Saturday, 7 July 2007

The Living Dead Girl (1982)

Jean Rollin’s The Living Dead Girl (La Morte Vivant) is superficially a departure from his earlier vampire films. Made in 1982, it has a lot more gore (totally unnecessary except for commercial reasons, which is always the case with gore) and it’s a zombie movie. If your idea of a good zombie movie is a George Romero movie than you’ll hate The Living Dead Girl. There’s only one zombie, and she’s more than just a shambling flesh-eating monster. She has a dim but growing awareness of her past life, and a slowly awakening moral sense at all. The tragedy is that she knows she’s a monster. In some ways she’s more Rollin’s beloved vampires than the modern cinematic idea of a zombie. Being a Rollin film it has a poetic quality to it, and the sense of loss that he does so well. Personally I think I prefer his earlier vampire movies, but The Living Dead Girl is much more likely to have some appeal for mainstream horror audiences, without totally alienating those who love his earlier work. Françoise Blanchard is effectively both creepy and sad as the zombie girl. I recommend it.

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