Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jean Rollin Home Video Designs: Some Michel Gentil-Robert Xavier VHS Scans

These incredibly rare scans from some of Rollin's Michel Gentil and Robert Xavier films were provided for Fascination by my friend over at this wonderful database. Thanks very much to him and more are to come.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Hidden Cinema of Jean Rollin: Emmanuelle 6 (1988)



While he is only credited with the storyline of 1988’s Emmanuelle 6, Jean Rollin in fact served as the director of at least half the doomed production. A fairly feeble conclusion to what was initially one of the strongest erotic series ever made, Emmanuelle 6 has little to recommend but for Rollin fans the film is at least worth a glance.






Centering on a bizarre and rather ridiculous story of Emmanuelle as an amnesiac attempting to find herself again through a series of erotic adventures, Emmanuelle 6 is as far removed from the glorious first two films that made the series one of the most popular of the seventies. Screaming ‘eighties’ (and not in a good way) at every turn, Emmanuelle 6 is a slick and glossy production that is as empty as it is boring. If the weak plotting and mostly limp direction weren’t enough to spoil it, the fact that former Playboy model Natalie Uher generates little to no heat makes the film all but un-watchable at most points.








It is really not fair to blame the pretty Uher for Emmanuelle 6’s failure, as she was practically a total novice when the film was shot in 1987 (it would turn out to be the last film role for the young Austrian model). Nor can Jean Rollin be held accountable for the film’s problems, as his involvement on the film was mainly an attempt to save the production and make sure it was completed for the financers. The real problem with Emmanuelle 6 is that it was made at all, as the spirit of the original had all but vanished by the increasingly conservative eighties. The character of Emmanuelle was nothing but a sweet and fevered dream by 1988 and Emmanuelle 6 stands as a cinematic attempt at flogging a dead horse.





The director credited with the disastrous Emmanuelle 6 is Bruno Zincone, a former editor unprepared for a South American shoot with an inexperienced actress as his lead. Rollin told Peter Blumenstock in the pages of Video Watchdog and Virgins and Vampires that he stepped in to complete the film when Zincone, “couldn’t go back and finish it because he had another job to go to.” With the film only halfway completed and the investors understandably angry and worried, Rollin stepped in with little to no preparation and finished the film. Rollin recalled to Blumenstock that one of his main contributions to Emmanuelle 6 was coming up, “with the idea of Emmanuelle having lost her memory”, an admittedly absurd touch that at the very least recalls some of Rollin’s past glories.




Featuring a weak snyth soaked score from Olivier Day and photography by two cinematographers (Serge Godet and Max Monteillet) Emmanuelle 6 is not even technically a very good film. Having two cinematographers causes the film to basically feel like the split production it was, giving it a stylistic inconsistency that is actually more interesting than anything on-screen. The sex scenes are monotonous (especially in the alternate hard version that was prepared) and nothing approaching true eroticism is approached. Emmanuelle 6 finally feels like a rather cheap men’s magazine and it remains one of the worst productions on Rollin’s resume.






Emmanuelle 6 has a few noteworthy moments. The opening credit sequence, bathed in blue, is actually rather terrific and does a good job of playing with the iconic imagery associated with the Sylvia Kristel original. Also, the last half hour of the film does pick up slightly with special note going to some rather outrageous and unforgettable images that could have only come from the mind of Jean Rollin. Finally the film’s concluding moments, featuring a desert masturbation sequence with Uher, stand as of the most oddball finales is screen history.




Edited versions of Emmanuelle 6 can be found via used VHS copies and import DVDs. The full-length hard version remains unreleased, to my knowledge, but it is circulating online and can be found for folks looking to track it down. Rollin has had very little to say about the film over the years, which is fitting, as really there just isn’t much to say.



Jean Rollin Posters: Emmanuelle 6



Thursday, March 18, 2010

Poll Results and New Articles Coming Soon



Here are the results to last week's poll focused on Jean Rollin's leading ladies in the seventies. Thanks to those that voted!

Brigitte Lahaie 26 (59%)

Joëlle Coeur 22 (50%)

Sandra Julien 17 (38%)

Marie-Pierre Castel 16 (36%)

Catherine Castel 9 (20%)

Françoise Pascal 8 (18%)

Annie Belle 8 (18%)

Mireille Dargent 7 (15%)

Caroline Cartier 4 (9%)

Dominique 3 (6%)

Marie-Georges Pascal 3 (6%)

Nathalie Perrey 2 (4%)

Brigitte Borghese 1 (2%)

Also, my apologies for the lack of quality updates as of late. I am planning posts on Emmanuelle 6, Lost in New York and a special tribute to Brigitte Lahaie so be on the look out for some activity here in the upcoming days and weeks. Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jean Rollin Poll #2

I have just started my second Jean Rollin poll here and I invite everyone to cast their votes. This one is focused on the actresses in Jean Rollin's films from the seventies and it asks you to choose your three favorites. I wanted to limit the number to around a dozen or so so my apologies if a particular favorite isn't represented.

Jean Rollin Home Video Designs: The Night of the Hunted







A very kind reader from France recently alerted me to this wonderful database he is involved with dedicated to preserving rare VHS box art from around the world. They have a huge Jean Rollin selection here and this reader has offered to supply me with some large scans to share with fellow Rollin fans. This is the next batch featuring some various scans.

Jean Rollin Home Video Designs: The Rape of the Vampire






A very kind reader from France recently alerted me to this wonderful database he is involved with dedicated to preserving rare VHS box art from around the world. They have a huge Jean Rollin selection here and this reader has offered to supply me with some large scans to share with fellow Rollin fans. This is the next batch featuring some various scans.