La Rose de Fer


by Tuna

A young couple meets at a wedding dinner and makes a date for the following day. They meet at an abandoned train yard for a bicycle trek/picnic. She grows tired in front of a huge old cemetery, so they decide to explore. After their lunch, they are feeling amorous, and with typical Rollin characters like a scary clown, a caretaker, an old woman and a vampire hanging around, they go into a crypt for privacy. When they emerge, it is dark, and as they try to find their way out, they give in to panic and then insanity. She finds peace, somehow, through an iron rose ornament, then we have an interlude at the seashore with her walking naked. Finally, she must return and join him for eternity.

The Iron Rose, one of director Jean Rollin's most obscure films, will likely be found in the horror section of your favorite video outlet, but is not conventional horror by any stretch of the imagination. Rollin calls it an art film and my high school English teachers would have loved it since it is dripping with obvious symbolism. The imagery, as is always the case with Rollin's films, is hauntingly beautiful, the pace is deliberate, and the star beautiful.

I have always believed Jean Rollin's films are a genre unto themselves, and this one is a quick watch, and fascinated me. So what does it mean? Honestly, I have no idea.



I think the following theory would have gotten me an A in Senior English:

"The couple meet and begin their journey at a wedding, which is all about beginnings. We then go into the journey portion of their life together, as evidenced by the trains, then the bicycles, then finally the walk in the cemetery. Note that as they progress through their lives, each mode of travel gets slower. Then they have sex, presumably including orgasm, AKA, the little death, and find that they are now permanently stuck in the cemetery. She accepts it first, knows she is about to cross over to the other side as symbolized by the seashore, and realizes that true freedom and living is through death, but must help him accept it. Thus, basically, this is Rollin's Thanatopsis, or view of death."

Yes, Mr. Clough would have been proud.


  • Francoise Pascal does full frontal and rear nudity.


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5.3 IMDB summary (of 10)

Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


A classic example of Jean Rollin's weird, arty contribution to the European B-movie tradition. Fascinating stuff for a niche audience. Utterly incomprehensible, but a visual masterpiece.



*Region 2 only


* widescreen 1.66