Fascination (Blu-ray) [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - United Kingdom - Powerhouse Films
Review written by and copyright: Rick Curzon (21st October 2023).
The Film

Jealousy, vengeance, obsession, cannibalism, and blood-drinking collide in Fascination, director Jean Rollin’s decadent fantasy of sex and death.

When a thief holes up in a remote château, taking two beautiful chambermaids hostage, the arrival of his accomplices and the château’s aristocratic owners leads to an orgy of violence and ritualistic bloodletting.

With its standout performance from Brigitte Lahaie (The Night of the Hunted), as the scythe-wielding Eva, and an evocative score from Philippe D’Aram (The Living Dead Girl), Fascination is one of the purest expressions of Rollin’s unique fantastique aesthetic.


From the accompanying booklet:
Fascination was scanned, restored and colour corrected in 4K HDR at Filmfinity, London, using original 35mm negative film materials. Phoenix image-processing tools were used to remove many thousands of instances of dirt, eliminate scratches and other imperfections, as well as repair damaged and missing frames. No grain management, edge enhancement or sharpening tools were employed to artificially alter the image in any way.
it's a real pleasure to watch a film like Fascination beautifully restored. I've seen it many times starting with the UK Redemption VHS and it's always been a good looking film with vivid colour values favouring a naturalistic colour palette. DVDs and latterly BDs have improved the experience considerably however and this latest transfer (also available in 4K on UHD BD, not provided for review) is easily the best this fine film has ever looked. Flesh tones are healthy with a nice touch of pink and primaries - like the rather wonderful jacket worn by Jean-Marie Lemaire early in the film is a riot of maroon fabric textures or the copious amounts of red lipstick and red cheeks (at both ends of the human ... spectrum). The greens of the surrounding forests are lush, inviting and vivid. It's such a pleasure to watch a real, photochemical film in this flat digital age of low contrast and frequently dull colours.

The real boon of films from pre-digital is the lovely filmic grain and texture in the image that brings with it atmosphere, especially when well realised as in Rollin's films of the late '60s and '70s. Detail is satisfying and strong in closeups, less noticeable in medium to long shots; possibly down to the expedient nature of this low budget, rapidly shot film (in two weeks; there are some mildly out of focus shots hither and tither). As usual, the encode is superb and digital tinkering is zero. Fascination looks as good as possible ('A').

1080p24 / AVC MPEG-4 / BD50 / 1.66:1 / 81:56


French LPCM 1.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Subtitles: English (optional)

The mono sound has been well restored but the original track is of limited range and could do with some more low end but this is the way it's always sounded. The score is clear but lacks oomph as a result feeling almost as if it's been played live on set. Dialogue is crystal clear and always understandable with excellent subtitles translating every nuance for those who don't speak French ('B-').


Audio commentary with film historian Jeremy Richey (2023)

Richey is not someone I've encountered before on disc but I have occasionally stumbled across his blog Fascination: The Films of Jean Rollin. He's also known for his book Sylvia Kristel: From Emmanuelle to Chabrol (2022). A dense track that covers Rollin's influences and style as well as the main (loose) inspiration for this film, an 1892 short story - Jean Lorraine's Glass of Blood. He covers Lorraine's life and career as well as Rollin and how Fascination came to be made; much is made of his themes and desire to homage vampire cinema. It's a fine yaktrak and fans of the film and Rollin will find much to savour. Presented in lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (48kHz, 192Kbps), the track has a basey quality with some mild distortion. However, it's not enough to detract from enjoyment.

"Rituals: Fascination" 2023 featurette featuring vintage interviews with Natalie Perrey and Brigitte Lahaie (7:42)
"The Music of Fascination" 2023 featurette featuring a vintage interview with Philippe D’Aram (19:42)

Newly edited featurettes that present previously seen vintage interviews with two of Rollin's most important female collaborators (with some contributions from Rollin) and the composer of many of his film's scores. If you're a fan you'll have seen this material before but it's excellent so give it another view! 1080p24 1.66:1 with HD clips and upscaled video. Sound is lossy French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (48kHz, 192Kbps) with optional English subtitles.

"Eurotika!: Virgins and Vampires" 1999 TV episode (24:15)

Excellent précis of Rollin's work from the much missed UK TV series made by the Mondo Macabro people. Upscaled from the standard master to 1080i60 1.78:1 with lossy English / French Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo (48kHz, 192Kbps). Subtitles are burnt in for French dialogue only. I wish someone would release LL OF Eurotika! and it's sister series Mondo Macabro on disc ala The World of Hammer (1990).

"Love Like Blood: Virginie Sélavy on Fascination" 2023 interview (6:51)

Another splendid overview of the film with Sélavy, who (according to her website) is a "Writer. Film Scholar. Journalist. Editor." in any case, her short interviews on these discs are very welcome. Presented in 1080p24 1.78:1 with lossy English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo (48kHz, 192Kbps) with no subtitles.

"Jean Rollin Introduces Fascination" 1998 featurette (2:21)

Brief, but choice little intro in which Rollin shares a few thoughts with us. 1080p24 1.66:1 (full HD clips and upscaled video) with lossy English Dolby Digital 2.0 (48kHz, 192Kbps).

Alternative Sequence #1 (no audio): Brigitte Lahaie and Jean-Marie Lemaire (7:54)
Alternative Sequence #2 (no audio): Brigitte Lahaie and Cyril Val (7:31)

Two silent alternate sex scenes that play to Phllip D'Aram's score. Upscaled from standard to 1080p24 1.66:1 with lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (48kHz, 192Kbps).

Theatrical Trailer (2:34)

Vintage promo in 1980p24 1.66:1 with lossy French Dolby Digital 1.0 (48kHz, 192Kbps).

Fascination Image Gallery: Original Promotional Material (74 images)

Excellent HD gallery.

An 80-page liner notes book with a new essay by Vanessa Morgan, an archival introduction by Jean Rollin, a previously untranslated archival interview with Rollin, an archival interview with actor Fanny Magier, critic Daniel Bird on the film’s soundtrack and full film credits

A fabulous hard copy tome to accompany the film and provide much added value. I was especially keen to read the original Glass of Blood short story which inspired Rollin to make the film. Rollin's interviews are always interesting and the other material is excellent.


Not provided for review.


One of Jean Rollin's finest films gets the treatment it deserves from Powerhouse Films in a wonderful new edition that collects many of the film's prior extras together in one place. Image and sound are as good as can be given the source elements and Powerhouse has made the absolute most of them providing us with the film's definitive home video version (More-so on the UHD BD release). Essential (A-).

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


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