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on 20 June 2014

Jean Rollin was known for his French exploitation movies that certainly are not for everybody's taste. 1982's La morte vivante known as THE LIVING DEAD GIRL is no exception. Just check out the cover art of the US Blu-ray and you'll know what to expect.
While in no way brilliant in regards of the story, THE LIVING DEAD GIRL is a class of it's own. There's no invasion of an army of zombies, there is just one, Catherine, and she is not a rotting corpse at all and in order to survive, she must drink blood.
Some of the acting is rather good - Françoise Blanchard, who plays Catherine and Marina Pierro - while others are quite bad (Carina Barone and some of the supporting cast).
The director didn't really use the movie's full potential, i got the feeling. The pacing is slow, and there is not really much going on between the killings. I do like that Catherine is not your typical brain-craving zombie that only feeds, but a deeply disturbed woman suffering from her untimely death.
There is a lot of nudity, typical for French exploitation movies and the gore scenes are extremly bloody and drawn out, the camera always stays on a full close-up, which makes this movie only tolerable for a certain audience. Catherine doesn't use a machete or knife for the killings, but rather her fingernails, poking her victims to death. What sounds pretty lame at fist actually is very gory and quite shocking.
The background story, which is a tale of friendship and sisterhood is an interesting aspect, but also here the director doesn't use the full potential. I'm not saying he does a bad job, but he could have done more with the material. There are some really fantastic scenes with both main actresses and the final scene in particular is very haunting.
THE LIVING DEAD GIRL has its flaws, but it is very entertaining if one is willing to overlook these flaws.

RATING: 7 / 10


Reviewed version: 2012 Redemption US Blu-ray
Feature running time: 86 mins. (uncut)
Rating: Unrated (MPAA) / 18 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: French 2.0
Subtitles: English
Chapters: 10
Extras: Introduction by Jean Rollin, Featurettes, Interview, Trailers
Region: A, B, C (region free)

Picture quality: B
Audio quality: B
Extras: D
22 Comments| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 December 2010
The story..A tremor in a crypt where 2 grave robbers have broken into knocks over a barrel containing a toxic waste, it then revives a beautiful dead heiress. Later, with the help of her childhood friend she must quench her thirst for fresh blood and that means killing. Meanwhile an American woman has captured the woman on camera and decides to investigate. But all those in the village who see the picture say the woman died some time ago...

After seeing "Zombie Lake" some years back i was understandably put off Jean Rollin as a serious director. Although the film was hilarious, its poorness and total ineptness was indefensible. However, after recently seeing and enjoying "Grapes of Death" and "The Iron Rose" i was eager to give the director another chance. I was correct to do so as "The Living Dead Girl" is a good film with nice photography and a genuine morbid atmosphere. Although all logic is thrown out of the window in terms of story it's well acted with a convincing relationship between the 2 lead woman. The direction is impressive with a constant gloomy and dreamy feel and look. Also the gore scenes it must be mentioned are very gory. This is definitely the most bloody film i've seen by Rollin, and although the fx aren't great at times the brutal and frenzied death moments are memorable. I personally don't find this film dull and in the quieter times i was still fascinated.
This release from Redemption is totally uncut and it's in French with English subtitles.
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on 25 January 2014
The film starts out like many zombie films: toxic waste, graves, accident. Oops, we now have zombies. In this case we just have one zombie, Catherine Valmont (Françoise Blanchard). It just so happens drinking human blood and not brains makes her more alive. With the aid of her childhood friend, she gets all the blood she needs, unfortunately Catherine also develops a conscience.

The film moves along interesting enough and then hits a low spot as it struggles with a photographer who never stops, drops, and rolls. It creates an interesting enough situation, but then confines the activity to one location and just a few cardboard characters. The dead Girl needed some life.

Parental Guide: Sex and nudity.
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This is a good film by Jean Rollin, first relesed in 1982. Catherine has been dead for two years, but when an Earth tremor causes some toxic waste to spill, the gases bring her back to life. First killing the people who had dumped the waste and were looting her coffin, Catherine makes her way back home. Catherine's home is a chateau, in which she was buried in the vaults, but finding herself alone she has to wait for someone to arrive so that she can feed on their blood.

When Catherine's blood sister, Helene arrives she at first thinks that Catherine is alive, and that she had been lied to about her death. As realisation dawns on Helene that Catherine can only be kept alive by fresh human blood, she sets about enticing people to the chateau. There is something haunting about this movie, as you see before your eyes how ultimately people change. At the beginning you can see that Catherine is the bad one, always needing blood, but by the end your perceptions change, as you see what Helene does. Of course there is some nudity here of attractive women.

