Banned for over 20 years
Visions of Ecstasy, a short, 19 minute, experimental art film made in 1989, is the only film ever to have been banned outright in the UK solely on the grounds of blasphemy. Further its depiction and interpretations of the erotic imaginings of the 16th Century Carmelite nun, St. Teresa, were such that the films banning was upheld in an historic judgement at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in a case that took seven years to reach its conclusion. Now, due to the abolition of the UK's blasphemy law in 2008, Visions of Ecstasy is finally being released.
In Lost in New York, two young girls discover a small wooden idol which possesses the magical
powers of the African Moon Goddess. This 'power' enables then to travel through time and space.
Reality, and the world of cinema and literature become one, as the girls delve deep into the stories
they only once dreamed of. In new York, the city that the two girls travelled to, they meet as young
women before meeting again years later in France as elderly women in what is a genuinely poetic
and personal Rollin film.
Lips of Blood (Levres de sang) was considered by Jean Rollin to be the best, or most developed, story he ever wrote. Of all his films,
it perhaps best transcends his tendencies toward the poetical and arcane, while remaining at the same time true to his most personal, recurring
obsessions: childhood, nostalgia, lost love, romantic quests, the cinema, obselescence. In the course of its telling, it may also touch on such
unsavory topics as vampirism and incest, but it would not be an exaggeration to call Lips of Blood "Jean Rollin's Somewhere in Time".
Inspired by the 1932 Boris Karloff classic, The Mask of Fu Manchu, Sidewalks marks a rare
departure for Jean Rollin away from his usual fare of vampiric, dream-like settings in crumbling chateaus
infested with lesbian bloodsuckers. Instead in Sidewalks of Bangkok, Rollin mixes themes of adventure,
crime and mystery with comic book dialogue and cunning criminals, while throwing in some whipping and
sadistic sex for good measure.
From the perverse mind of director Renato Polseli (Delirium) comes Black Magic Rites - a
delectable example of deluxe sleaze cinema. This insanely sadistic film depicts a series
of satanic rituals conducted in the underground vaults of an ancient castle. These rites allow
for lurid depictions of whippings, burnings and torture, all of which culminates in the
slaughtering of seven naked virgins and a demonic orgy.
Taking violence to a whole new level, 'I am the Ripper' explodes out of the screen like The Matrix
crack! Fast, furious and relentless, the Ripper is death himself, let lose on a party of teenagers
who he kills one by one. The sole survivor is then challenged to a duel to the death in order to live...
Grapes of Death centres on a young woman who finds herself stranded in a remote village where
a dangerous pesticide has transformed the local inhabitants into mindless zombies intent on
slaughtering anyone who gets in their way.
Killing Car is one of Jean Rollin's least seen films and a rare departure from the vampire themes
for which he was best known though it still maintain's Rollin's signature mix of mysterious
femme fatales and female flesh. The film centres on a strange Asian woman who steals an American car
and then proceeds to shoot and kill anyone who gets in her way for no apparent reason?
Directed by Enzo G. Castellari (Inglorious Bastards) Cold Eyes of Fear is a stylish and extravagant
Italian "gialllo" - thriller. Set in swinging '60s London, this film brings you a dark and decadent world of
corrupt cops, vengeful ex-cons, threats, betrayal, fist-fights and feisty femme-fatales.
Based on real and little-known historical events, Spring of Life is a disturbing melodrama about a
young girl's involvement in Lebensborn, the mad Nazi dream to create a "master race". Just before the
outbreak of World War 2, a young Czech girl is favoured by occupying Nazi officials and taken away
from her family to a remote spa. It is only when eager Nazi SS officers come to spend the night that
she discovers the sinister truth that she is being groomed as part of a breeding program to further
One of Jean Rollin's rarest and least seen films, The Escapees, centres on two young women, one feisty, the other quiet and withdrawn, who
are on the run from an asylum for the insane. While travelling from place to place they have a number of surreal encounters including spending
time with a group of traveling erotic dancers. 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!
