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Grapes Of Death - Special Edition

3.2 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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(Mar 26, 2002)
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Editorial Reviews

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. It seems an odd boast to make for one title in a plentiful filmography devoted to vampires, ghosts and other undead, but THE GRAPES OF DEATH (Les Raisins de la mort) is Jean Rollin's most frightening movie. It was never really the goal of his previous films to frighten, and it is the unsettling, progressively chilling quality of GRAPES that makes it unlike anything else in Rollin's poetical canon. Watching it, one is almost surprised that Rollin would--or could--direct a film to such a successfully commercial end, but THE GRAPES OF DEATH unfolds like an ever-expanding nightmare whose noose is drawn all the tighter by the efforts of its young heroine to escape it. - Tim Lucas

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Bisciglia, Jean-Pierre Bouyxou, Patricia Cartier, Michel Herval, Brigitte Lahaie
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Synapse Films
  • DVD Release Date: March 26, 2002
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005U14D
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,550 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Grapes Of Death - Special Edition" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Only having seen three of Jean Rollin's films, I will not attempt to give you any insight into this interesting French director. My opinion of this film is the same as the other two I have seen by him: occasionally boring, yet well done with some good bloody moments. Out of the three I've seen, this is a little less exciting than The Living Dead Girl, yet less dull than The Night of the Hunted.
The story is pretty straightforward: a girl is attacked by a zombie on a train, leaves the train, then roams the French countryside looking for people who can help her with the ever-increasing zombie problem. The Grapes of Death title refers to wine made from pesticide-laced grapes, which is responsible for turning people into the zombies. It's different than, say, your typical Romero or Fulci zombiefest in that the people turn into the living dead gradually. It'll be just a hand decaying at first, for example, and the FX showing this and the other gore scenes are pretty effective. The people are conscious of what is happening to them, which is pretty horrible considering what dead tissue must feel like. Don't expect the blood n' guts level of your typical zombie flick though, this movie works because of the atmosphere, realism, and, of course, Rollin's use of beautiful French women.
I would say that if you are a huge fan of the Evil Dead series, Dead Alive, or other over-the-top violent gore films, Grapes of Death might be a little slow for your taste. But if you like low budget movies, arty French films, or just something different than a typical horror movie you might really enjoy it. It doesn't resort to cheap scare tactics at all, and the dialogue (subtitled) is pretty intelligently written.
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Format: Blu-ray
Elizabeth (Marie-Georges Pascal) runs through a French village while being pursued by people whose skin is rotting from the local wine due to the bug spray. Their minds command them to kill, but like zombies, not each other, just those uninfected. This is a peculiar disease that makes men rip open the blouses of women before they kill them.

PLOT SPOILER: Near the end, Elizabeth is rescued by a couple of beer drinkers.

It appears the French copied the American zombie film formula but couldn't fully commit to having zombies or real rednecks.

3 stars for nudity sleaze (Mirella Rancelot, Patricia Cartier, Brigitte Lahaie- FF)

I watched the Special Edition which has a decent transfer. Mountain View Movies $2.99 The cover is Mirella Rancelot who plays a blind woman and is the only person in the film that walks like a zombie with her arms extended.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The concept sounded a bit odd to me, but being a fan of zombie films i was intrigued even though past experience with French horror left me to believe all they do is lesbian vampire softcore.
I bought it though and found it was a pretty darn good movie with some of the atmosphere i wanted from horror and the mysterious woman on the front cover added a great deal to my enjoyment of this film.
The zombies as such are more of a laid back version of 28 Days Later extreme (SUUUUURGE!) style minus hyper shaky cam. They are diseased, slowly rotting and insane. They definitely don't like living people and certainly have some intelligence, but do not eat their victims. The reasoning behind what they do and why is left unknown other than revealing "how" they became like this.
I enjoyed the characters, the creepy atmosphere created.and there are also some good effects here as well. I would recommend this movie rather highly to fans of zombie films or even Fulci fans. There are certainly some bizarre concepts brought to this movie and feel that it is a solid horror film.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
My favorite Jean Rollin Film, rough and typical start this French gorefest but the story picks up quick. Two young college girls travel by train to the a lush country side, a staggers into their train car, kills on of the girls and Elizabeth (the beautiful and late Marie Georges Pascal) barley escapes the train alive and runs to safety at a secluded farm house. She stumbles upon a farmer and his disfigured and dead wife and then he turns to attack her. The story precedes with an infected country side due to pesticides in the vineyards, with tragic results to whomever drinks the wine from that area, becomes a savage undead killer. Good social commentary that we should ponder today about chemicals in our own foods today.

Decent cinematography mixed, fantastic gore and atmosphere and the sterotypical Euro-trash nudity make this Rollin film stand out from the rest of his catalog. Their is an unforgettable graphic scene of a woman being nailed to a door, then decapitated while screaming, that will surely stick with you. Very bleak and ambiguous ending. If you have seen Dawn, Day, Night and Zombi 2, you will really enjoy this.8 out of 10
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Format: DVD
Jean Rollin is a name instantly recognizable to hardcore horror fans, yet meaningless to nearly everyone else. This ignorance is quite unfortunate because the French director concocted some of the sleaziest, most unusual films ever made during the 1970s and 1980s, films usually imbued with a disturbing mix of hypereroticism and bloody violence. I have often tossed Rollin's name around in impolite company with seeming aplomb even though I had never seen even one of the man's films. You read enough plot synopses about someone and you start to feel as though you know every intimate detail about their work. What I did hear from others about this director oftentimes did not bode well. He is apparently well versed in schlock filmmaking, which in and of itself is not a problem with me, a true lover of bad cinema, but several of his films continue to draw raves from a selected minority of genre fans. Well, I finally sat down with a Jean Rollin film, his 1979 effort "Fascination," and was pleasantly surprised with the results. Then I followed up with "Living Dead Girl" and was even more impressed. Then came "Lips of Blood," "The Demoniacs," and "The Sidewalks of Bangkok." No wonder most people think Rollin is a hack.

"Grapes of Death" is one of the better Jean Rollin films I've seen, however, probably because the gore approaches the levels seen in "Living Dead Girl." The movie tells the story of the unlucky Elizabeth (Marie-Georges Pascal) and her nightmarish attempts to discover what happened to the residents of Roubelais, a small village out in the sticks renown for its vineyards. Viewers have a pretty good idea what happened right from the start when we see a bunch of scrappy looking French dudes wandering around in the fields spraying some chemical on the grapes.
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