Set in the early 1900's, "Fascination" tells a story about women who drinks bull's blood as a cure for anaemia, and seven women who starts a cult out of it after realizing they much rather drink blood from men. The same night that they are having their annual meeting, a thief on the run ends up in the same castle as the seven women.
This is my third Jean Rollin film, and I have to say that it was impossible for me to expect anything. Out of the two I've watched prior to this one, one was terrible and one was good. Both features nudity, and that was the only thing I knew I could count on in this film. "Fascination" was somewhat.. fascinating.
The story, much like in "The Living Dead Girl", is really thin and is very easy to follow, unlike the one in"Rape Of The Vampire". It starts out with a couple of women drinking bull's blood in a slaughter house. A very odd scene, I would have to say. Seeing a women all dressed in clean white clothes, standing in the middle of blood and guts. This part seems very weird if you don't know at all what kind of movie this is, but being a "vampire movie" (I wrote "vampire" because with Jean Rollin, you can't always understand why it's called a vampire movie), it doesn't take too much to understand. Following scene is about a man who has promised a couple of..well, thugs some gold for whatever reason I can't remember, but runs away with it. As they chase him, he finds a big castle (how typical Jean Rollin. Seems like he always has castles and big houses) where he decides to hide until dark. In there he meets two strange women who first seem scared of him, but later just ends up messing around with him. This is where the story pretty much stays the same through the rest of the movie. The "thugs" are camping outside, waiting for the man to try to escape, and inside the girls try to keep the man inside until dark, which is when they expect company of others like them. A few love scenes (straight and lesbian), and a scene featuring one of the women walking around with a scythe and only dressed in a cape later, the other ladies finally arrive, and the plot finally starts to move towards what we all have been waiting for. Vampirism.
The film never truely becomes a horror movie, but it obviously has reasons to be called one. It's not even until the last 30 or so minutes that we even get hints to what the ladies are, even though we know damn well that they are vampires. I was angered in "The Living Dead Girl" because it was called a vampire movie, and the same goes for this one. Atleast until the end, when some stuff are explained that made the entire film more interesting and well worth a second viewing. A second view where I could think about other stuff than flaws in Jean Rollin's way to use the vampire mythology.
"Fascination" has horrible gore/blood. The death scenes are lame and doesn't feature any notable special effects at all. There was not really anything about the death scenes that impressed me, they were boring as heck. Now, the nudity.. That's where the film wins some points back. What it lacks in gore, it makes up in female nudity and lesbian scenes. Not too far into the film there is a pretty hot scenes that goes on for a couple of minutes. It doesn't show anything more graphic than nipple sucking, but it's more than enough to please. Unlike "The Living Dead Girl" that has been called an erotic film, this one actually did have erotic scenes and not JUST nudity.
The film is about as good as "The Living Dead Girl", which was a film that I liked. "Fascination" has less gore but more erotic scenes than the other film, and it's also more of a vampire film. Weak killings made me a bit sad, but it's a fun enough movie that almost has a exploitation feel to it at times. Like every movie, it has it's flaws, but you can't take it serious enough to truely be bothered by them in this one, which has to be a good thing, right? It's definitely a film for the fans of sexploitation, vampires and the wonderful 70's.