Lips of Blood AKA Lèvres de sang (Blu-ray) [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - America - Powerhouse Films
Review written by and copyright: Rick Curzon (21st October 2023).
The Film

One of Jean Rollin’s best-loved films, Lips of Blood (Lèvres de sang) finds the master of the fantastique marshalling all of his obsessions – ruined châteaux, remote beaches, abandoned graveyards, mysterious twins, and female vampires.

When a photograph of a decrepit seaside château evokes a childhood vision of an encounter with a mysterious girl, Frederick is compelled to investigate. Soon, he uncovers a surreal and erotic netherworld of vampirism from which he might never return.

Starring regular Rollin actors Jean-Loup Philippe (The Rape of the Vampire), Natalie Perrey (The Iron Rose), and twins Cathy and Marie-Pierre Castel (Requiem for a Vampire), Lips of Blood is a tour de force within Rollin’s inimitable oeuvre.


One of Jean Rollin's very best, most intriguing, most poetic exploitation films get the deluxe treatment from Powerhouse Films as part of their exceptional Indicator range (heck, it's their only range!). It's also part of an ongoing restoration programme to bring a slew of Rollin's films back into circulation in the UK and in UHD BD editions. The booklet has the following text highlighting the source of .powerhouse's new transfer:
Lips of Blood was scanned, restored and colour corrected in 4K HDR at Final Frame Post, London, using the original 35mm negative. Many thousands of instances of dirt were removed, scratches, stains and other imperfections eliminated, and a number of damaged frames repaired. No grain management, edge enhancement or sharpening tools were employed to artificially alter the image in any way.
This has always been a vividly shot and presented film and generally speaking has always looked pretty good on home video, especially on DVD and prior BD editions. Indeed, I have both the 2006 Dutch special edition DVD and the 2012 US BD, both being very fine for their respective formats. However Powerhouse Films and Final Frame have blown them all out of the water with this new edition and restoration. I'm sure all my comments on this BD will apply to the max with the concurrent UHD BD with the addition of an HDR boost that will wring even greater colour definition out of this already richly hued, carefully crafted visually striking production.

Reds are especially noticeable along with various types of coloured gel lighting used throughout (greens, reds, blues). Rollin and his DP have created a film that can rival Hammer in it's use of colour starting with the shockingly red opening and closing credits text. It's all beautifully hand.ed by the new restoration and encode with bot shred of bleed and although there is some filmic softness that goes hand in hand with plentiful, lovely grain which maintains a keen sheen from first frame till last. This is one of the best transfers of a low budget, mid '70s film that I've seen. You can tell that those working on this disc love their work and the film itself.

Black levels are deep, rich and filled with shadow detail and no unintended crush. Highlights are rendered strongly by the contrast which allows fine detail to come through. The encode is perfect and there's no signs of digital tinkering nor print dmage. I doubt this film has ever looked as good as this, a knockout and demo quality vintage material ('A+').

1080p24 / AVC MPEG-4 / BD50 / 1.66:1 / 86:55


French LPCM 1.0 (48kHz)
Subtitles: English (optional)

The sound is almost as strongly rendered as the image only being a vintage, low budget mono track there are obvious limitations in range but damn it, the sound designers back in '75 certainly gave it there all! Range is surprisingly good and although there's no real depth it's been well recorded at the time and carefully crafted as I would expect from Rollin; a consummate filmmaker on his films that were deeply personal to him as Lips of Blood was. Dialogue is crisp and clear and although there is some very gentle hiss it's to be expected and only noticeable if one cranks the volume up. I heard not the slightest bit of distortion, even on high volume. English subtitles are first class caping off a strong sonic representation ('A').


