The Grapes of Death [DVD] [1978]

Director Jean Rollin is one of the cinema's true iconoclasts. Even in his home country of France, Rollin is a cult figure at best, if he's even considered at all. But in the rest of Europe and abroad, Rollin has garnered a rabid following that can attest to his wild, idiosyncratic, surreal hybrid horror films of sex and death. He's an acquired taste, but for any lover of Euro-styled horror, he is a must. The Grapes of Death is one of his more commercial productions and has been branded as the first French gore film as well. It also marks the first time the director worked with the beautiful actress Brigitte Lahaie (who was working as a porn star at the time). The film is also notable for its eco-horror plot, and joins other likeminded productions such as Let the Sleeping Corpses Lie, Day of the Animals, The Crazies, and Prophecy. Synapse Films' DVD is superb and will hopefully convert many new fans to the peculiar talents of Rollin. Offered in its proper letterboxed aspect ratio of 1.66:1 (enhanced), the picture is very sharp and stable. Colors are nicely balanced and the image really puts to shame all previous "gray market" videotapes. The French language soundtrack (with optional English subtitles) sounds great, and along with the picture, has been given an excellent remastering. The disc also contains a very nice video interview with Rollin and star Lahaie (in English), a couple of original theatrical trailers, a photo slide show, director bio and filmography, and liner notes by genre critic Nigel J. Burrell. There are plenty of Rollin's films on DVD, but this release tops them all. Great stuff.
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Special Features

  • Widescreen (1.66:1) digital transfer enhanced for widescreen televisions
  • Original French language with newly translated optional English subtitles
  • Director biography and filmography
  • Video interview with director Jean Rollin and star Brigitte Lahaie
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Liner notes by Nigel J. Burrell
  • Photo slide show


The Grapes of Death
This gory zombie film was directed by cult filmmaker Jean Rollin. The plot concerns a dangerous pesticide which is applied to grapes in a wine-producing region, turning the inhabitants into insane zombie killers. There is plentiful nudity and violence for the exploitation crowd, as well as crucifixion and a topless woman being impaled with a pitchfork by her own father. Horror fans will note the numerous similarities to Jorge Grau's hit Breakfast at Manchester Morgue, while mainstream viewers...well, they probably won't be watching in the first place. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    Marie-Georges Pascal
  • Serge Marquand
    Serge Marquand
  • Image coming soon
    Felix Marten
  • Image coming soon
    Brigitte Lahaie
  • Image coming soon
    Paul Bisciglia
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