The Shiver Of The Vampires (1971) Movie Review
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Jean Rollin
Producers: Jean Rollin
Writers: Monique Natan, Jean Rollin
Date Released: April 21, 1971
Sandra Julien as Isle
Jean-Marie Durand as Antoine
Jacques Robiolles as long-haired vampire
Michel Delahaye as short-haired vampire
Marie-Pierre Castel as servant
Kuelan Herce as servant
Nicole Nancel as Isabelle
Dominique as Isolde
Rating = 2/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The story is about a newlywed couple who were planning to spend their honeymoon with the bride’s cousins. They arrived but found out that the cousins died recently. They still pushed through with their stay in the castle and were greeted by the female servants. While the bride, Isle, asked to be alone, she was visited by a vampire named Isolde and took her to the cemetery for a ritual. The groom went looking for his bride but discovered a temple with the cousins and the servants performing a human sacrifice. From then, they discovered the truth behind the death of the cousins and the vampires that were trying to lure Isle to become one. It is up to the groom to save his marriage before the vampires make their move.
For a vampire movie, it’s a bit weird that there were no fangs, bite marks, and blood. The vampires only had a trickle on the corners of their mouths. The most bloodshed came from the dead bird, the servants’ blood offering, and the nipple armor puncture. There were also a few jump scares when Isolde appeared out of nowhere.
The Grave Review
The movie was probably entitled The Shiver of the Vampires because of the unnecessary and irrelevant nudity all throughout the film. All the females in this movie had exposed their bodies for no clear reason other than the vampires just want them naked.
This probably diverted the audiences’ attention to the fact that the vampires had no fangs, they leave no traces of blood, and their scarless bite only lasts for 3 seconds. Other vampiric routines they follow include fear of the crucifix, fear of sunlight, and use of wooden stake to kill.
The nicest element in this movie is the production design which includes the lighting and set design for that gothic atmosphere. Their costumes were also intricately designed and even the sheer fabric that the servants cover their naked bodies were part of the aesthetics. The camerawork was also good in some parts especially the movements during the scenes in first-person POV.
Interestingly, the best part was when the cousins were talking about their history to Isolde. The fact that they were once brave vampire hunters and now bourgeois vampire recruiters is a great idea for a prequel.
Aside from the lack of fangs and blood, another problem in this movie is the insertion of random scenes that don’t fit in the narrative such as the servants’ seduction, the one with the boob armor that the vampire used to stab the cousins’ lover, and the weird scene in the tiny library where books fell.
The ending was also a bit crazy because the groom just grabbed the newly bitten bride in the middle of the ritual with all the vampires and servants around. Not to mention the wild goose chase to the beach where all his efforts failed and the vampires disappeared into thin air because of the sunlight.
Overall, this movie is recommended for those who are into weird French sexy horror films.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Shiver Of The Vampires (1971) two graves out of five graves.
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