La Morte Vivante

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La Morte Vivante
Vivante, jean rollin-1982.jpg
Original Theatrical Poster
Directed by Jean Rollin
Produced by Sam Selsky
Written by Jacques Ralf
Jean Rollin
Starring Marina Pierro
Françoise Blanchard
Mike Marshall
Carina Barone
Fanny Magieri
Patricia Besnard-Rousseau
Sam Selsky
Music by Philippe D'Arm
Edited by Janette Kronegger
Distributed by Films A.B.C.
Films Aleriaz
Films du Yaka
Release dates 1982
Running time 86 mins
Country  France
Language French
English

La Mort Vivante (also released as The Living Dead Girl) is a 1982 French horror film directed by Jean Rollin and starring Marina Pierro, Francoise Blanchard, Mike Marshall, Carina Barone, Fanny Magier, Patricia Besnard-Rousseau, and Sam Selsky.[1] It centres on a young woman who has returned from the dead and needs human blood in order to survive.

Plot[edit]

Two men break into an old crypt, seeking to dump toxic waste and rob the graves. When an earthquake causes the toxic waste to spill, Catherine Valmont (Françoise Blanchard), a young woman who died several years ago, is resurrected. She viciously kills the thieves and drinks their blood. As Catherine walks aimlessly through a field, Barbara (Carina Barone) spots her and takes a few photos, though Barbara's boyfriend, Greg (Mike Marshall), takes no notice. Catherine returns to her old house, the Valmont Mansion, and memories of her childhood come back to her, especially her childhood friend, Hélène (Marina Pierro). As Catherine wanders the house, an estate agent shows an old couple around the property, though they show little interest. After they leave, Hélène calls the house, presumably inquiring about it. However, she hears nothing but a cherished music box, leading her to believe that Catherine may still be alive.

The estate agent later returns to the Valmont Mansion, along with her boyfriend. Catherine interrupts their sex, killing both and drinking their blood. Hélène arrives and is shocked to discover the dead bodies. When she finds Catherine, naked and playing the piano, she assumes that Catherine didn't really die but was actually hidden for the past two years. Hélène washes the blood off Catherine, puts her to bed, and drags the bodies down to the crypt, where she discovers the bodies of the grave robbers. Catherine creeps down and begins to drink the blood from one of the bodies, but Hélène stops her. Hélène cuts her arm and lets Catherine drink her blood, until she can think of a way to supply her friend with blood.

Barbara goes around the village asking about the woman in her photograph, but the answer is always the same: it's Catherine Valmont, and she died two years ago. Greg thinks Barbara is making too much of it, and he discourages her from investigating further. Meanwhile, Hélène tries to understand what is happening to Catherine, trying to teach her to speak again. Deciding to bring a her victims, Hélène pretends to be out of fuel and flags down a helpful motorist, drawing her back to the mansion. Hélène offers the woman a drink and locks her in. The woman soon begins to panic, but Hélène throws her in the crypt, where Catherine grabs her and rips her stomach out. Soon after, Barbara shows up at the Valmont mansion, seeking Catherine. Unsettled by Catherine's behaviour, she attempts to phone Greg, but Hélène confronts her. They argue, and Hélène tries to take Barbara's camera. Barbara flees.

Catherine, now more in touch with her humanity, realises that she must be destroyed. She begs Hélène to kill her, but Hélène instead goes back to the village, to bring Catherine another victim. Barbara sees Hélène and eventually convinces Greg to accompany her to the mansion, in order to help Catherine. Hélène tortures the kidnapped girl, but Catherine rejects the unwilling sacrifice and frees her, telling her to return to the village and seek help. Drawn by the screams, Barbara and Greg go to investigate, but they are brutally murdered by Hélène. Overwhelmed by all the death and murder, Catherine attempts suicide, but she is rescued by Hélène, who offers herself to sate Catherine's hunger. Unable to resist, Catherine devours her friend alive.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Jean Rollin originally sought Italian actress Teresa Ann Savoy for the title role, but when she met him, Savoy said she would never work with Rollin under any circumstances. [2] Instead, Françoise Blanchard was cast. Blanchard found the shooting to be physically exhausting and collapsed on the set.[2]

Rollin met Marina Pierro at the Sitges Film Festival, casting her for her strong personality,[3] but finding her vain.[2]

Release[edit]

The original release was August 25, 1982.

Other Titles[edit]

The Living Dead Girl
Lady Dracula
Queen Zombie
Scare: Dead or Alive

Home video[edit]

A VHS version was released in the UK in 1994 and again in 2000 by Salvation Group.

Several DVD versions were released:

  • Released by Image Entertainment on 9 November 1999 in the US with the original aspect ratio of 1.64:1, with the English language title "The Living Dead Girl." The special features include the French theatrical trailer and a slideshow gallery.
  • Released by Encore in Europe on 30 November 2005 in a 2 DVD/1-CD set with a new aspect ratio 16:9/ 1.78:1 enhanced, the special features include: Introduction by Françoise Blanchard (in French with English subtitles), Theatrical Trailer, introduction by Jean Rollin, selected scenes commentary by Françoise Blanchard (in French with English Subtitles), interview with Françoise Blanchard (in French with English subtitles), interview with Jean-Pierre Bouyxou (in French with English Subtitles), interview with composer Philippe d'Aram (in French with English Subtitles), alternative scenes, soundtrack CD, 64 page booklet containing essay on La Morte Vivante.
  • The uncut version was released in the UK on 3 September 2007 by Redemption Films.

Kino Lorber and Redemption Films released a Blu-ray version 7 August 2012, featuring an intro by Rollin, several featurettes and interviews, and a 12 page booklet.[4]

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack for La Morte Vivante was released in 2005 as the third disc in the Encore 3-disc set.

  1. La morte vivante (3:18)
  2. La découverte des caveaux (2:53)
  3. La boite à musique (1:28)
  4. Frottements (1:31)
  5. Dans la crypte (1:19)
  6. Le bal - slow (3:24)
  7. Le suicide (1:45)

Reception[edit]

Bloody Disgusting rated the Blu-ray release 3/5, saying the movie has plenty of flaws but is worth watching.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "La Mort Vivante". The Official Jean Rollin Website. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Blumenstock, Peter. "Jean Rollin Has Arisen from the Grave". Video Watchdog #31, cited by The Official Jean Rollin Website. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  3. ^ "Blood & Pathos: An Interview with Jean Rollin". Mondo Digital. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Kino Lorber and Redemption Announce the Blu-ray and DVD Releases of Black Magic Rites, a film from Italian cult director Renato Polselli; and two films by French horror filmmaker Jean Rollin, Two Orphan Vampires and Living Dead Girl". Horrorphilia. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Harley, David. "[BD Review] ‘The Living Dead Girl’ Is A B-Level Film Worth Watching". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 

External links[edit]