A call girl is hired to play the part of a client's ex-wife. However,
little does she realise that she is the victim of his dark revenge,
as she finds herself trapped in a sick game that is about to
spiral bloodily out of control!
Highly-crafted and unspeakably violent, Breaking Nikki has been
creating a storm across film festivals worldwide!
The prolific and manic Jess Franco has directed
well over 200 films. Some are dire, the majority
functional and a few are absolute classics of
exploitation cinema. The Demons, Franco's shameless
cash-in on Ken Russell's The Devils, is a true Franco
masterpiece, featuring everything from torture, lesbian sex
and demonic possession. The film centres on a witch
who is burned at the stake by the inquisition but who,
before the flames consume her, manages to curse the principal
witchfinder and his minionswith dire results.
James Darren (The Guns of Navaronne) stars as a Jazz
trumpeter on the throes of a breakdown who is sucked into a
perverse mire of psycho-sexual horror after finding a dead body
of a girl he had watched being stripped and whipped the previous
evening at a party. Now Darren along with his sultry girlfriend,
a kinky lesbian, a depraved playboy... and the mysterious,
insatiable beauty, Maria Rohm, begin a journey that may lead
them all straight to hell!
Fascination is often described as a vampire film yet, like few other horror films, it is actually about blood fetishism. Set in 1905, the story
concerns a group of aristocratic women who acquire more epicurean tastes after drinking ox's blood as a cure for anemia.
The Iron Rose is a haunting experience - a macabre tone poem about youth and age, love and nihilism,
nostalgia and superstition, and above all, life and death. Francoise Pascal (There's a girl in my soup) and Hugues Quester
(Three colours: Blue) go on a metaphysical, Orpheus-like journey inside an ancient, all-but-abandoned graveyard but, as night falls,
they cannot find their way out. As Quester's nihilism crumbles to impatience and terror, Pascal transfer her disappointed
passion for him to the cemetery itself and becomes jubilantly (and dangerously) attuned to its dead. Pascal gives a remarkably
intuitive performance, at times so spontaneous in spirit, one cannot imagine how parts of it were ever scripted.
The Shiver of the Vampire is a most unorthodox vampire film; by turns, it is magical, eccentric, poetical,
erotic, philosophical and, whenever the vampire cousins are onscreen together, surprisingly funny. It is
also unique among vampire films for offering some sort of backstory of warring paganism and Christianity
that explains why a vampire would feel revulsion for the sight of a crucifix.
Wealthy industrialist Georges Radamante (Maurice Lemaitre) has dreams of
immortality. Not through his own achievements, but by finding a way to share the
biochemistry of the mute, orphaned vampire woman (Caroline Cartier) who has been
raised by hooded needle-stickers in isolation, deprived of exposure to human faces.
Radamante's son Pierre (Olivier Martin, Rollin's real-ilfe brother) innocently complicates
matters while trying to infiltrate his father's private club. It is love at first sight and Pierre
determines to liberate his beloved, a gaol which attracts the companionship of other
vampires, who plan a torch-carrying siege of Radamante's palatial compound.
This is classic Jess Franco in a genre that he almost created single-handedly - Women in Prison or WIP films!
Here three women, among them the beautiful Maria Schell (The Odessa File) and Luciana Paluzzi (James Bond - Thunderball)
are sent to a kind of Devil's Island prison. Here, aside from the sinister Herbert Lom (Mark of the Devil, The Pink Panther series),
the inhabitants are either sex-crazed female prisoners or sex-crazed female guards who also happen
to be sadists! 99 Women features copious amounts of lesbian rape, torture, sex and numerous displays
of steamy semi-naked women... Needless-to-say this is a truly authentic look at life in a women's prison.
A true sleaze epic!!
A pair of teenage girls, who are blind by day, but when the sun goes down, they roam the streets to quench their thirst for blood.