Friday, October 08, 2010

The Grapes of Death (Les Raisins de la Mort)

(1978) ** ½

After an experimental pesticide is sprayed on a large vineyard used for wine production, the inhabitants of much of rural France are transformed into zombies.

Here we have another Jean Rollin film, and this one not so bad, not great, but better than the films of his I’ve seen thus far. This one had more of a storyline than the other two I suffered through. Interestingly, I read that Rollin’s films were often unscripted, used amateur actors, and were made on virtually no budget. The lack of script may account for why his others films made little sense, and certainly why the acting was so dreadful. Also, a number of actors were from the porn industry, so with no script and little acting skills, it’s not surprising that they stripped their clothes off in several scenes, and why there was a twenty-minute sex scene included at the beginning of The Night of the Hunted. Though her clothes never come off, the woman who starred in this film, Marie-Georges Pascal, had appeared in several erotic films with titles like Hot and Naked, and I Am Frigid…Why? Sadly, I read that in 1985, she committed suicide due to her failing acting career.

Not to worry the film still contains some nudity.

But enough of that, what I really want to talk about is a snot rocket. Yes, you heard me right, a snot rocket.

So I’m about three quarters the way into the film, and the three non-zombie characters are sitting on the side of the road taking a rest after their long journey over to the next town. They’re just hanging out when one of the male characters wipes his nose followed by a snot shot. He was sitting a little further away from the camera so I had to rewind it to make sure my eyes didn’t deceive me. After that I could barely keep my mind on the film. I kept wondering whether this was part of the script or if the actor just happened to have a snot enlarged in his nose that he had to get rid of. After reading that Rollin’s films typically lack a script, I conclude that he just had a booger, and considering the acting and low budget there probably seemed little point in reshooting the scene.

This was a pretty funny moment in the film. After one of the workers that is applying the killer pesticides complains of ailments, the guy pictured above yells at him to get back to work and then sticks this pipe in his mouth. The pipe was totally unexpected and hysterical.


JPX said...

"Also, a number of actors were from the porn industry, so with no script and little acting skills, it’s not surprising that they stripped their clothes off in several scenes" Surprise, surprise, Whirlygirl "accidentally" stumbles up more nudity in one of her "French horror" movies. I reiterate, I am shocked and appalled.

I think snot rocketing should be punishable by prison time. I already can't tolerate seeing anyone spit, which is one of many reasons I won't watch professional baseball, but the snot rocket brings it to an entirely different level of public grossness. When I was little, my father and I were walking behind a demure Chinese woman in Disneyworld. She was painted up like a Geisha girl and she moved with grace. Then the snot rocket. Yep, she turned her head to the side an d blew a big boogie into the bushes. I've never been the same. To this day I think of that snot rocket and how it had no business being in the happiest place on Earth. Another terrific review, WG, you're on fye-ah, fye-ah!

DCD said...

I don't know how you are going to top this year, Whirly. These flicks, and your reviews, are completely hilarious!

I'm with JPX on the snot rocket thing. Just typing that makes me grossed out.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

*1/2? I could see at least *** in the pictures alone.

Re: the snot rocket. I must admit that I've tried doing it a couple of times in my life. It... didn't work.

Whirlygirl said...

I gave it **1/2, and I just might start giving his movies higher ratings. Now that I know about the no budget, no script, shitty actors, I'm going to view his films from a different perspective, and maybe I'll be able to appreciate them on a different level. Maybe I'll start to appreciate snot rockets in movies. Stay tuned.

Catfreeek said...

Hahahaha!! I read your review twice and I'm still laughing. Keep it going Whirly, you're on fire woman!

Octopunk said...

This review is a riot! Starting with the ridonkulous title and ending with snot rocket! I can't expel my nose without a tissue, I don't understand how others can.

Your French horror roundup is certainly resulting in a lot of skin. That's about the most boring way I can make that observation.

Landshark said...

Great great review. I have to see it for the snot rocket alone.

Incidentally, snot rocketing came in quite handy during cold, late fall soccer games. Something about the high body temp combating the autumn cold, mixed with running 5 miles. Congestion happens, and there's not a tissue in sight.