Thursday, 23 February 2012

'Living Dead Girl' (1982) - A Review

'The Living Dead Girl', or 'La Mort Vivante', is a French film by Jean Rollin, about a reanimated corpse who returns to her old house, and finds her living childhood friend, Hélène. Catherine Valmont is the corpse in question, and is played with a  sort of innocent menace by Marina Pierro. In fact, all of the performances in this film are strong, and uniformly subtle. The problem is, they're also rather subdued, and along with the beautiful but quaint direction, the film feels a bit lacksture.

Scipt-wise, too, the movie is a bit of an odd combination. Moments of extreme (if fake-looking) gore, and harsh violence, are counterbalanced by a sort of ghost-story quality that wouldn't seem out of place in a Sunday afternoon drama. It's also very slow. The first hour essentially involves Catherine wandering around, occassionally killing people, sometimes switching to a pair of holidaying Americans (for their scenes, the language is English with no subtitles), Barbara and Greg, who do inject some humour to the otherwise lazy pace of the movie. 

Despite these criticisms, though, 'The Living Dead Girl' is a fun curiosity. Marina Pierro is fantastic as Catherine, and looks bloody good naked and blood-spattered. There's also some lovely location work, and a few delightfully gory moments to chortle at. 'The Living Dead Girl' is not a perfect movie, but it's an entertaining if slow romp. Recommended for fans of cult, Foreign horror flicks, or zombie films with a difference.

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
Veronique Pinson
Sandrine Morel
Delphine Laporte
Jean Cherlian
Jean-Pierre Bouyxou
Music by Philippe D'Arm
Editing by Janette Kronegger
Distributed by Films A.B.C.
Films Aleriaz
Films du Yaka
Release date(s) 1982
Running time 86 mins
Country  France
Language French

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