PARIS — French filmmaker and actor Jean Rollin, a master of Gallic B movies, died Dec. 16 in Paris of cancer. He was 72. Jean-Michel Rollin Roth Le Gentil started his professional career in the ’70s with a flurry of low-budgeted erotic vampire pics and fantasies. His first film, “The Rape of the Vampire,” which was released in 1968, reportedly provoked outrage within the French intelligentsia and sparked riots in Paris. Rollin nevertheless followed with equally controversial horror films, notably “Requiem for a Vampire,” the gore pic “Grapes of Death” and the erotic zombie chiller “The Living Dead Girl,” among others.
While Rollin’s genre films were snubbed by French critics, the director earned a cult following in the U.S. and in parts of Europe, where fans praised his films’ poetic visual style and surreal erotism.
Rollin was also an author of novellas, including “La Petite Ogresse” and “La Promeneuse.” His autobiography, “Moteur! Coupez! Memoires d’un cineaste singulier,” was published in 2008.
The late filmmaker, who had wrapped the production of his last film “Le Masque de la Meduse” earlier this year, had also recently participated in “Jean Rollin: Un Reveur Egare,” a French documentary paying homage to his career.
Survivors include his wife, Simone; a son, actor Serge; granddaughter, Gabrielle, also an actor.