French director Jean Rollin is somebody whose name I’ve known for years, but whose films I had never sat down and watched until today. He made a lot of movies in his career but is probably best known for a series of erotic vampire films he made in the 1970s. Fascination is probably his best-known movie.
It is about a man who flees from his fellow villainous compatriots with a bag full of stolen gold. He winds up in a creaky, old, castle where he plans to hide out until the cover of darkness. There he meets two beautiful women clad in flowing white gowns.
Though he has a gun and speaks as if he’s willing to use it the women do not seem afraid. They taunt him and speak elliptically about further friends coming that evening and something sinister happening at midnight. The man doesn’t understand but is attracted to them and so he stays.
More women in flowing gowns arrive and they too play games with the man. I’ve already noted that Rollin is known for his erotic vampire films so you can probably guess where this film is going, though it may actually surprise you.
The film uses the castle, and those flowing gowns, to great effects. This is more a mood piece than a particularly violent horror film. It takes its time getting to where it’s going but it is mesmerizing just the same. Well worth a watch if you enjoy gothic horror and beautiful vampires.