die or the villagers to rise up, well, it ain't happening. The cover shows pretty much how this ends. Will she die? Will she go on with her taste for blood and human flesh? Will the villagers track her down? No clue. I'm not teasing. What you see on the cover is all you get. Worth the rental.
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on March 7, 2002
I can honestly say that this is one of the most... er... unusual films I have ever seen! When a chemical spill inadvertently resurrects a young woman who died two years before, she does not appear to be very happy to have been brought back as a "living dead girl". I suppose this would account for her disturbingly anti-social behavior (i.e. gouging out people's eyes, eating people, drinking their blood, et cetera)....P>This is a thoroughly enjoyable film, although I would strongly advise watching it on either an empty stomach or a full stomach. Unless you own stock in a barf bag company, I really do not think that you would enjoy washing down your Coke and Pizza with images of blood and guts emanating from your television screen.
Anyway, this is an A +++++ film! Enjoy, everybody!
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on July 12, 2012
God forbid...the utilization of nudity as an artistic mechanism--and by a pornographer, no less! An odd, happy little find from the antique horror section, this film manages to take a serious approach at what may be prematurely deemed a lesbian zombie exploitation flick.

Our story is about a young woman (Catherine) who rises from the dead after an earthquake causes a small toxic waste spill. Completely undecayed and looking quite lovely, she stabs two guys in the eyes and throat with her apparently deadly fingernails in some ultra-campy gored up scenes that should please with broad smiling Oh Gods. She then finds her way to a castle in which she once lived. Now this may feel like the beginning of some classic, trashy, Euro-horror smut with excessive gore, but this film actually offers us a lot more than that and shouldn't be prematurely judged.

She sheds a few tears--as zombies do, if indeed that's how we're to classify her--as the house stirs up some memories of her childhood and best friend (Helene). She kills a few others, again with brusquely executed fingernail throat stabbings, then does some blood-feeding--not really sure if I'm supposed to say the word "vampire" here. Now comfortable in her home, Catherine strips to nothing as if reborn into her new form. I'm not gonna' lie. There is a lot of full frontal nudity in these scenes and, again, I'd remind you not to judge just yet.

Catherine's beloved friend Helene arrives and knows that her best friend has been dead for a good while by now. But her reaction is not disbelief or panic. No, no, no. It's are you okay? as she stands before her mute, naked, blood-soaked, clearly murderous, long dead friend like everything is normal. There is a serious suspension of reality now as Helene lays undead Catherine down to rest as she relocates the victems' naked corpses to the cellar vault. Then, as if routine, she invites Catherine to bloodfeed on her wrist very much like a scene out of True Blood.

So you may have noticed a bit of a theme with the nudity here. However surprising, this is all done with a straight face as if the goal was to make a serious, even poetic horror film. As it turns out, after these first few scenes there is no more nudity in this film and the nudity that passed, in fact, served a tactful purpose in setting a heavy, dark, romantic tone.

Like a boudoir version of Regarding Henry or The Vow, Helene rehabilitates Catherine, teaches her to speak and tries to remind her of their love. And, like those movies, Catherine is overwhelmed and meets hysteria at times. Without a flicker of consideration, conscience or reason, Helene starts luring attractive women to the castle for Helene to feed. Why young attractive women? Duh! They're delicious!

As Catherine becomes more self-aware, she feels conflicted about her "evil" existence in which she must drain others of life to survive. Once she finds her humanity she doesn't wish to continue. Meanwhile Helene, trying to preserve her friendship by any desperate means necessary, becomes more monstrous as she tries to force victems on Catherine, letting their blood before her as if to inspire her beast within, and killing any who may threaten the livelihood of her love--now more Helene's obsession.

Directed and written by Jean Rollin, whose work includes The Nude Vampire (1970), Lips of Blood (1975), The Grapes of Death (1978), Zombie Lake (1982), Two Orphan Vampires (1997), La Fiancee de Dracula (2002) and a lot of porn, this film represents a pornographer's foray into expressive film using, of all things, horror as a delivery mechanism. I'd say it was a success and should be included in any true horror fans' resume. The somewhat poetic ending is neither predictable nor original, but it serves the story perfectly.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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