The Drudgeon reviews The Grapes Of Death

The Grapes Of Deathaka Les Raisins De La Mort (Original Title), The Raisins Of Death
90 min., 1978
Written by Jean-Pierre Bouyxou/Jean Rollin/Christian Meunier
Directed by Jean Rollin
Language: French
My rating: ★

Huh, what, I’m awake! Is something going on?

* * *

We start with some guys spraying a field, we then cut to one of them named Kowalski who is complaining about a fever and his neck hurting. Then we cut to two girls on a train, Brigitte (Evelyne Thomas), who is going to Spain, and Élizabeth (Marie George Pascal), who is going to a town called Roublais where her fiancée, Michael (Michel Herval), works in a vineyard. They are at a stop when Kowalski gets on, kills Brigitte and starts to chase Élizabeth. She escapes into a house that has a father, Lucien (Serge Marquand), and his daughter Antoinette (Patricia Cartier). Élizabeth tries to get them to let her use their phone but Lucien says no and in the end goes crazy and kills his daughter. So Élizabeth gets away again and ends up meeting another woman named Lucy (Mirella Rancelot). Well Lucy is blind and needs some help getting back home. Back at Lucy’s home, more of the “zombie” things start “attacking”.

Overacting has never been done as bad as in this movie. No one knows how to hold his or her acting skills together. Every time anyone is on screen they just overdo everything. Their lines and their body movements are just way too overdone, nothing is done with any form of restraint. Crap, this movie needs help.

Now I realize that it was 1978, but wow the effects are crap. It really seems that no time or effort was put into them. One of them looked like pudding, another one looked like mustard, and another a whole a lot like jelly. I realize that sometimes you need to make the best with little to no money, but really?

Being called one of the first French gore films is certainly true, but does that make it good? No. Not at all. Everything was just way too drawn out with every scene being about one minute too long. There is just so much time of nothing going on and there’s nothing worth waiting around for. There is way too little that is good about this movie and way too many terrible things to even suggest watching it. Even if you have spare time, just avoid this.

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About The Drudgeon

I don't remember my real name or where I came from. All I know is that I'm traped in an underground cave with nothing but a TV, DVD player and a notebook and pen. They keep calling me The Drudgeon, I don't even know what that means. Someone keeps dropping horror movies in and yelling at me to watch them and write about what I watch. Then I eat the DVD and case, because they tell me if I consume the horror I will understand the horror. I think there are three of them. So if you are reading this right now, HELP ME!!!!!!! OUCH!!!! Someone just poked me with a sea urchin attacked to a pool cue, what the fuck is going on?
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3 Responses to The Drudgeon reviews The Grapes Of Death

  1. Lackey says:

    Since my review won’t feature comparisons with your review, I’ll mention this here:

    Overacting has never been done as bad as in this movie. No one knows how to hold his or her acting skills together. Every time anyone is on screen they just overdo everything. Their lines and their body movements are just way too overdone, nothing is done with any form of restraint.

    Seriously?

    If anything, I thought the film was by and large underacted. There’s only two roles in the film that I would peg as overacted, and those are Lucie and Lucas (the blind girl and her “guide”). Lucas is forgivable, and the problem with Lucie is not the actress, but how her pivotal roles are staged.

    I guess you and I must have vastly different ideas of what constitutes “overacting.”

    • The Drudgeon says:

      For the most part when I watch movies it’s the overacting that catches my eye more than the underacting. If someone is underacting, then I tend to forget about them. It’s the ones that overact that stick out in my mind. Overacting, in my opinion, is when people flail around during the most mundane situation, which I saw a lot in the movie. As for Lucas being forgivable…I don’t think so, and Lucie was just terrible all around. You can give as many excuses for bad acting, (lack of experience, not an actor, bad script, bad direction, etc.) but for every excuse that there is I’ve seen a dozen movies with those same things done great with good actors.

      • Lackey says:

        Overacting, in my opinion, is when people flail around during the most mundane situation, which I saw a lot in the movie.

        I didn’t notice a lot of that, actually. The father at the first house Elizabeth visited did, and Lucas did…I don’t remember anyone else doing that, actually.

        I tend to think of overacting as flailing around, plus a lot of shouting and/or overly dramatic line readings.

        As for Lucas being forgivable…I don’t think so

        Lucas needs to be overacted to an extent. I don’t think a subtle performance would have worked. Now, did the role need to be overacted to the extent it was? Probably not, but again, considering the context (that is, I see most of the performances as underacted, not overacted) I don’t see it as an unforgivable sin.

        You can give as many excuses for bad acting, (lack of experience, not an actor, bad script, bad direction, etc.) but for every excuse that there is I’ve seen a dozen movies with those same things done great with good actors.

        The question I ask myself is, “Do I think this scene would have worked with a better actor?” If it would, then the fault is with the actor. If not, the fault is usually with the director at least in part. (Occasionally it’s the fault of whoever wrote the salient lines of dialogue, but in my opinion 75% of all bad dialogue can be salvaged with the right actor.) Lucie had several awkwardly staged scenes which I can’t imagine working well with exponentially better actresses.

        Specifics in a couple of weeks.

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