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Aug 27 13 6:23 AM

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#1 [url]

Sep 16 13 4:01 AM

So this is one that interests me a lot: largely because I've never properly seen it.

In a number of places ('Immoral Tales', for instance), 'Phantasmes' is spoken of as being the best of Rollin's adult films, and of course he signed it with his own name, thus identifying it as an "official" part of his filmography.

However, the only version I've managed to see - a VHS-sourced bootleg of the English language version released as "The Seduction of Amy" - was, frankly, awful (and I say that as someone who usually really enjoys plotless '70s gothic horror / sex type movies). Admittedly, the terrible quality of the bootleg didn't help, but mainly I just remember a lots and lots of borderline unwatchable hardcore footage with a few fairly stock gothic horror elements thrown in, and only very occasional moments of 'Rollin-esque' imagery and the appearance of some familiar faces to really identify it as a Rollin production.

So: am I missing something here? Does anyone know what the differences are between the original 'Phantasmes' and the 'Seduction of Amy' version? Is the latter some kind of butchered / compromised version of the former, or has the film acquired a reputation as being better than Rollin's other pseudonymous hardcore films simply because it has his name on it, and is extremely difficult to see?

Any thoughts welcomed.

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#3 [url]

Sep 16 13 5:16 AM

I think that Phantasmes is interesting only as an attempted solution to a formal and generic problem: the fusing of Rollin's fantastique vision with hardcore pornography. One imagines the film as a kind of testing ground to see whether or not Rollin would be able to continue to make the kinds of films he was truly interested in within the hardcore market. In my opinion, the film is a "failure" insofar as it is unable to resolve this basic structural problem: it isn't particularly good as a horror film, and while it has some striking images, it doesn't have the overall beautiful melancholic tone of his other work from the period. It is also, for me, decidedly unerotic (I find this to be true of all of Rollin's adult films I have seen, though). I think the reason for this failure is less to be attributed to Rollin, though, since I don't think that any filmmaker has been able to create a good horror/gothic/fantastique and porn hybrid. For Rollin I don't think that the problem is so much that it isn't "scary" and erotic (since none of Rollin's films are really scary in that sense), but rather that hardcore sex kills the eroticism that permeates every frame of Rollin's cinema. It has often been remarked that the most erotic moments in Rollin are never overtly sexual: for instance, the images of Brigitte Lahaie standing on the drawbridge with a scythe in Fascination or the four vampires' see-through dresses in Lips of Blood are far more erotic than any actual sex scene could be. Rollin's best films are about the process/production of desire (they are "desiring machines" to borrow from Deleuze); hardcore porn enacts the displacement/fetishistic fulfillment of desire. These modes of cinema are, to me anyway, completely incompatible. I would suggest that Rollin's decoupling of his hardcore porn films with his fantastique-horror films  for the rest of his carer is symptomatic of this incompatibility as well.  

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#4 [url]

Sep 16 13 7:27 AM

Thanks for your post Satori - I think that's a pretty perfect summation of the role of eroticism in Rollin's cinema. (Even in some of his best films, I find that the sex scenes are the worst (and indeed, least sexy) elements - but maybe that's a discussion for another thread.)

Anyway, apologies for posting here before catching up on the other thread about this film. So am I right in thinking that we're basically just looking at different length cuts of the same film, rather than "Seduction of Amy" being a sort of "Suck Me Vampire"-type bastardisation of a potentially far better film..?

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#5 [url]

Sep 17 13 1:02 PM

BWHaggar wrote:
So am I right in thinking that we're basically just looking at different length cuts of the same film, rather than "Seduction of Amy" being a sort of "Suck Me Vampire"-type bastardisation of a potentially far better film..?

 

Absolutely, BWHaggar! It's almost the opposite here since "Phantasmes" was later released on video in a 57 minute softcore version as "Les fantasmes d'Isabelle" :

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Don't know whether Rollin supervised that edit though...

I totally agree with your very acute analysis, Satori! I think the same can be said about the sex scenes in "Thriller" which -IMHO-  are really not needed and even distract from the flow of the story...

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#6 [url]

Sep 18 13 6:48 AM

It's great to see such an enlightening discussion on this valuable and rare Rollin title.  This is a film that badly needs an official remastered release.  I have two copies in my collection.  The first is a 71 minute English dub entitled The Seduction of Amy and the quality is fairly awful:

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The second copy I have is a French language print under its original title that runs 85 minutes (I believe this uncut).  While this copy is much better looking than the English dub it doesn't have a subtitle option, making it an imperfect experience for fans like myself who, sadly, can't speak French.  I will say this longer version plays much, much better than the shorter cut and is highly deserving of an official release. 

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#7 [url]

Sep 20 13 11:37 AM

I have got the full-length French original version of 84 mins, on VHS. This is one of my favorite Rollin movies, very haunting. Still waiting for a DVD/Blu-Ray release.

"Si demain, elle n'est toujours pas revenue, j'avertirai le maire, et nous ferons une battue"

- Youri Radionow, in "Le lac des morts-vivants"

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