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Living Dead Girl (1982)

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Living Dead Girl is a french zombie film released in 1982 and directed by Jean Rollin under his Redemption label. Its French title is La morte vivante and it has been known in other countries as Lady Dracula and Zombie Queen.

Plot Edit

Three men who work for a nuclear energy facility in France dump off several drums of unwanted toxic waste. They stop outside of an old mine shaft and roll one of the barrels onto a cart. The three go down into the shaft, which opens up into a much larger catacomb. Two of the men stockpile the container before noticing that there are two coffins lying beneath them. They figure that whoever is buried in them might have some valuables on them, so they open up the first coffin, which reveals a very fresh middle-aged woman. Next to her is the coffin of her daughter, Catherine Valmont. While the two workers are busting open the coffins, an earthquake strikes. The quake succeeds in knocking over one of the canisters containing the toxic waste. One of the workers stumbles from the shaking and lands in the spilled sludge. The other manages to open up the coffin containing Catherine Valmont. Catherine opens her eyes, jutting her fingers straight up into the man’s face. With one deft maneuver, she scoops out his eyes, letting blood splatter all over the room. Catherine gets up and attacks the third Frenchman. She jabs her fingers into his throat, and his neck explodes with blood.

Sometime later we meet a photographer named Barbara Simon and her American boyfriend, Greg. The two spend the morning complaining to one another and talking about their respective careers. Barbara catches sight of Catherine wandering through the fields. Barbara thinks she looks fairly odd and starts taking some snapshots of her. She is now determined to find out who this girl is.

At Valmont Castle, Mrs. Valmont is selling off the property and she shows it to a few prospective buyers. Valmont and the couple leave after inspecting the property just as Catherine wanders in. Her memory is hazy and she has trouble figuring out her relationship to the castle. She finds an old music box, which brings back memories of her childhood. She recalls being extremely close to another girl named Helene. The two had made a blood bond with one another and pledged that if one of them were to die, the other would follow shortly thereafter.

Later that evening, Valmont returns with her boyfriend and the two make love before the fireplace. Catherine is in the adjoining room and begins tinkering about with an old piano. Valmont hears this and sends her boyfriend, Louis, to check it out. Once Catherine's presence is discovered, she rips the throat out of each of them and begins lavishly drinking up their blood. She drags Valmont's ruined body out onto the front steps of the castle.

A short time later, the phone rings. It is Helene, who is now an adult and calling upon the surviving Valmont family. Catherine answers the phone, but doesn't speak. Instead, she plays the music box that had become so special to Helene and she when they were younger. Helene freaks out and instantly recognizes the music. She packs up her belongings and heads over to the Valmont estate.

As soon as she gets there, she finds the body of Valmont and Louis. She is amazed that Catherine is still alive but becomes disconcerted to discover that her friend is mute. Helene washes Catherine down and takes the bodies downstairs into the basement. The Valmont basement leads to some catacombs, which are connected to the mineshaft where Catherine's coffin lies. Helene finds the bodies of the three workers. Realizing that Catherine is a zombie, Helene offers her arm to her to drink from.

Meanwhile back in town, Barbara Simon is obsessed with finding out who this girl is. She shows her photograph to a score of people but they all tell her the same thing; it's impossible that she took a photograph of Catherine Valmont because she died two years ago. Barbara decides to hitch a ride to the castle to see if the person she photographed really is Catherine Valmont.

While this is taking place, Catherine is clearly suffering. She begins screaming and squeezing her breasts. Helene tries to get her to remember her past life, but it is very clear to her now that Catherine is not only insane, but a zombie as well. She tries to help her friend out by going into an aviary and killing a pigeon for her. But Catherine shakes her head “no”, indicating that that just won't do. So Helene hits the streets looking for fresh victims with which to feed her friend. She fakes having car trouble in order to get someone to stop for her. A driver stops and offers to take Helene back to Valmont Castle to pick up some petrol. Catherine pounces on the woman and stabs her in the throat. She also goes to great pains to make sure she rips out the ladies intestines as well.

A short time later, Barbara Simon shows up. Barbara talks to Catherine and tries to get through to her. Helene discovers this and doesn't take kindly to the woman’s interference. The two women wrestle around a bit and Barbara flees the castle. Catherine starts freaking out, saying that she wants to die.

That night, Barbara finds Greg at a local fair. She tells him of her experience at Valmont castle. As the two talk, they find Helene wandering through the crowd. Barbara points her out and the two try to track her down. Helene meanwhile, has found her next victim. She invites a young woman back to the castle whereupon she locks her in the basement/dungeon. She ties her to a pole and begins slicing her stomach up with a long blade. Catherine watches on in horror. Helene is getting ready to feed the woman to Catherine when she hears a ruckus upstairs. Helene runs upstairs to intercept. Catherine meanwhile, cannot abide what she has done and can no longer accept her friend's “gifts”. She frees the screaming victim from the pole and lets her go free. Helene chases Barbara and Greg up onto the battlements of the castle. She stabs a lit torch into Barbara's face setting her on fire. The flaming woman screams falls off the battlement into the moat below. Greg tries to stop Helene, but she slings a medieval battleaxe his face, killing him.

Helene goes back to Catherine to look after her. She finds Catherine trying to drown herself in the moat. Helene rescues her and pulls her back on land. Catherine finally convinces Helene that she is truly dead. She is not a living person any more. They recall their vow made years ago when they pledged that if one were to die, the next would follow. Catherine decides to take one last victim, and it is Helene. Catherine begins savagely eating Helene's throat on the steps of the castle. What happens to Catherine after this point is unknown.

Cast Edit

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • Also known as Lady Dracula and Zombie Queen.
  • Has been made available on VHS, DVD and laserdisc.
  • The 2007 DVD release of Living Dead Girl is uncut.
  • The 1994 release of Living Dead Girl (UK) cut out 2 min and 29 seconds worth of scenes involving extensive violence and acts of cannibalism.

External Links Edit

References Edit

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