Color, 1993, 90m. / Directed by Jean Rollin / Starring Tiki Tsang, Frederique Hayman, Jean-Jacques Lefeuvre, Karine Swenson / Redemption (US R0 NTSC, UK R0 PAL)


If you ever wondered what might happen if Jean Rollin decided to make an erotic action film on a budget of about five francs, Killing Car, also known under the far more appropriate title of La femme dangereuse, is the baffling answer. Shot on low-grade film sometime in the '80s and evidently finished in post-production on video in 1993, it's a strange, maddening, and sometimes beautiful dream piece revolving around a mostly silent, alluring female assassin (one-offactress Tsang), who wanders around the seedy wastelands around Paris killing various people. Along the way she also dances in a small nightclub, stalks her prey through a garden of statues, jaunts off to New York and wafts around a ferryboat, and becomes involved with the modeling industry, all the while observed by a pair of less-than-enthusiastic police officers.

Rollin fans are really the only ones who will find rewards in this little oddity, which trades entirely on the surface appeal of the beautiful and rather captivating Tsang; she can model clothes and slip off sunglasses like nobody's business. Along with the commerically-mandated but rather innocent injects of nudity and blood, Rollin also throws in some amusing nods to his previous films, mainly through prop cameos related to his past vampire projects, and of course the melancholy finale features the heroine crying directly at the camera. Basically a goofy little trifle as far as Rollin films go, it's still unmistakably his work and merits a peek for the Euro-horror completist.

Unfortunately the production history of Killing Car means that, barring someone going back to the negative and rebuilding the film from scratch with new edits and credits, there's no way it will ever look better than the video master that's been circulating for the past few years. Salavatonís release looks about as dated as you might expect, with burned-in subtitles and very weak contrast. It's still watchable if you don't mind watching something a step or two above VHS, but don't expect any visual fireworks here. The packaging labels it as Dolby Digital Stereo, but it sounds for all the world like mono to these ears. Rollin fans will certainly be happy to see that this release contains the complete Erotika! UK TV episode devoted to him, and for once all the film clips appear to be intact for this video edition. It's a great intro to his work and, in a just world, would be included on all of his releases to lure in the uninitiated.