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The Living Dead Girl
The Living Dead Girl is simulataneously one of Rollin's most accomplished movies and one of his crudest. On the plus side, it features one of the most intriguing stories of any Rollin movie. Francoise Blanchard stars as a woman resurrected from the dead (thanks to chemical spillage). She isn't quite her normal self. In true "living dead" fashion, she now craves human flesh. When a friend finds her alive, the friend (Marina Pierro) begins to care for the "living dead girl." She cleans her and dresses her. The "living dead girl" has a vague recollection of her friend--enough that she doesn't consider her to be lunch meat. Meanwhile, the friend's loving devotion goes far beyond platonic love. In fact, she eventualy plays an active role in luring potential victims to the chateau that the "living dead girl" now calls home. (Clive Barker used a remarkably similar story in The Hellbound Heart, filmed as Hellraiser.)

On the debit side, Rollin's camera lingers over the gore--even when the effects are clearly phony. In one scene, the "living dead girl" rips into the throat of her victim and emerges with a glob of flesh that looks suspiciously similar to tofu. Scenes like this one are especially disappointing because the gore effects aren't really necessary. The movie develops a fascinating relationship between the two women, yet Rollin half-heartedly attempts to satisfy the audience members who crave blood by delivering some of the most exploitative and amateurish violence of his career.

Francoise Blanchard effectively portrays the "living dead girl." Her role isn't a particularly demanding one. For many of her scenes, she is nearly catatonic, but she conveys a compelling mixture of confusion and ghoulish stares. She's an unwilling ghoul who never truly understands what she has become--or who she once was. She's one of the saddest characters to grace a Jean Rollin movie.


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