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Review: Two Orphan Vampires – The two orphan vampires (1997)

Directed by: | 103 minutes | | Actors: , , , , , ,

‘All magical girls are girls like Henriette and Louise’, according to one of the main characters in the surrealistic ‘Two Orphan Vampires’: a story about deep friendship, escapism and bloodlust. A macabre mix that could only have escaped the mind of Jean Rollin and that only he can make a credible .

‘Two Orphan Vampires’ is the only Rollin film based on a book by the director, which may explain the universal theme in the film. Besides a film about two vampire girls who can only see at night and use this time to go on an , the film is also the story of two best friends who take on the world together. Since the death of their parents (although no one knows exactly where the girls come from) they have been dependent on each other and by maintaining a world together they fend off what they consider evil outside world. Everything and everyone they encounter is given a place in their dream world. They mistake a confused woman they meet at night for a werewolf and while they are on the run from vampire hunters they receive shelter from a fellow vampire with bat wings. These fantasies are a means for the girls to counterbalance the grind of everyday life, which they experience as a restriction on their freedom. By fantasizing that they are Aztec vampire gods, they can escape this. Rollin leaves aside what is truth and what only happens in the fantasy of the girls, which enhances the enchanting atmosphere of the film. By fantasizing that they are Aztec vampire gods, they can escape this. Rollin leaves aside what is truth and what only happens in the fantasy of the girls, which enhances the enchanting atmosphere of the film. By fantasizing that they are Aztec vampire gods, they can escape this. Rollin leaves aside what is truth and what only happens in the fantasy of the girls, which enhances the enchanting atmosphere of the film.

This atmosphere is also the main attraction of the film. Rollin, who has often had to record his films in haste because of a shortage of financing, seems to have taken his time this time. The pace of the film is calm and there is no need to explain things anywhere. Rollin only presents his audience with dreamy images of deserted cemeteries, the dark streets of Paris and the long conversations between the girls where they stare lost in the distance. He leaves it up to the viewer to clarify this. The main storyline, in which the girls are adopted from the orphanage by a doctor, only serves as a setting. The events in the film mainly follow each other in a fragmentary sequence and seem to have little relationship to each other.

Although Rollin is not averse to the necessary nudity and blood to please the audience, he largely omits this in ‘Two Orphan Vampires’. Only once does he let the actresses get naked and there is little to be seen of the many biting parts in the film. The film relies largely on atmospheric locations and solid camera work, which create a dreamy atmosphere that is so typical of Rollin’s films. Supplemented with a fragmented story and beautiful , this results in a film that can be counted among the best in the oeuvre.

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