7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Off the Scent?,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Night of the Hunted [DVD]  [US Import] (DVD)
This is an astoundingly bad film ... and interesting to watch for that reason. Jean Rollin is a genuinedly gifted, if frequently disorganised, under funded and evidently sponsor influenced director: at his best his visual sense and ability to present unforgettable scenes is almost unrivalled. He gives you time to look at the pictures - forget about the stories - and his use of lighting and skill in emphasising the depth of scenes - using passages, doorways, sweeps of stairs, distant backgrounds - are always, or at least usually, a joy. His slightly dotty plots - half baked science fiction ideas, lack of rational continuity (why are the two girls being shot at at the start of Requiem for a Vampire? - I have never found out) are an amusement of surprises in themselves. (Who else has ended up making his vampires the good guys? -"Requiem ..", "La Fiancee de Dracula" "Levres de Sang"...) Most of that flair mis-fires in "La Nuit des Traquees", though for once the diction is clear enough to follow easily! The idea of looking at the plight of people losing their memory, personality, futures, is a good enough subject. Both Brigitte Lahaie and Dominique Journet act touchingly and with considerable poise and talent - but the logic with which their situation is shown, and the explanation set behind it, are slipshod and silly; the details of the story are ramshackle and, it seems to me, improperly derivative - echoed from SS doctors in concentration camps, from the gas oven body disposal, from euthanasia of "degenerates" and so on. Even the images do not work very well - we have the inhuman scale of the city, with its crawling distant traffic, the faceless, looming tower blocks, fronted with eyeless walls of glass; we have the hint of corporate, or perhaps government, cruel inhumanity, but all this is rather routine and takes us nowhere. For the sake, presumably, of sponsors and a certain class of sensation seeking viewers we do get some fairly nasty gore and some fairly powerful, and long drawn out, pornographic scenes - alas! Astoundingly bad, indeed, though it is interesting to see just how what has worked well elsewhere fails spectacularly here. (One amusing feature is to observe how, as in some other of M. Rollin's films, pistols are routinely produced on the instant from almost anyone's pocket and are used to no particular plot serving purpose. The body count goes quite high. Very French ...) M. Rollin deserves bigger budgets and more time to think.