Iron Rose, The (1973)

The Iron Rose (1973), directed by Jean Rollin.

Boy meets girl. After some cavorting in a train-yard they picnic in a cemetery, and even descend into a crypt below ground for some first date sex. When night falls they cannot get out of the graveyard. It's kind of a Blair Witch Project situation: no matter how hard they try they can't even find the iron gates.

This goes on for a long time. They start cracking up, although that does not prevent an intimate interlude on a pile of old bones in a pit.

Guys, some dating tips: if you're going to hang out in the cemetery after hours, make sure you can keep it together when the going gets weird, and most importantly, make sure your date isn't bat-house crazy.

This is the first film I've seen by the director. His reputation is for atmospheric, erotic vampire movies, but this is more of an art film. No real horror content or any gruesomeness. Not even a strong sense of desecration. Old overgrown cemeteries with lots of stonework and ironmongery have a decadent beauty which is neither completely wholesome nor actually loathsome.

You see the Scary Cemetery Clown of Fate in the thumbnails? That's how you know you're watching a French Art Film.

I see complaints of "boring, nothing happens", but I had no trouble sticking with it, if wondering how long it could go on. Some lovely photography, and Fran├žoise Pascal is easy on the eyes, with her bra-less Earth-mother figure and some nudity, for which many thanks.

Available on Blu-ray on the Redemption label. The Blu-ray had a quick "Client: Kino" title screen. Original French and English dub audio tracks, with subtitles.