This film is in colour and there are subtitles, but also quite a bit of it is in the English language. As an added bonus in the extras this also includes Rollin's black and white short film of 1965, Les Pays Loins.
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on 24 October 2000
Less gore than the US version but still retaining its essential character, this is arguably Rollin's best offering. When an earthquake causes toxic gases to leak into the tomb of recently deceased Catherine Valmont, she returns to life dammed with an overpowering bloodlust. Brought back slowly to the reality of her existence by her best friend, she becomes a tortured soul unable to deal with her need to kill. The two most notable themes in the film are the relationship between Catherine and her friend, with a depth of feeling any lesbian relationship would be proud of, and Catherine's inability to deal with her belief that she is evil. "Je suis mal!", she utters repeatedly in a truly heart-renching manner which I defy anyone not to be deeply moved by.
The only disappointing aspect to this film is the rather tiresome supporting roles of a nosey photographer and her whining husband who pop up from time to time throughout the film looking more and more pointless.
A deeply moving film with a tragic climax.
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on 4 September 2012
Uncut and region free bluray of "Living Dead Girl", Jean Rollin's goriest film.

Looks fantastic in HD with clean and colourful picture, nice French audio and removeable English subs.

Extras include interviews, trailers and booklet.

Nicest Rollin transfer from Redemption/Kino yet, lovely extras and great film. Playable worlwide.
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on 12 January 2013
This is an early 80s French language horror that's kind of a love story, a bond between two sisters, a morbid and original take on a living dead movie that still remains fresh and original today, it's a very strange plot but works really well for the time and is backed up by a good cast of beautiful women (lots of full nudity) and has some very strong bloody gore scenes throughout provided your watching an uncut version, the blood sprays all over the screen and onto naked women, the movie has subtitles of course and runs approximately 91 min on DVD uncut, if you're a lover of gore and original 80's horror then this is certainly worthy of getting, great fun.

The redemption Blu-ray version is 90mins and runs the same as the R1 DVD version by redemption.
The Blu-ray has many features too, documentaries and interviews, trailers and more.
A worthy upgrade as the picture is great too on the Blu-ray.
Blu-ray is region free and plays on UK players!
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on 29 June 2014
I'm rather a latecomer to this movie, as I don't seek out Jean Rollin movies (based on what little I have seen), but as this is supposed to be something of a classic of it's type, I gave it a go - but it is certainly not converting me into a fan.

The slim story sees a dead girl named Catherine unexpectedly revived in her coffin when disturbed by grave robbers. She quickly attacks one of them, and then seemingly in a daze, makes her way rather unsteadily back to an empty castle which is her former home. Her newly living status comes to the attention of her former best friend Helene, who seems to think the best course of action is to keep Catherine hidden in the empty mansion, rather than seek help - even despite the realisation that her friend craves the taste of fresh blood!

I was really expecting something more stylish from this movie due to it's reputation, but I have to say I think it's really poorly made. Jean Rollin was no genius, if movies like this are the evidence. Several shots are out of focus, the acting is poor, the dialogue stilted and the gore effects are downright terrible. You can clearly see the tubes that squirt blood from a throat in one shot, and the bag that Catherine is squeezing in her hand to squirt gore from a stomach wound in another. All Rollin seems to be interested in is keeping his actresses nude, for as often and as long as possible. The two leads are both very attractive, and the ornate mansion is very picturesque, but that doesn't mean that Jean Rollin is using any talent to show that off. Anyone who is not part of the main cast is so obviously an amateur, and the direction of scenes involving extras is terrible - they continually stare directly at the camera, in almost evert shot. I guess the lighting is pretty enough in daytime scenes, but at night, everything is floodlit by flat, harsh industrial lighting. And the castle's underground vaults seem to have enough light to grow tomatoes in!

I also read that the portrayal of the relationship between the two women is strong enough to carry the film, but again, I don't think this is true either. As Catherine becomes more and more aware of what she is, things get more interesting, and there are moments that hint at some depth, but these are few. In conclusion, I am amazed that people rate this movie so highly. I think it is average at best. It has a lot of nudity, which seems to please a lot of viewers, but having acting and special effects that are as downright poor is they are here, strips this effort of any redeeming value.
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on 21 May 2015
Jean Rollin wasn't a stranger to artistic missteps (to put it very, very midly), but The Living Dead Girl is one of his true masterpieces: haunting, sexy and wonderfully vague; exactly what cheap horror cinema is all about! If you like this sort of things and don't have The Living Dead Girl in your collection yet, make sure to grab this loving Redemption release!
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on 9 January 2016
softcore lesbianism & blood
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