Review: Night of the Hunted


If you are a fan of Jean Rollin's work I would stop reading this review now, because after viewing what many consider to be his best work, it would appear that I am not.

Rollin is "famed" for producing arty vampire exploitation/erotica, but for my first experience of his film making I fancied something more complex, and after hearing this movie compared to Chronenberg's 'Shivers' I genuinely didn't think it would be bad; I was very wrong.

In a nutshell there are 3 distinct components lacking from this movie which contribute to it being a complete load of bollocks: plot, pace and the lack of shock violence advertised on the box.

The 'plot' is really the only aspect of the movie which prompts any comparison with 'Shivers'; but unlike Chronenberg's thought provoking effort, this one is a piss take. After picking up a night gowned clad girl in the dead of night a young man soon realises something is not right as the girl has issues with her memory, remembering nothing but what is in front of her. After shagging her he leaves her in his apartment where she is then found by the doctors she has escaped from, and is taken back to the hospital, located in a distinct massive tower block, which apparently cares for those whose brains are deteriorating. Apparently the condition reverses the brain to a primal state so the patients are prone to strong sexual and violent compulsions.

The plot of the movie is developed no further past this and it's quite so appallingly executed that I found it very difficult to care about what was going on. First off, the acting is shit, save for the women being willing to undress on demand, and the script is both cheesy and utterly pointless. The location of the tower block could have been used to good effect, but to be honest the empty corridors and open plan only served to make it perfectly obvious there were only around 10 people cast in the entire film. There are too many random scenes in this movie which, combined with the above, make the movie drag. Some might see 30 second camera shots of leaves blowing around, or simply staring up to the top of a tower block, as an artistic tool but I call it time wasting.

The violence also fits in nicely with the rest of the film. It's shit. The mental deterioration apparently causes the patients in the hospital to turn psychotic and so the 2 male patients kill two of the 4 female. Whilst it didn't surprise me in the slightest, once I realised the true direction the film was going in, Rollin takes the cheep way out, choosing to show the more unsatisfying after shots rather than the more skill full kill shots. There is perhaps some brutality here, particularly the scissors in the eyes, but as it is not shown it makes little impact.

Worthy of a brief mention before I summarise is the sound track, which is solely made up of the most irritating synthesiser noises and a rather amusing 'noise' which I can only describe as the humming of a composer clearly devoid of both inspiration or budget! I'm sure Rollin was going for some sort of progressive attempt at generating atmosphere, but as with all other aspects of the movie, it came across cheap and silly.

Overall, as I'm sure you have guessed by now, I do not recommend this movie at all. It's an absolute hash. As for Rollin's work, well, as Chris (co-author) so eloquently put it “if this is supposed to be his best I wouldn't want to see him at his fucking worst!. I think that sums it up.

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