The Iron Rose is Jean Rollin at his most tame and psychological self, exploring the mad hysteria within the deep depths of fear, and also, diving into the troubles behind new founded romance. It belongs to a couple in a cemetery at night, whose newly love is booming with the exploration of sex in an underground tomb. But the night darkens, and the cemetery overtakes the two, leading to the descent into madness.
The film opens sweet and hardly hints at the possibility of horror, with the two’s romance quickly blossoming. Next thing you know they’re having a lovely picnic in the local cemetery, much to the woman’s dismay. Then comes underground sex. Then comes night. Then comes hysteria.
François Pascal delivers a totally possessing performance. Scary and riveting, she outshines all other performances, which in this case is just the bloke she’s with. He’s tolerable. The majority of the film belongs to the gorgeous François Pascal. In the face of psychological terror the two let go and push the film forward with ease. However, the 80 minute runtime can feel dragged out, especially toward it’s final 20 or so minutes, resulting in a somewhat inconsistent experience.
Nevertheless the chilling atmosphere hallows till the very end, with artsy shots and dialogue and the notion of an impending darkness within the mind thrown in between. It’s a Jean Rollin film for sure.