vampire.jpg
  • Sinister Cinema

If you don't know much about Demdike Stare, who'll be returning to town for Decibel Festival 2012, Dave Segal lays it out for you here.

Earlier this year, in advance of their triple CD Tryptych, Segal described the British duo (Miles Whittaker of Suum Cuique and Sean Canty of Finders Keepers Records) as "English hauntological-post-techno illuminati," so who better to provide the musical accompaniment for 1970's La Vampire Nue from horror-kink master Jean Rollin? (Demdike made their Seattle debut at May's Psychic Circle Fest.)

Even if Whittaker rejects the term "hauntological," Demdike Stare's music isn't worlds away from the unsettling, cinematic sounds of Julian House's Focus Group or Leyland Kirby's Caretaker (and I couldn't recommend the Focus Group's collaboration with Broadcast, Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age, and the Caretaker's An Empty Bliss Beyond This World more highly). Though Kirby was originally scheduled to attend Decibel, as V/Vm, he's no longer part of the bill.


The best known Rollin feature film remains his first, 1968's The Rape of the Vampire.

As for Rollin (1938-2010), the French author, director, and porn auteur worked under his own name, as well as the aliases Michel Gentil, Robert Xavier, and Michel Gand. His specialties included vampires and naked ladies. Best title: Vicious Penetrations (four of his X-rated films feature the word "penetration" in the title).

Just as Whittaker rejects a term frequently associated with his work, Rollin rejected the term "horror," possibly because he wasn't as interested in scaring audiences as in seducing them by any means necessary (lesbian vampires were a particular favorite). He also rejected comparisons to equally prolific Spanish filmmaker Jess Franco, though they sometimes worked on the same projects.

Still from The Nude Vampire
  • Redemption-Kino Lorber
  • Still from The Nude Vampire

Here's Rollin's own description of La Vampire Nue (The Nude Vampire):

By the time my second film rolled around I was a little wiser. I again succeeded in including certain images that were important to me: the men with animal heads; the curious drawing room-library I had rented on the Cours Perimony check, where I had a harp brought in. And a fantastic labyrinthine castle, where the naked vampire with orange veils, a candelabra in one hand, wandered.

I'm not familiar with the film, but I'm definitely curious. An IMDb user proclaims it "possibly the weirdest" of the eight Rollin pictures he's seen. Good or bad, it's sure to be...provocative, and I'm sure Whittaker and Canty have conjured up a suitably atmospheric score to accompany it. At the very least, Rollin didn't consider Nue the worst of his 42 (or so) films—that honor went to 1980's Zombie Lake.


Rollin prioritized the production of imagery over the direction of actors.

Demdike Stare re-score La Vampire Nue at Broadway Performance Hall today at 5:30pm. More info here. On Sept 27, they'll be part of the Modern Love Showcase with Andy Stott and Cut Hands at Melrose Market Studios. More here.