The Demoniacs (1974)
Director: Jean Rollin
Where to get it: Kino Lorber
A Poe-like study of guilt and revenge, THE DEMONIACS (Les Démoniaques) concerns a band of “wreckers” who rape and murder two young sisters, the survivors (Lieva Lone, Patricia Hermenier) of a ship they have lured into coastal rocks and plundered. The ghostly sisters haunt the Captain and obtain help from a mysterious clown (Mirielle d’Argent) who leads them to an impressive disused cathedral. There they meet a gnostic priest (Ben Zimet) standing guard over a cell that harbors the Devil himself (Miletic Zivomir), who empowers the angelic girls sexually with the evil necessary to exact their revenge.
This was my first trip into the odd world of directing legend Jean Rollin. And what an odd world it was. Here we have a very artistic film that has more ups and down than a roller-coaster. You may at time think you have this story all figured out, then the next scene has something else very weird happen and you once again are left trying to make out just what is going on. It isn’t the most exciting film ever, it does have a slower style, but I don’t think you’ll ever get bored. Will you be a little confused and weirded out at times? You sure will! But you still will find yourself watching just to see what happens next.
And perhaps this story does take a few roads it shouldn’t along the way. It may even jump the shark more times than what should be logically possible. Still, it’s very creative and something you should see if you like the more odd side of cinema. The overall presentation of this film on Blu-ray is a good one. It has been pretty much just left as is, which means you do get a good picture but it’s not been really doctored with. That means no odd blurs and such that come with older films that have been restored. Still, it looks great and it isn’t even that bad! Just don’t go into it expecting anything other than sex, rape, and mayhem!
* Mastered in HD from the 35mm negative
* French with optional English subtitles
* Introduction by Jean Rollin
* Two deleted sex scenes (10 min.)
* Additional deleted footage (2 min.)
* Interview with Jean Bouyxou
* Interview with Natalie Perrey
* 16-page booklet with an essay by Tim Lucas, editor of Video Watchdog
* Original theatrical trailer
* Original trailers of seven other Rollin films