4 December 2010 | tbyrne4
underrated Rollin feature is a haunting curiosity
This interesting film from Jean Rollin is somewhat of a departure from his usual vampire films. There is no supernatural element to be found in this one. Here the terror is more of the David Cronenberg variety.
Plot begins with a man encountering a young female amnesiac wandering along a country road one night. It turns out she has escaped from a lunatic asylum which is inside a very futuristic-looking skyscraper (one of the film's best touches). All of the other patients are also amnesiacs. They are unable to remember anything but the last 15 to 20 minutes. Inside the asylum they are basically just left to wander aimlessly. There's quite a bit of violence and sex with patients attacking each other, having hot sex, etc..
I really enjoyed this one. I am surprised it is considered one of Rollin's weaker films. I tried watching "The Iron Rose" right before this and found it such a crashing bore that I couldn't finish it. But I really like "Night of the Hunted". I can only imagine people think this one of Rollin's weaker films because it lacks the Gothic element of some of his other films. The futuristic architecture is a neat touch. Also, Brigitte Lahaie is gorgeous and she has a certain deer in the headlights look that is perfect for this.
Unfortunately, Rollin totally botches the ending. It could easily have been haunting but what he goes for (in my opinion) does not work. It ends up being unintentionally funny. Oh well. Besides that it was good.