(1.) Audio commentary with film historians Stephen Jones and Kim Newman (2023)
(2.) 2005 selected scenes audio commentary with Jean Rollin and an unnamed moderator (32:46)

Jones & Newman are the Butch and Sundance of the commentary world; icons who never seem to disappear! They know their stuff, love the movies under discussion and relate how they came to first see Rollin's films (which back in the '70s and '80s weren't easy to see). They kick off by highlighting how Rollin's quirky approach in that scenes start how you would expect them to end (people being put back in coffins, nude scenes where people put their clothes back on etc). Rollin's other films including his porn are discussed, his relationship to Jess Franco, Newman's take on the vampires in .rollin's films and how they can influence events, the marmite nature of his films, fairy tales vs horror, how a character in this film looks like Millie Bobby Brown in Stranger Things as well as lots about the film, the cast and crew. The vintage cutdown commentary with Rollin and an unnamed moderator has also been included. It originated on the 2006 Dutch Encore special edition DVD and is essential as is any interview, introduction or commentary Rollin did. He's intelligent, charming and witty and this comes through here. Both are presented in lossy English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (48Khz, 192Kbps) with no subtitles.

"Jean Rollin Introduces Lips of Blood" 2023 featurette using a 2005 introduction (2:26)

Short introductory piece using newly restored HD footage from the transfer and weak 2005 video footage upscaled. Rollin gives us his thoughts on the film (he feels it's his best script). Presented in 1080p24 1.66:1 with lossy English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo (48kHz, 192Kbps) and no subtitles.

Cast and Crew Interviews:
- "Living Memories: Jean Rollin on Lips of Blood" 2023 featurette (9:27)
- "The Beach That Follows Me" 2005 interview with director Jean Rollin (24:35)
- "Fantasy Life: Jean-Loup Phillippe" 2023 featurette using a 2005 interview (15:19)
- "Early Impressions: Serge Rollin on Lips of Blood and Jean Rollin" 2023 featurette using a 2005 interview (10:43)
- "Sibling Rivalry: Catherine Castel on Jean Rollin" 2023 featurette using a 2005 interview (11:09)
- "Exceptional Poetry: Natalie Perrey on Lips of Blood and Jean Rollin" 2023 featurette using a 2005 interview (10:58)
- "Little Mother: A Few Memories of Lips of Blood" 2023 featurette using a vintage interview (10:34)

92:45 worth of interview material that effectively forms a loose making of the film with several key players giving their thoughts. It's mostly presented in 1080p24 1.78 with upscaled 1.33:1 interviews and 1.66:1 clips taken from the new HD masters. Lossy French Dolby Digital with optional subtitles. I found most interesting the featurette on the beloved Dieppe beach that Rollin kept coming back to and how it meant so much to him.

"Buried Dreams: Virginie Sélavy on Lips of Blood" 2023 interview (9:06)

Described online as "film scholar, writer and editor." and Sélavy describes herself thus: "I am a visiting lecturer at the London Film School, the National Film and Television School and Ravensbourne University." She provides a nice look at Lips of Blood here and makes her points and observations well. 1080p24 1.78:1 with lossy English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo (48kHz, 192Kbps); no subtitles.

Theatrical Trailer (2:20)

Vintage promo presented in 1080p24 1.66:1 with lossy French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (48kHz, 192Kbps) with optional English subtitles.

Lips of Blood Image Gallery: Original Promotional Material (105 images)

Extensive still gallery in HD Contains many interesting shots.

80-page liner notes book with a new essay by Maitland McDonough, archival writing by Jean Rollin on the making of the film, archival interviews with Rollin and Annie Brilland, an analysis of Suck Me, Vampire, the hardcore film Rollin made using scenes from Lips of Blood, and full film credits

The usual indispensable companion to the film. I found the discussion on the hardcore variant the most interesting this time mainly due to the fact I knew virtually nothing about it's existence.


Not sent for review.


One of Jean Rollin's finest films is given the luxury treatment on this Powerhouse Films disc. Top notch from-the-OCN transfer in 4K with impeccable image and sound quality and extras to die for! Can't be beat! One of the discs of the year!

The Film: A Video: A+ Audio: A Extras: A+ Overall: A+


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