Following the discovery of an oddly mute woman pursued by mysterious animal-masked (à la The Wicker Man) individuals, a bored, bourgeois young man by the name of Pierre adopts a certain degree of interest in his snobbish father's covert nightly activities. His interest and cunning gains him access to the exclusive-entry mansion where the running female had escaped from earlier - inside he discovers groups of masked individuals indulging in strange nocturnal activities (sounds like my local council). The blood/death cult appear to be willingly sacrificing themselves to the very woman that Pierre came across earlier, and despite the fact that she was apparently shot dead before his rapid departure, she now walks around looking rather healthy and all too happy to feast on the life fluid of the recently despatched cult members.
The Blu-ray from Kino, in their collaboration with Redemption, is part of a very welcome series of the director's films, and it goes without saying that it's a notable improvement over older presentations. Having been watching The Nude Vampire since the Redemption VHS days in the nineties it's pleasing to view these films recognising the kind of quality that I believe represents how they were meant to be viewed. Colour is bold, while sharpness is less consistent than the likes of Fascination but detail is pretty good nonetheless. However, I do feel that the transfer reveals limitations with the darker sequences in this earlier effort, not that that is to be considered a criticism in any way. Audio tracks are thoughtfully provided in both native French and English - fans will opt for the former without a doubt. Literate and clear English subtitles are of course present. Extras total around thirty minutes and include a long interview with the director, an introduction, some trailers, and a further interview with Natalie Perrey, who worked on a number of Rollin's films in various capacities, from script writing to acting to editing. The package also contains the same booklet that has made its way into the other Blu-rays from the first wave of releases from Kino. I'd also like to mention that I think the packaging design of these discs is very respectful and finally helps to acknowledge Rollin as the auteur that he really was. All in all, while mainstream viewers may find this film a little too inaccessible for conventional tastes, Rollin fans will want this straight away.
Paul (The Grim Cellar)