Whilst preparing to watch The Iron Rose online free, I pondered over its title and was intrigued; would it be a martial arts movie perhaps, or maybe a period production about civil war? After all, a name such as The Iron Rose certainly offered an array of possibilities. So when the DVD started and I was greeted by the promotional introduction for a ‘Redemption’ title, the sensation was one of distinct disappointment, as previous viewing experiences of ‘Redemption’ and ‘Salvation’ titles meant that I anticipated ninety minutes or so of gothic soft-core horror pornography. Call me narrow minded if you will, but for me the genre of film offered by this distribution company has never seemed particularly stimulating (although Vampiros Lesbos has its moments, as does Daughters of Darkness).
So, I’ll tell you why you must watch The Iron Rose free. It’s a French piece of exploitation cinema that, from the very beginning places the viewer in a very bleak environment, utilising some grainy and dismal looking shots of a deserted beach through to some equally dreary landscape shots of what appears to be a post war industrial town somewhere on the coast of France. One of the film’s strengths is that the tone and cinematography is very consistent throughout and lends it a very foreboding, weary quality that unsettles in a manner reminiscent of Fellini’s challenging masterpiece 120 Days of Sodom.
The story begins with a young couple on a first date who, after a tiring bike ride, decide to picnic in a run down old cemetery for some privacy. However, it swiftly becomes apparent that the cemetery is anything but deserted, as it is also inhabited by a variety of individuals including a vampiric looking clergyman to a bedraggled clown, who’s disconcerting appearance inspires a distinct sense of uneasiness.
After eating their picnic, the couple begin exploring the graveyard and climb down into an open tomb for some typically turgid teenage shenanigans before electing to beat a hasty retreat when night falls. However, they are unable to locate the exit and from here the film takes an ‘Easy-Rider’ like turn as the woman (played by Françoise Pascal) freaks out, traps her partner (Hughes Quester) in the tomb and then frolics around the graveyard like a bohemian on a wild acid trip, before eventually retreating underground herself as dawn breaks the following morning.
Releases on the Redemption label such as The Iron Rose full movie obviously target a specific market, namely people who enjoy watching online pieces that incorporate aspects of gothic horror and philosophy whilst often providing very little in terms of actual substance. That said, this is a well-shot piece of film and to its credit evidently makes the most of what little budget it was put together on. However, the acting is not the best with the result being that both the scenes of coupling and conflict between the featured pair are weak and unconvincing. Overall, I’m sure that the select few who enjoy this genre will lap it up, but my interest died after the half hour. The Iron Rose is certainly a watchable movie; it’s just that it’s really not my type.