Review Date: November 9, 1999
Released by: Image Entertainment
Release date: 11/9/1999
Region 1, NTSC
Widescreen 1.85:1 | 16:9 - No
Jean Rollin is a famous cult director of foreign films. He has directed and acted in over 50 movies since the beginning of his career. Image Entertainment and Redeption have teamed up to release numerous Jean Rollin films on DVD. Here we take a look at the 1982 Jean Rollin directed film "Living Dead Girl".
The film opens with two men bringing a barrel of toxic waste into some underground crypts beneath the Valmont castle. These crypts hold the dead bodies of two Valmont family members - a mother and her daughter who died only two years back. After disposing of the toxic waste the men open the coffins to steal the jewelry from the two women. While doing this a small earthquake occurs and the barrel of toxic waste is knocked over and starts to leak fumes. The fumes spread into the room that holds the bodies and the toxic fumes cause the daughter, Catherine, to rise from the dead in search for human blood which she must consume in order to continue being the living dead girl.
An American couple is taking their vacation in a town next to the castle. The couple, Barbara and Greg Simon, go out to the fields of the castle and start to take some pictures. Barbara sees Catherine walking through the fields and snaps some pictures of her. After showing the pictures to local residents she learns that everyone believes the person to be Catherine Valmont, who has been dead for two years now.
All Valmont family members are dead and their castle is now up for sale. Catherine returns to the castle and discovers a music box from her childhood. During Catherine's life her best friend was Helene. They became blood sisters when they were young and promised to love one another forever, even in death. Helene makes a call to the castle to talk to the caretaker and Catherine knocks over the phone and starts to play the music box. Helene immediately remembers this music from her childhood and rushes to to the castle to see if it's Catherine or not. When she arrives she finds Catherine naked and soaked in blood. Several bodies lie about throughout the castle. Helene disposes of the bodies and begins to teach Catherine how to talk again. She vows to help her continue living by providing human blood for her to consume and continue living.
Barbara travels to the castle to find out if it's truly Catherine Valmont or not, and to try and take some more pictures of her. She confronts Catherine who warns her that she's dead and needs help. Helene comes and tries to take the pictures away from Barbara but fails. Barbara flees the castle and convinces her husband to return to with her to find out the truth to all this. They return to find the truth and end up discovering who the true monster and victim are in this story.
This film was a little slow moving at times, but overall it was a great film once it gets going. It's a tragic film with a sad ending where you really do feel sorry for the living dead girl. This alone makes it a good film as it is convincing and you feel emotion for the characters being portrayed. There's also a fair amount of gore and pleanty of gruesome deaths which always helps! Lets hope Image and Redemption continue to team up and release more DVDs of cult director Jean Rollin's additional films.
Living Dead Girl is presented in it's original theatrical ratio of 1.85:1. It is not 16:9 enhanced for widescreen TVs. The transfer is superb overall, which I think most of us have come to expect from Image Entertainment. The colors were well balanced and rich, blacks were solid. There were some minor blemishes that appeared every now and then but very few overall. I only noticed one or two grainy scenes; the most severe being towards the end of the film when Helene goes down to the water to get Catherine. Main complaint on the transfer is lack of 16:9 enhancement.
Living Dead Girl contains Dolby Digital mono sound. Dialogue is in French with optional English subtitles. Dialogue and musical score sounded terrific. No hisses or pops heard.
This DVD is short on supplements. It contains a French theatrical trailer, director filmography, and photo and a poster gallery containing various stills from the movie and promotional items
Definitely worth a rental. Any fans of the film or director Jean Rollin's work should definitely rush out and buy the DVD. Image really delivered here in terms of quality. Would've been nice to see some more extras and an anamorphic transfer, but for $25.00 you're still getting your money worth with this one.
Movie - B
Image Quality - B+
Sound - B+
Supplements - C
- Running Time - 1 hour 31 minutes
- Not Rated
- 1 Disc
- Chapter stops
- Mono sound
- Still gallery
- Director filmography
- # Photo and poster gallery