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The Demoniacs
Jean Rollin loved Hollywood movies such as The Sea Hawk and The Crimson Pirate. With The Demoniacs (1974, French title: Les demoniaques), Rollin showcased that love while also turning the tables on pirate movies. Instead of giving us pirates as heroes, he gives us pirates as a vile, deplorable gang who lure ships too close to shore so that the ships crash upon rocks. Then they salvage the cargo while raping and murdering the survivors. The plot involves a pair of women who survive a shipwreck only to be brutally attacked and left for dead by the "wreckers." However, ghost-like images of the girls soon interrupt the pirates' drunken reverie.

Rollin begins this tale with an old-fashioned device: each of the main characters appear during the opening credits, framed in a vignette and introduced by a narrator. It's a style usually reserved for adventure movies or comedies--not for horrifically violent movies. Rollin seems to enjoy upsetting the audience's expectations, but in this case the light-hearted attitude only serves to make Rollin's motives all the more suspect. His pirates become brutal cartoonish characters with less depth than the Skipper and his mate in Gilligan's Island. As a result, Rollin's usual penchant for delirious, sadistic visuals is reduced to crude, obvious contrasts that overstay their welcome after only a few seconds.

To help increase the sex quotient, actress Joelle Coeur is also on hand to bare her breasts. She plays the sadistic girlfriend of the captain. During one of the movie's most disturbing scenes, she writhes on the beach, in orgiastic ecstasy, as the wreckers violate two young women.


Go to:
The Shiver of the Vampires
Requiem for a Vampire
The Demoniacs
Lips of Blood
The Night of the Hunted
The Living Dead Girl