Jean Rollin's Les Raisins de la Mort (The Grapes of Death) is often classed as a zombie movie, but it's actually more along the lines of an 'infected' film (a la The Crazies, 28 Days Later), featuring human 'monsters' who have not risen from the dead, but who are slowly deteriorating, physically and mentally, due to chemical contamination, their unfortunate condition driving them to kill.<br/><br/>Pesticides sprayed on a vineyard are responsible for the outbreak, the workers having breathed in the fumes and the locals having drunk the contaminated wine produced from the harvest. One of the vineyard's infected employees boards a train and attacks two friends, killing one and chasing the other, élisabeth (Marie-Georges Pascal), after she pulls the emergency cord and runs away. The remainder of the film follows élisabeth as she wanders the countryside, trying to find the vineyard where her fiancé works. Along the way, she encounters several crazed villagers, a blind girl called Lucie (Mirella Rancelot), and two men who only drank beer at the local festival, and so are unaffected by the illness.<br/><br/>Rollin successfully conjures up quite the creepy atmosphere, making great use of the rugged French countryside (élisabeth running across a foggy railway bridge is like something out of Silent Hill). His approach is measured - perhaps a little too slow for some - but he punctuates the funereal gloom with bursts of graphic violence guaranteed to satisfy the gorehounds, grisly highlights including a topless woman pinned to a kitchen table by a pitchfork, and another victim nailed to a door before having her head chopped off with an axe.<br/><br/>This being a Rollin film, there is gratuitous nudity to go with the splatter: there's the aforementioned topless pitchfork victim, Lucie being stripped by her crazy aide Lucas (Paul Bisciglia), and sexy Brigitte Lahaie, who steals the show as 'La grande femme blonde', obligingly removing all of her clothes to prove that she isn't infected.<br/><br/>A suitably downbeat ending closes what is easily the most entertaining Rollin film I have seen so far.<br/><br/>7.5/10, rounded up to 8 for IMDb.
The Grapes of Death
The Grapes of Death
A city girl is traveling by train to live with her boyfriend on his vineyard. Unknown to her that workers on her boyfriend's farm has gotten sick due to pesticides. After her fellow commuter is killed by a man with ulcers on his face, she leaves the train by pulling the emergency break n flees to a village for help but gets shocked to find that the village people has turned into crazy lunatics. —[email protected]
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