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French Horror Movies Part 1: The Past

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Gary Floyd

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I know, I know, LOL France. Well, they've given us some great horror movies in the past, and as of late, they are kicking our ass in the quality horror department ("Inside" is the best horror movie to come out this year.) Here's part 1, which takes a look at older French Horror Moves. Part 2 (Recent Ones) is tomorrow.

 

-Un Chien Andalou (1929)-Silent Surrealist movie. Ever heard of/seen that weird black and white silent movie that opens with an eyeball slit open by a straight razor? This is that movie.

 

-Diabolique (1955)-Awesome, Hitchcock like tale of suspense about two women who kill a cruel headmaster. But is he really dead? Excellent all around, and one of the best foreign horror movies ever made.

 

-Eyes Without a Face (1960)-The best French Horror movie ever made IMO, this movie is about a Surgeon who kidnaps women and removes their faces (complete with surgical gore!) to help restore his daughter's face. A tragic, dreamlike movie, with one of the creepiest (and simplist) masks in horror history. Fun fact: Michael Meyer's mask was inspired by the one here. Oh, and yes, Les Yeux Sans Visage does translate to the movie's title.

 

-Rape of the Vampire (1967)-Old Jean Rollin movie (not the first one mentioned here) is really two erotic horror tales in one, involving three girls who may be vampires.

 

-The Tenant (1976)-Roman Polanski's other horror tale (the others include "Repulsion", "The Fearless Vampire Killers", and "Rosemary's Baby"), this movie about a Tenant slowly loosing his mind is a classic piece of paranoia that everybody should see.

 

-The Grapes of Death (1978)-Jean Rollin's unique take on the zombie movie deals with pesticide in the vineyards creating zombie like killers. Atmospheric but never slow, it should make zombie fans happy. What won't make zombie fans happy is Rollins' other zombie movie, the awful in every way Zombie Lake (1981).

 

-Living Dead Girl (1982)-Rollin's third zombie movie is better this time around, with enough blood and sex (including a gratuitous lesbian scene) to make Explotation fans happy. Not as good as Grapes of Death though.

 

 

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