31 May, 2013


Goodbye to French actress Francoise Blanchard who passed away two days ago in France. No cause of death has been reported as of yet. She was 58. Her striking looks and the ability to project emotion subtly and without words is best demonstrated as the title character in Jean Rollin's 1982 rural zombie tale LA MORTE VIVANTE. She plays a young woman who rises from the dead when an earthquake causes revivifying chemicals to spill into her subterranean tomb. Her anguished cry at the end of  LA MORTE VIVANTE never fails to sends a chill up my spine while bringing tears to my eyes.  A silent, very moving performance from an actress pretty much unknown, outside of cult circles, here in the US.File:Francoise 1982.jpg

She also appeared in Rollin's THE SIDEWALKS OF BANGKOK and Jess Franco's REVENGE IN THE HOUSE OF USHER (1983).

Françoise Blanchard
Since I originally posted this I have been informed by Alain Petit that her scenes in USHER, which were shot as post [original Spanish*] production inserts, were shot by Franco himself. There had been a question about this previously. Alain posted this explanation on my FACEBOOK timeline: "Jess himself did the inserts for NEVROSE, mostly in a parisian Jazz club called "Le Caveau de la Huchette."  The original Spanish version is quite different than the French version and Francoise does not appear in it.  Thanks to Alain for this clarification. 
Francoise Blanchard as Melissa in NEVROSE aka NEUROSIS: THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (USA DVD/Video title), the Eurocine alternate version of LOS CRIMENES DE USHER (1985).

 OBSESSION: THE FILMS OF JESS FRANCO lists her as the female lead in his still unreleased 1986 AIDS thriller SIDA-LA PESTE DEL SIGLO XX. She also appears as an Amazon in GOLDEN TEMPLE AMAZONS and found work in a number of 1980s Eurocine projects [OASIS OF  LOST WOMEN]. She also reportedly has a role in the Eurocine backed, unreleased CHASING BARBARA, a composite adventure film made up of footage shot by Jess Franco and Jean Rollin.

[Below] In SIDEWALKS OF BANGKOK (1984); With Marina Pierro in LA MORTE VIVANTE.

German poster for the Eurocine WIP OASIS OF THE LOST WOMEN and a more recent image of Francoise as seen in an interview on the LA MORTE VIVANTE DVD.

I sometimes wonder if she's the stand-in for Christina Von Blanc hiding behind the flowing blonde hair in the Eurocine zombie inserts directed by Rollin for the alternate 1980s era version of  Franco's A VIRGIN AMONG THE LIVING DEAD.

*LOS CRIMENES DE USHER was the Spanish theatrical release title for what would eventually be reworked in NEVROSE. 


DrunkethWizerd said...

RIP Beauty.

Kaya Özkaracalar said...

she is also in Rollin's LA NUIT DE HORLOGES (2007)